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DGFT Guru > EPCG Scheme: An Overview

Export Promotions Capital Goods Scheme: A detailed guide

The Government of India announced the EPCG scheme in the 1990s with a vision to facilitate capital goods import and improve the quality of production, enhancing India’s competitiveness as a manufacturer, globally. 

Exporters and importers would have heard about the EPCG Scheme, but it’s also important to have an in-depth understanding of the scheme. Here is a complete guide of all you need to know about the EPCG scheme to enhance your export-import business and expand in the international trade arena.

What is EPCG Scheme

EPCG Scheme is an initiative by DGFT which allows duty-free import of capital goods and machinery for export purposes. That means you can import capital goods at zero customs duty provided that you fulfil certain export obligations.

Capital Goods can be utilised for the production, pre-production, and post-production stages of goods. This initiative is also known as the zero-duty EPCG scheme. 

The primary goal of the EPCG Scheme is to strengthen India’s manufacturing sector and its competitiveness internationally by reducing the import cost of capital goods.

Capital Goods and Machinery Eligible for Import Under EPCG Scheme

Following are the goods/machinery that qualify to be imported under the EPCG scheme:

  • All capital goods, (semi-knocked down and fully knocked-down conditioned items are also included).
  • Refractories, moulds, dies, spares, jigs, fixtures, and tools.
  • Catalysts for both the initial charge and one subsequent charge. 

According to para 9.08 of FTP 2015-20, capital goods are defined as machinery, equipment, or accessories needed for manufacturing goods or providing services. This includes items for upgrading technology, expanding operations, or replacing old equipment. Capital goods cover a wide range of items like packaging machinery, refrigeration units, power generators, machine tools, testing equipment, and devices for quality control and pollution management. These goods can be used in various sectors such as manufacturing, mining, agriculture, animal husbandry, and services like research, testing, and pollution control.

EPCG Scheme Benefits

The EPCG intends to promote exports, heavy exporters can gain several benefits under the scheme. The Government of India instigated this scheme to provide incentives and financially support the exporters.

We would advise the exporters not to claim and expect to gain benefits under this scheme if they aren’t manufacturing in a large quantity. Those expecting to sell the produce entirely within the country should also not go ahead with this scheme because it would be difficult to fulfil the obligations mentioned in the EPCG Scheme.

Eligibility Criteria to Apply Under EPCG Scheme

The advantages provided by the EPCG Scheme are accessible to any Exporter, regardless of their turnover. Manufacturer Exporters, Merchant Exporters with supporting manufacturers, and Service Providers can apply for EPCG Licenses. 

Capital goods under the scheme must be used exclusively until export obligations are met. Merchant Exporters must endorse the supporting manufacturer’s details on the license and include them in shipping documents. Service providers like hotels, tour operators, and logistics companies can leverage the EPCG Scheme to reduce capital expenses by importing duty-free capital goods.

Eligibility Criteria specific to categories

Exemptions of Duties Under EPCG Scheme

Under the EPCG Scheme, capital goods imported for use in the production of goods or services are exempt from customs duty. Additionally, the scheme also provides an exemption from IGST and Compensation Cess. 

Alternatively, Capital Goods under the EPCG Scheme can be sourced from domestic suppliers. In such instances, the applicable GST for the supply would be waived.

Domestic Procurement of Capital Goods

Exporters also have the option to procure capital goods domestically from local manufacturers. Such domestic manufacturers would qualify for deemed export benefits under paragraph 7.03 of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP).

Working of EPCG License

Here we have explained the entire process you have to go through in order to get the benefits under the EPCG Scheme:

  • Apply for EPCG License from DGFT.
  • Clearly specify the export items to be manufactured using the imported machinery/capital goods.
  • Obtain EPCG License from DGFT.
  • Register the license with Customs and provide a bond or bank guarantee.
  • Import machinery/capital goods at 0% import duty.
  • Install the machinery and acquire the installation certificate.
  • Fulfill the export obligation within 6 years.
  • Submit a request to DGFT for EODC/Closure of License.
  • Receive EODC from DGFT.
  • Submit EODC/Closure letter to customs and cancel the bond/redeem the bank guarantee.
  • Process ends.

Documents Required for EPCG License

The EPCG Online Application requires the following documents:

  • Pro forma Invoice/Purchase order of the Capital Goods/Machinery.
  • Copies of IEC, RCMC, MSME & Central excise registration & GST Certificate.
  • Details of Capital Goods to be imported, including HSN code/Name, Model Number, and Technical Description.
  • List of Products intended for export utilising the above machinery, along with corresponding HSN codes.
  • Chartered Engineer Certificate demonstrating the connection between the Capital Goods and the products slated for export.
  • CA Certificate indicating the turnover in USD & INR for the mentioned Export Products over the last three financial years.
  • Factory Address where the machinery will be installed.
  • Stepwise Process/Flow Chart illustrating the stages where the capital goods will be utilised.
  • Explanation of the end-use of Capital Goods for export products, detailing the stages and methods of utilisation.

Procedure for Online Application for EPCG License

  • Visit the DGFT Official Website at
  • Log in using your Digital Signature Certificate (DSC).
  • Select “Services” and then choose “Online E-com Application.”
  • Click on “EPCG (0%)” to initiate the application process.
  • Fill in all the required details and upload the necessary documents.
  • Ensure the following key points to avoid errors:
    • The IEC/RCMC should identify the applicant as a manufacturer exporter.
    • The IEC/RCMC should list the address where the machine is intended to be installed.
    • MSME/SSI/Manufacturing proof should include the export products specified in the EPCG License.
  • Once all details are provided, apply.
  • Upon successful submission, DGFT will issue the EPCG License.

Few Things to Keep in Mind

  • Capital goods must be imported within 18 months of receiving the EPCG License, with no option for revalidation.
  • A bond or bank guarantee must be executed with customs authorities during the import process, as per relevant regulations.
  • Following the installation of capital goods, an installation certificate from an independent Chartered Engineer is obligatory to be submitted to DGFT.
  • Fast-track exporters may benefit from incentivisation if 75% of the specific export obligation and 100% of the average export obligation are met within half or less of the export obligation period, leading to the condoning of the remaining obligation and closure of the EPCG License by the relevant authorities.
  • Upon fulfilment of the export obligation, a redemption letter must be obtained from the regional authority of DGFT.

Export Obligation Under EPCG Scheme

Export obligation refers to the commitment made by an exporter to fulfil certain predetermined targets or requirements related to exports within a specified period. 

This typically involves exporting a certain value of goods or services within a specified timeframe, as determined by the terms and conditions of the scheme. Failure to meet these obligations may result in penalties or other consequences as outlined in the scheme guidelines.

Under the EPCG scheme, we have two types of Export Obligation, i.e., Average Export Obligation and Specific Export Obligation.

What is Average Export Obligation

This is the primary export obligation within the EPCG Scheme. Essentially, it mandates that the average turnover maintained in the three years preceding the license acquisition must be sustained for each financial year until the designated export obligation is fulfilled. 

This requirement is enforced to ensure that following the upgrade and incorporation of new machinery, the overall export levels do not dip below the established historical average turnover. 

Rather, the aim is to see an increase in export turnover facilitated by the utilisation of new machinery. This obligation is to be upheld in addition to meeting the specified export targets.

What is Specific Export Obligation

The requirement entails that goods produced from the imported machinery must be exported, with a value six times that of the duties, taxes, and cess saved on the capital goods, within six years from the date of issue of the EPCG Authorisation. 

When capital goods are domestically sourced, the Specific Export Obligation is set at 25% less than the aforementioned requirement.

  • If the stipulated Export Obligation remains unfulfilled within six years, a single extension of two years may be granted on a case-by-case basis. Should the holder of the EPCG Authorisation fail to fulfil the Export Obligation, even after the extension period, the organisation is liable to pay all the Custom Duties, Cess, and taxes saved, along with a 15% annual interest charge, to the Customs Authority.
  • The Export obligation can be satisfied through various means including direct exports, deemed exports, supplying to SEZs, EOU Units, third-party exports, and service exports for service providers.

Please note that if the EPCG License holder chooses to pay the IGST & Compensation cess during importation, the net duty saved amount would be adjusted accordingly, thereby reducing the obligation. However, this option is contingent upon the Exporter refraining from claiming tax credit for IGST.

Latest Updates of the EPCG Scheme

Under the Key Provisions of FTP 2023, the following measures will be taken by the government:

Implementing an IT-based System to Eliminate Manual Interface

The FTP 2023 aims to implement a rule-based IT system for various approvals under the EPCG scheme, eliminating the need for a manual interface and facilitating ease of doing business for exporters.

Covering All EPCG Processes: Issue, Re-validation, Export Obligation Extension in IT-based Systems

During FY23-24, all processes under the EPCG scheme, including issue, re-validation, and export obligation extension, will be covered in a phased manner through the new IT-based system.

Introducing a One-time Amnesty Scheme for Defaults on Export Obligations

The government is introducing a special one-time Amnesty Scheme under FTP 2023 to provide relief to exporters burdened by high duty and interest costs due to pending cases of default on Export Obligations, including under the EPCG scheme.

When dealing with DGFT and Customs, the assistance of DGFT Guru Consultants is invaluable. We can help you with all the EPCG Scheme procedures as well, due to our experience of over ten years. We handle all the complicated processes in closing or redeeming your EPCG license and are the go-to DGFT consultant.

For all of your EPCG needs, DGFT Guru is the one-stop shop. As an added service, we will assist you in requesting an extension of your export obligation period under EPCG. We handle all the paperwork for you to ensure a hassle-free process. Please contact us immediately if you are looking for Export Obligation under the EPCG scheme.

As a result of DGFT Guru’s assistance, over a hundred clients have been granted DGFT EPCG Scheme benefits. To assist you in revalidating or amending your EPCG License, we guide you through the complex procedures involved. If you have any questions about the revalidation of your EPCG License, please contact us today.

DGFT Guru helps you with the paperwork and advises you on what you need to have on hand to receive a policy waiver against your EPCG license.  Applying to the EPCG committee would be easier with the Portal’s help. We coordinate with the issuing authority (the EPCG Committee) if they need any more information for you. Get in touch with us today to simplify all DGFT tasks.

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An exporter applying for EPCG should meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • The manufacturer exporter with no similar supporting exporters.
  • Merchant exporters who have supporting service providers or manufacturers.
  • A service provider with the certificate of CSP (common service provider).

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) provides this certificate to the service provider. However, there are certain conditions for the same:

  • The CSP shall fulfill the conditions of EO. They can see their EPCG authorization details in their shipping bills. The concerned regulatory body is informed about the CSP through the import-export entity exporting its respective goods.
  • The exporter with a CSP certificate exports goods and in exchange provides Bank Guarantee. This will act as the amount equal to customs duty saved.
  • Exports that do not meet the specific conditions of export obligations, as per the other EPCG authorizations of the concerned CSP.

An exporter holding an EGCP certificate is allowed to import goods required to manufacture products and export them at a custom duty of 0-3%. To avail of 0% customs duty, an exporter has to export 6 times of the amount saved on the duty of the raw materials. The capital goods should be imported within 6 years from the date of authorization.

Furthermore, to avail of 3% duty, the exporter has to undertake an export obligation of 8 times the duty saved on the import of capital goods over a period of 8 years.

The goods imported under EPCG will depend on the condition of the exporter. The goods cannot be sold or transferred until the export obligations are fulfilled.

The capital goods should be used in the process of manufacturing within 6 months of issuing these goods. However, you can apply for an extension of the time duration by the Deputy/Assistant Commissioner of Customs.

As an exporter before the import of any goods, you have to initially file a bond with or without any bank guarantee. For merchant exporters, the bank guarantee should be the same as 100% of the differential duty to fulfill export obligations. For manufacturer exporters, the value can be 25% of differential duty in order to fulfill export obligations. The bank guarantee will also secure the interest of the revenue.

The scheme offers incentives and financial support to the exporters.

This scheme is helpful for manufacturer exporters with or without supporting manufacturer(s), merchant exporters tied to supporting manufacturer(s) and service provider(s); and service providers.

The scheme helps in promoting Indian goods in the International market. By exempting charges in some of the input goods or raw material the overall cost of the product to be exported decreases. Hence, the demand for Indian products increases.

An EPCG certificate is used by exporters or manufacturers to avail goods, i.e raw materials with 0-3% customs duty and produce quality products to export worldwide.

The EPCG scheme allows the up-gradation of technology in the export industry. The EPCG is issued by the Regional Licensing Authority of the Director-General of Foreign Trade. The authorizations are issued based on nexus certification granted by an independent chartered engineer.

As an import-export business owner, you can apply for an EPCG license from the authority in India i.e the director-general of foreign trade. To file the application you will need several documents. Below we have mentioned the list of documents you must have before filling:

You will require to submit the application form, the Ayat Niryat Form 5B (ANF 5B), and self-certified copies of:

  • Permanent Account Number (PAN) card
  • GST registration certificate
  • Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)
  • Registration cum Membership Certificate (RCMC)
  • Import Export Code (IEC)
  • Tourism department issued registration-certificate
  • Excise registration (if registered)
  • Proforma invoice
  • Chartered accountant certificate (along with original for verification)
  • Company brochure
  • Chartered engineer certificate (along with original for verification)