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Understand the significance, application, and renewal of the RCMC certificate. Comprehensive guide streamlining export-import processes and global market access.

What is RCMC Certificate- All you Need to Know

Registration-Cum-Membership Certificate (RCMC) from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is another essential document for Indian exporters and importers. 

Today, we will understand what the RCMC Certificate is, its importance, its benefits, the registration process, and the registration fees. Let’s get started!

What is RCMC Certificate?

Registration-cum-Membership Certificate (RCMC) is a mandatory document issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in India for exporters and importers. 

It signifies their registration with a specific Export Promotion Council or Commodity Board authorised by the DGFT. This certificate validates their eligibility to engage in international trade transactions and avail of various benefits and concessions under the Foreign Trade Policy.

Benefits of RCMC Registration

The benefits of obtaining RCMC (Registration Cum Membership Certificate) registration are manifold, as discussed below:

  • Sector-specific Exposure: RCMC registration grants access to sector-wise councils, offering valuable insights into specific product sectors. This exposure is particularly beneficial for new exporters, providing them with essential product knowledge and initial guidance on export procedures and documentation.
  • Trade Event Facilitation: Export Promotion Councils organise Buyer-Seller meets and exhibitions, facilitating networking opportunities. They also share inquiries and potential buyer lists, aiding exporters in exploring new markets and expanding their customer base.
  • Government Liaison: These councils serve as intermediaries between exporters and the government, aiding in effective communication. They assist in conveying messages, seeking clarifications on notifications, and addressing issues such as delayed refunds, enhancing the exporters’ interaction with government authorities.
  • Stay Informed: Export Promotion Councils keep exporters updated on industry developments and policy changes through regular notifications. This ensures exporters remain well-informed about the evolving landscape of the export business.
  • Access to MAI and PMS Schemes: RCMC registration enables participation in schemes like the Market Access Initiative (MAI) and Procurement and Marketing Support (PMS). These schemes offer reimbursement for marketing expenses incurred by exporters, including costs related to exhibitions, airfare, stall rentals, and registration fees.

In summary, RCMC registration provides numerous advantages, including sector-specific exposure, government liaison, trade event facilitation, financial support through schemes like MAI and PMS, and keeping exporters informed about industry updates.

Is RCMC Certificate Mandatory for Export?

It’s important to clarify that RCMC (Registration Cum Membership Certificate) is mandatory only for specific export products. If your product is listed, RCMC is optional, and your shipments will be halted. Here are the products requiring RCMC with their respective EPCs:

  • Coffee Products: Coffee Board of India
  • Tea: Tea Board of India
  • Agricultural Products: APEDA
  • Spice Products: Spices Board of India
  • Marine Products: MPEDA
  • Silk Products: Silk Board of India
  • Leather Products: Council For Leather Exports
  • Jute Products: Jute Board of India
  • Coconut Products: Coconut Board of India
  • Coir Products: Coir Board of India
  • Tobacco Products: Tobacco Board of India
  • Rubber Products: Rubber Board of India

While not mandatory for unlisted products, obtaining an RCMC is advisable for serious exporters and is necessary for availing benefits under schemes like EPCG, Advance License, and DFIA. 

However, RCMC isn’t mandatory for benefits under RoDTEP and RoSCTL. Situations, where RCMC is compulsory, include LUT Bond application for GST and merchant exporters procuring goods at a 0.1% GST rate. Importantly, RCMC is exclusively for exporters, not importers.

How to Choose Export Promotion Council/Commodity Board for RCMC Registration?

To choose the right council for your RCMC (Registration Cum Membership Certificate), follow these steps:

  • Consult Appendix 2T of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP): This appendix lists councils and their respective product sectors. Identify the council corresponding to your products.
  • Determine Your Main Business Line: Match your main business line with the products covered by the identified council.
  • Handling Multiple Products: If your export-import business involves multiple products or lacks a clear main line, register with FIEO (Federation of Indian Export Organisations) as a multi-product exporter instead of obtaining RCMC from each council separately.

Unlisted Products: If your product isn’t listed in Appendix 2T or covered by any council, you can still obtain RCMC from FIEO.

Documents required for RCMC Registration

Here is the list of documents you need for your RCMC application.

  • Application Form
  • DGFT Digital Signature (DSC) or application can alternatively be submitted using Aadhar OTP
  • Import-Export Code (IEC)
  • Business Registration Proof – GST, Udyam Aadhar (MSME).
  • Export turnover figures from the previous year or the last three years, authenticated by a Chartered Accountant (CA)
  • Company PAN Card or PAN Card of the Proprietor
  • In the case of no exports, a NIL certificate is required

RCMC Registration Procedure

Here is a simplified way for RCMC Certificate registration:

Step 1- Visit the DGFT website

Under Services tab go to E-RCMC and then on Apply for E-RCMC.

Step 2- Login with Details

Login through your DGFT ID and password. The main RCMC screen will appear, prompting users to input information in the specified sections. 

These sections include Basic Details, RCMC Details, TDS, Attachments, Declaration, and Application Summary. Basic details must be completed initially; if there is a previous RCMC, details will be automatically filled.

Step 3- Fill in RCMC Details

Here, you’ll select the Council for RCMC, outline your main business, specify the duration needed for RCMC, and select the applicable fee structure. 

Provide a comprehensive list of the company’s products/services, details of the authorised company representative, company website, and export destinations.

Step 4- Attachments, Approve Declaration, and Submit

You’ll need to upload the required documents, sign the declaration, and finalise the application. Submission options include Digital Signature (DSC) or Aadhar E-sign (OTP). Once submitted, expect your RCMC Certificate within 3 to 4 business days. Track your application status from the DGFT portal dashboard.

RCMC Certificate Registration Fees

The registration fees for RCMC (Registration Cum Membership Certificate) vary across different councils. Fees range from approximately 5 to 6 thousand rupees to 50 to 60 thousand rupees. Some councils adjust fees based on export turnover, while others have fixed rates. 

RCMC Certificates can be valid for 1, 2, 3, or 5 years, with potential discounts for longer durations paid in a single instalment. It’s important to note that RCMC validity follows the financial year (FY), expiring on March 31st. 

For instance, an annual membership obtained in September 2023 will expire on March 31, 2024, necessitating renewal thereafter.

RCMC Renewal / Amendment in RCMC

Membership for RCMC is valid from April to March of each fiscal year. For instance, if you apply for RCMC in December, your annual membership will expire on the following 30th March, requiring renewal for the next fiscal year starting in April.

The RCMC renewal process is conducted online via the DGFT website. Simply select your preferred Council, pay the necessary fees, and renew your RCMC membership.

Furthermore, amendments to RCMC are feasible. Changes such as address or director details and alterations to the export products list can be made in the RCMC. 

Exporters should submit an online request for amendment on the DGFT Portal within one month of such changes occurring. This ensures that the RCMC accurately reflects the exporter’s updated information.

To Sum Up

RCMC Certificate is essential for Indian exporters, streamlining their participation in export and import in the international market. With user-friendly online processes offered by the DGFT, obtaining, renewing, and amending certificates is efficient. 

It’s a significant tool for ensuring compliance and granting access to global markets for sustained growth. From selecting the appropriate council to submitting documents, the RCMC simplifies regulatory complexities. Its significance underscores its role in empowering exporters and encouraging seamless global trade interactions.

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