Mumbai : The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has clarified that import of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) in Special Economic Zone (SEZ) units shall not be subjected to country-wise quantitative restrictions (QR). This is under the condition that no domestic tariff area (DTA) sale of IPA is allowed by SEZ units.
IPA is mixed with water for use as a rubbing-alcohol antiseptic. It is used as an inexpensive solvent for cosmetics and drugs as well as for denaturing ethanol (ethyl alcohol). It is also used in aftershave lotions, hand lotions, and other cosmetics.
China, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan are having the maximum number of IPA. Other countries which follow include Germany, Japan, Netherland, Singapore and USA.
DGFT had earlier in the month of April 2023 laid down procedures for obtaining Registration Certificate (RC) for import of IPA subject to country-wise QR for 2023-24 following a DGFT Notification dated March 31, 2023. The DGFT Notification was meant to impose safeguard measures in the form of country-wise QR on import of IPA for the year 2023-24.
As per the DGFT Notification dated March 31, 2023, free import of IPA shall be allowed subject to country-wise QR for a period of one year only i.e., 2023-24 effective from April 01, 2023, unless notified otherwise subject to a valid RC issued by the DGFT.
Following which, various representations were received in the DGFT from trade, industry and Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) seeking clarification on the applicability of the said measures on imports by the SEZ units.
According to Sanjay Kumar Tiwari, deputy director general of foreign trade, DGFT, “The matter has been examined in consultation with the Director General of Trade Remedies (DGTR). It has been noted that the investigation made by the DGTR regarding increase in volume of imports and consequent injury to the domestic industry was largely based on the trend in imports into the DTA.”
“Import of IPA by SEZ units is out of purview of the said Notification dated March 31, 2023. The country-wise QR shall be effective for a period of one year only and will cease automatically on March 31, 2024. Further, the Central Government reserves the right to review and make any change in the said safeguard measures at any point of time, as deemed fit,” he further stated.
Based on the final findings of the Authorized Officer i.e., DGTR, vide Notification dated September 30, 2021, country-wise QR on import of IPA have been notified for a period of one year i.e. 2023-24, effective from April 01, 2023 up to March 31, 2024. The Central Government may, however, review the policy and make any changes at any point of time, as deemed fit.
“In exercise of powers conferred under paragraph 1.03 and 2.04 of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), 2023, the DGFT hereby lays down the procedure for issuance of RC for import of IPA under ITC (HS) Code 29051220 subject to country-wise QR for the year 2023-24 as notified, vide Notification March 31, 2023. For the financial year 2023-24, a total of 1, 32, 440 metric tons (MTs) of IPA [under ITC(HS) Code 29051220] shall be allowed for import as per the country-wise allotted quantity. RC shall be valid till end of the Financial Year 2023-24,” as per a DGFT notice.