SAPTA Registration Process, Fees & documents required
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SAPTA Registration Process, Fees & documents required

Updated on July 26, 2022 07:26:03 PM

SAPTA Certificate is required to claim benefits of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) to the importing country, it is an important document which has to be produced at the landing port with commercial invoices. A Certificate of Origin (CoO) registered with (Issued by) Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has to be provided by the exporter’s to ensure that the goods are being produced from countries under the trading agreement.

The objective of SAPTA is to ensure optimum economic cooperation between the member countries through exchange of trade benefits & concessions. SAPTA Registration is a first step to promote & assist mutual trade towards higher levels of trade & economic cooperations in the SAARC countries. The agreement on Preferential trade arrangement among the seven member countries of the SAARC naming Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Maldives & Sri Lanka was executed in Dhaka in 1993.


SAPTA Registration [SAMPLE]

SAPTA Certificate Sample

Documents required for SAPTA Registration


  • Import Export Code
  • Registration Certificate of Organization
  • GST Registration Certificate
  • Address ID Proof with Detail of each director/Partner/Proprietor
  • Exporter detail
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Organization based Digital signature Certificate
  • Purchase Bill that has details of origin of inputs/consumables used in export products
  • Declaration from Manufacturer (Exporter) in Letterhead
  • Product Details
  • Purchase order from importer
Documents required for sapta registration
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Process of SAPTA Registration


Documents required for sapta registration
  • Account Creation with Organization based DSC (embedded IEC). All the data will be fetched through IEC
  • Apply Online for Certificate of Origin
  • Fill the form with appropriate details
  • Upload the necessary documents
  • Issuance of SAPTA Certificate (within 2-3 working days)
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SAPTA Registration Fees

  • ID Creation Fee is Rs. 2,000
  • Certificate generation per Invoice Rs. 1,500/-
  • Total Fees Rs. 3,500/-
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Other Free Trade Agreements

India has enhanced its market access commitments for neighbouring service providers. These commitments provide companies with an opportunity to build market expertise and grow by international expansion. Under Free or Preferential Trade Agreement there are multiple options where certificate of origin can be generated from India for import benefits to importing companies:

ICPTA - India Chile Preferential Trade Agreement

SAFTA - South Asia Free Trade Agreement

SAPTA - SAARC Preferential Trade Agreement

IKCEPA - India Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

IJCEPA - India Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements

AIFTA - ASEAN India Free Trade Agreement

ISFTA - India Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement

APTA - Asia Pacific Trade Agreement

GSP - Generalized System of Preferences

GSTP - Global System of Trade Preferences

IMCECA - India Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement

ISCECA - India Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement

sapta other fee images
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Frequently Asked Questions

How is CEPA/CECA different from FTA?

A Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) or Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) is different from a traditional (FTA) Free Trade Agreement in two ways.

Firstly, CEPA or CECA are more comprehensive and ambitious than an FTA in terms of coverage of areas and the type of commitments. While a traditional Free Trade Agreement focuses mainly on goods; a CECA/CEPA is more ambitious in terms of a holistic coverage of many areas like services, investment, competition, government procurement, disputes etc.

Secondly, CEPA/CECA looks deeper at the regulatory aspects of trade than a Free Trade Agreement. It is on account of this that it encompasses mutual recognition agreements that cover the regulatory regimes of the partners. An MRA recognises different regulatory regimes of partners on the presumption that they achieve the same objectives.

Why are almost all the countries signing FTA's?

Countries negotiate Free trade Agreements for a number of reasons:

  • By eliminating tariffs and some non-tariff barriers Free trade Agreement partners get easier market access into one another's markets. Countries negotiate FTA's for a number of reasons.
  • Exporters prefer Free trade Agreement's to multilateral trade liberalization because they get preferential treatment over non-Free trade Agreement member country competitors. For Instance in the case of ASEAN, ASEAN has a Free trade Agreement with India but not with Canada. ASEAN's custom duty on leather shoes is 20% but under the Free trade Agreements with India it reduced duties to zero. Now assuming other costs being equal, an Indian exporter, because of this duty preference, will be more competitive than a Canadian exporter of shoes. Secondly, Free trade Agreement's may also protect local exporters from losing out to foreign companies that might receive preferential treatment under other FTAs.
  • Possibility of increased foreign investment from outside the Free trade Agreement. Consider 2 countries A and B having a Free trade Agreement. Country A has a high tariff and large domestic market. The firms based in country C may decide to invest in country A to cater to A's domestic market. However, once A and B sign a Free trade Agreement and B offers a better business environment, C may decide to locate its plant in B to supply its products to A.
  • Such occurrences are not limited to tariffs alone but it is also true in the case of non-tariff measures. Especially when a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) is reached between countries A and B. Some experts are of the view that slow progress in multilateral negotiations due to complexities arising from a large number of countries to reach a consensus on polarizing issues, may have provided the impetus for FTA's.

How is India placed globally in terms of its bilateral FTAs/PTAs/ CEPAs/CECAs

India has preferential access, economic cooperation and Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with about 54 individual countries. India has signed bilateral trade deals in the form of Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) / Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) / Free Trade Agreement / Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) with some 18 countries. India is a late & cautious, starter in concluding comprehensive PTA covering substantially all trade with some of its trading partners.

What are (ROO) Rules of Origin ?

Country of origin / Rules of origin (ROO) are the criteria needed to determine a product for purposes of international trade. Their significance is derived from the fact that duties & restrictions in several cases depend upon the source of imports.
Rules of origin are used:

  • to implement measures and instruments of commercial policy such as antidumping duties and safeguard measures;
  • to determine whether imported products shall receive most-favored-nation (MFN) treatment or preferential treatment;
  • for the purpose of trade statistics;
  • for the application of labeling and marking requirements; and
  • for government procurement.

What are some of the criteria used in the (RoO) rules of origin?

The criteria in the (RoO) rules of origin sets out specific & detailed conditions on the level of processing that an imported item from a non Free Trade Agreement partner country must undergo in the Free Trade Agreement partner country (or other eligible countries in the region) before being eligible to be called an originating product of a Free Trade Agreement partner country. Some of the common standards used are :-

  • change in tariff class (this could be at the tariff chapter, tariff heading or tariff sub heading level)
  • regional value addition
  • substantial processing or manufacturing by excluding some minimal operations.

Who are the authorized agencies in India for issuing the certificate of origin?

The authorized agencies in India for issuing the certificate of origin are listed in Appendix 35 of the Handbook of Procedures Vol-1 under the Foreign Trade Policy.

These are:

Agreement Agencies authorized to issue Certificate of Origin
Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) Export Inspection Council (EIC); Export Development Authorities; Development Commissioners of EPZs and SEZs; FIEO
Global System of Trade Preferences (GSTP) EIC for all products; Tobacco Board, Guntur for tobacco and tobacco products
India Afghanistan PTA EIC
India ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement EIC
India Chile PTA EIC
India JAPAN CEPA EIC
India Mercosur PTA EIC
India Singapore CECA EIC
India South Korea CEPA EIC
South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) EIC

What are the four methods of supply under trade in services?

The four methods of supply –

Method 1: Cross border supply (supply from the territory of a Party into the territory of the other Party). For Instance an architect can send his architectural plan through electronic means; a lecturer can send teaching material to students in any other country; a doctor sitting in France can advise his patient in India through digital means. In all these cases, trade in services takes place and this is equal to cross-border movement of goods.

Method 2: Consumption abroad ( consumption in the territory of a Party by the service consumer of the other Party). For Instance a tourist using hotel or restaurant services abroad; a ship or aircraft undergoing repair or maintenance services abroad.

Method 3: Commercial presence (by a service supplier of a Party, through commercial presence in the territory of the other Party). In this case, the service supplier establishes a legal presence in the form of a representative / branch office / joint venture / subsidiary in the host country & starts supplying services. For Instance a bank opens its branch in another country.

Method 4: Presence/movement of natural persons (by a service supplier of a Party, through presence of natural persons of a Party in the territory of the other Party). For Instance Independent service suppliers (e.g. doctors, engineers, individual consultants, accountants, etc.) who provide services in another country. However, GATS covers only temporary movement & not citizenship, residence or employment on a permanent basis in the foreign country.

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