Indian Chamber of Commerce Hosts Second Workshop on Export Control of Dual-Use Items in Eastern India

The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) held its second workshop on the export control of dual-use items in the eastern region of India on 1st September at ICC Towers in Kolkata. The program comprised two sessions: the first session delved into India’s Export Control policies under SCOMET, including policy details and licensing procedures. The second session focused on Internal Compliance and shared industry experiences. The event was graced by eminent dignitaries including Mr. Santosh Kumar Sarangi, Additional Secretary & Director General, Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce, Ms. Muanpuii Saiawi, Joint Secretary (D&ISA Division), Ministry of External Affairs, Mr. Santosh Jaiswal Assistant Commissioner of Customs, Kolkata Port, Ms. Nandini Gosh Banerjee Dy. General Manager – IBD, State Bank of India, Mr. Sanjay Budhia, Past President, Indian Chamber of Commerce & Managing Director, Patton International Limited and Dr. Rajeev Singh, Director General, Indian Chamber of Commerce.

While delivering welcome address, Mr. Sanjay Budhia, Past President, Indian Chamber of Commerce & Managing Director, Patton International Limited, said, “I congratulate the Indian Government for announcing the new FTP 2023, which has a strong emphasis on the reduction of transaction costs, e-initiatives, MSMEs, internationalisation of INR and e-commerce exports, which could further enhance the country’s export potential and could be a game changer to put India in a leadership position on the global export map. The policy has focused on re-engineering and automation, with more focus on the usage of high-end technology, facilitating e-commerce export and effective collaboration with states and districts for export growth.”

While delivering theme address, Ms. Muanpuii Saiawi Joint Secretary (D&ISA Division), Ministry of External Affairs said, “As you are aware, India’s economy has been growing at a fast pace in the last three decades and we have become a leading player in international trade of goods and services and a leading producer and exporter of a vast range of sensitive and rural-use materials, equipments and technologies. In the last financial year, our export of goods and services touched an all-time high of over 777 billion US dollars. Our FTA policy for 2023 aims to take India’s overall exports to 2 trillion US dollars by 2030, in which the export of dual-use goods and technologies will play an important role. India is committed to the non-proliferation of sensitive and dual-use goods and technologies. Hence, partnership between the government, industry and other relevant stakeholders is vital for the effective implementation of our export control system. Awareness about their export control obligations, the nature of checks and compliance by the industry and other stakeholders is integral to the success of export control. Internal compliance programs are an important tool for the implementation of export control by organisations, especially from the perspective of technology transfers.”

While delivering keynote address, Mr. Santosh Kumar Sarangi, Additional Secretary & Director General, Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce, said, “I will briefly speak about SCOMET (Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment and Technologies) so any item that has a dual use, a civilian use and a military use. So one takes extra precaution while allowing the export of these items. The notice of  these items are updated on the DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) website. High-end technology is also covered here, like drones, robotics and high-end technological software; all of these would come under the SCOMET regime. The idea is to facilitate high-tech exports from India and also to ensure that these kinds of technologies do not fall into the hands of terrorists and other kinds of operators, which is why we have a strict regime of export control. We have also started issuing general authorizations for different kinds of activities like software technologies, drones, intra-company transfers, etc. There should be greater awareness of SCOMET items, what the export control regime is, and how to file your application in a format that makes getting your license easier. Exporters are an integral part of the economic development of a particular territory. India’s exports as a percentage of GDP are 22%, so the greater it is, the more likely it is for us to have a developed economy. Over the years, India’s economy has improved a lot. In 1995, the size of our economy was about 500 billion dollars; since then, it has grown to 3.7 trillion dollars. Once we cross $5 trillion in GDP, we will become the third-largest economy in the world. That is what our PM is saying that in 3–4 years we will become the third largest economy in the world. Indian exports are growing exponentially in the electronic segment. As you have seen, India is a huge market for laptops and mobile phones. Within the last few years, Samsung, Apple, and others have all set up manufacturing bases in India and exported from India. High-tech and high-end products are setting up more and more manufacturing bases in India and we will see an exponential jump. Indian states must put their efforts and resources into getting investors in electronics and the white goods industry, which includes AC, refrigerators, etc. Technology embedded in high-end technological devices will be crucial. Food processing, marine exports, aquaculture, chemicals and pharmaceuticals are growing sectors. 70 districts handle more than 80% of India’s exports. It is intended to establish a district export promotion committee in each district, with the district collector serving as its head, and to create a district export promotion strategy. All 32 of Bengal’s districts were given the opportunity to create export plans, and 12 of those districts have done so. Intervention in these districts will actually encourage exports. Out of the 75 areas in India that we are concentrating on, two are in West Bengal: Darjeeling for tea and Howrah for jewellery. Multilateral agencies’ involvement in the creation of the SCOMET List has security implications. Various organizations have their own lists of things, but the country is in charge.

While delivering the vote of thanks, Dr. Rajeev Singh, Director General, Indian Chamber of Commerce, said,” The SCOMET area means big opportunity because there is potential to go for exports and enhance the exports and at the same time, another major component is compliance because there is documentation involved due to export control. But linked with that, the good news is that our government and especially DGFT and MEA are all working to reduce compliance, make it digital and contribute towards the ease of doing business and exports. Linked with it are also the complications that may arise if there is a lack of awareness because, unknowingly, some people may be exporting and their consignments could get held up. So awareness is the key and it is heartening to see two very dynamic and high impact ministries, that is, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce, have come together because of the way India has transformed, especially since the beginning of Amritkaala, to become a developed economy by the completion of our country’s hundred years according to the vision of our Prime Minister.”