The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has announced the pilot launch of the upgraded electronic Bank Realisation Certificate (eBRC) system for self-certification by exporters. The eBRC is a document that certifies the receipt of foreign exchange by an exporter and is used for various purposes such as claiming benefits under the Foreign Trade Policy, filing income tax returns, etc.
The upgraded eBRC system is based on electronic Inward Remittance Messages (IRMs) to be transmitted directly by banks to DGFT. Based on the IRMs received, the exporters shall self-certify their eBRCs by matching them with relevant shipping bills, SOFTEX, or invoice details. The enhanced eBRC system shall enable exporters to reduce transaction time and costs, ease the burden on bankers, and promote ease of doing business in general.
The pilot launch of the revamped eBRC system started from 15th November 2023. Each bank will set its cut-off date based on their readiness after completing User Acceptance Testing (UAT). IRMs dated on or after this bank-specific cut-off date will be sent to DGFT for exporters’ self-certification. For IRMs generated before this date, banks will generate eBRCs and submit them to DGFT, as per the legacy eBRC process. Both the upgraded and legacy eBRC systems will operate simultaneously until all banks transition to the upgraded eBRC system. The DGFT Website will host the list of banks with their respective IRM cut-off dates for reference of all stakeholders.
This DGFT notification will certainly provide big relief to the exporters as it will reduce transaction cost and time. Presently, there are banks who have been allowing this facility through their own portals wherein exporters were matching IRMs with shipping bills and invoices post which the banks were checking and pushing data to RBIs EDPMS and eBRC data on DGFT portal. But in that process, the exporters have to pay cost for issuance of eBRC to banks which may not be there in the new process as matching is done by the exporter on DGFT portal.
This will certainly help in e-commerce where the number of shipping bills/ CSB/ PBE are huge for each exporter. We have been demanding in our e-commerce proposal for easing the bills realisation process and regulate the cost for eBRC.
The DGFT has also made it mandatory for all banks to integrate using Application Programming Interface (API) for prompt data exchange. Exceptions, if any, would require a detailed justification. Banks are accordingly required to transition to API integration with the upgraded eBRC systems latest by 31st January 2024.
The DGFT will also organise Exporter Outreach Programs to demonstrate and raise awareness about the revamped eBRC facility. The user guide and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the upgraded eBRC system will be available on the DGFT Website under the Learn Section.