Exporting the goods and services to other countries for sales purpose is called Export. Physical goods are exported through sea and air which is monitored by the Central Customs Department. Software products like DVD, CD, and magnetic tapes are also exported as physical goods.
What is SOFTEX Form ?
After the arrival of the scheme Software Technology Park (STP) in the 1990s, data communication links have been the medium of exporting software. As this transaction is not visible, the customs department felt difficulty to manage such software exports through telecom links.
DeitY facilitated an innovation in Government policy and RBI announced SOFTEX form as a substitute for GR- Guaranteed Remittance/PP forms.
Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) is the administrative authority of STP scheme, has become the authority for “Software export valuation” and certifying the SOFTEX form in the Custom’s place. Currently, SOFTEX valuation is done by the STPI Jurisdictional Directors, SEZ Commissioners.
The SOFTEX form’s policy, purpose, and process are as same as in GR/PP forms.
There is an only one point differing from GR/PP and SOFTEX form is exporting the product from the shipment area and GR/PP form submission and valuation happen simultaneously. But, in SOFTEX Form case, after exporting the software only the form is approved.
Who has to file the SOFTEX Form?
Exporters who registered under SEZ and STP should file SOFTEX form for evaluating the software exports done by an exporter.
Software exporters, including both IT and ITES companies who have not registered under STP or SEZ or EOU schemes, must file the SOFTEX based on the foreign trade policy. These exporters are called non-STP units who can file their SOFTEX forms with the concerned Jurisdictional STPI Director. If the export does not fall under IT, ITES category then there is no need to file the SOFTEX of Export declaration form.
When the exporter fails to file SOFTEX form, then the export will be treated as either General Services or illegal export. On the other hand, the Bank could freeze the account if the SOFTEX form is not filed on time. There is no declaration necessary for General services such as Technical Services and Management consulting.
How to submit SOFTEX form in India ?
The SOFTEX forms, invoices, supporting documents as per the checklist have to be submitted within 30 days from the invoice date along with a covering letter as per the given format.
Every field of the SOFTEX form should be properly filled and the authorized signatory has to sign and seal. Overwriting should be avoided
Section B of SOFTEX form has to be filled with relevant documents for the case of Royalty
Copies of PO/WO/ Agreement must be enclosed. The corresponding documents must be submitted after amending or renewing any agreement/contract/order. The authorized person should sign and seal the copies.
SOFTEX form with a different buyer’s name or address will not be accepted. However, multiple invoices with the same buyer’s name, address can be clubbed in a single SOFTEX form.
The Invoice should contain PO Ref no./ WO Ref no./project id/project name, work description in brief as per the PO (Purchase order) /WO (work order) /Agreement
Certified true copies of ‘Summary of SOFTEX forms/Invoices’ as per Annexure I should be enclosed when submitting SOFTEX multiple forms OR one SOFTEX with multiple invoices and that should be triplicate.
One Certified Copy of Back up form as per Annexure II should be attached with each SOFTEX form.
One Certified Copy of “Datacom Service Provider” certificate as per Annexure III with one application should be attached. If the certificate fails to cover invoice period, the Internet bill for the invoicing month or one month before can be attached.
If export made for the first time, Import-Export certificate
If the amount is realized, attach FIRC (Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate) copies