In a big relief to biofuel manufacturers, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has clarified that biofuel manufacturers can import raw material without any restrictions. Hence restrictions on import of Biodiesel & mixtures is not applicable on raw material imports, for manufacturing by biofuel manufacturers who fulfil conditions of being an ‘Actual User’.
Prior to this, DGFT had vide its notification no. 27/2015-2020 dated 2nd August 2018 notified that Biodiesel & mixtures will fall under restricted category, with proposed policy condition cited as: Import is allowed only for non-fuel purposes subject to Actual user condition.
Post this notification, manufacturers of bio-fuels had sought a clarification from DGFT for import of its raw material required to manufacture it’s bio-fuel stating that since they are the actual user and goods imported cannot be used for fuel purpose and will be used for home consumption while they have a manufacturing units, thus fulfilling the conditions set for import.
Definition of actual user as per foreign trade policy 2015-20 is: Actual user (industrial) is a person (either natural/legal) who utilizes imported goods for manufacturing in his own industrial unit or manufacturing for his own use in another unit including a jobbing unit which has a definitive postal address.
As a reply to this clarification sought by My Eco Energy’s contract manufacturer for Maharashtra, DGFT clarified on 12th November 2018, that these items can be imported by them without a license from DGFT.
My Eco Energy (MEE), which is a leading biofuel manufacturer and retailer which sells India’s only drop-in automotive fuel Indizel, welcomed this relief. MEE’s MD Santosh Verma said in a statement that
India needs to up the usage of biofuels largely in commercial sector which is hugely dependent on Diesel. With this relief by DGFT we shall be able to supply Indizel to the commercial sector and bring down the country’s dependence on fuel imports & petroleum products both. In short and long term both this will result in helping the economy and health of citizens get better.