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FOREIGN EXCHANGE REGULATION ACT, 1973

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 46 of 1973


  • Act nº 46 of 1973

Preamble

THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE REGULATION ACT, 1973

[Act, No. 46 of 1973]

[19 th September, 1973]

PREAMBLE

An Act to consolidate and amend the law regulating certain payments, dealing in foreign exchange and securities, transactions indirectly affecting foreign exchange and the import and export of currency1[* * * * *], for the conservation of the foreign exchange resources of the country and the proper utilisation thereof in the interest of the economic development of the country.

be it enacted by Parliament in the twenty-fourth year of the Republic of India as follows: -

1. The Words "and bullion" omitted by Act 29 of 1993, section 2 w.e.f. 8-1-1993.


Section 1. Short title, extent, application and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973.

(2) It extends to the whole of India.

(3) It applies also to all citizens of India outside India and to branches and agencies outside India of companies or bodies corporate, registered or incorporated in India.

(4) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint in this behalf:

Provided that different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act and any reference in any such provision to the commencement of this Act shall be construed as a reference to the coming into force of that provision.

Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-

(a) "Appellate Board" means the Foreign Exchange Regulation Appellate Board constituted by the Central Government under sub-section (1) of section 52;

(b) "authorised dealer" means a person for the time being authorised under section 6 to deal in foreign exchange;

(c) "bearer certificate" means a certificate of title to securities by the delivery of which (with or without endorsement) the title to the securities is transferable;

(d) "certificate of title to a security" means any document used in the ordinary course of business as proof of the possession or control of the security, or authorising or purporting to authorise, either by an endorsement or by delivery, the possessor of the document to transfer or receive the security thereby represented;

(e) "coupon" means a coupon representing dividends or interest on a security;

(f) "currency" includes all coins, currency notes, bank notes, postal notes, postal orders, money orders, cheques, drafts, traveller's cheques, letters of credit, bills of exchange and promissory notes;

(g) "foreign currency" means any currency other than Indian currency;

(h) "foreign exchange" means foreign currency and includes--

(i) all deposits, credits and balances payable in any foreign currency and any drafts, traveller's cheques, letters of credit and bills of exchange, expressed or drawn in Indian currency but payable in any foreign currency;

(ii) any instrument payable, at the option of the drawee or holder thereof or any other patty thereto, either in Indian currency or in foreign currency or partly in one and partly in the other;

(i) "foreign security" me

Section 3. Classes of officers of enforcement

There shall be the following classes of officers of Enforcement, namely:-

(a) Directors of Enforcement;

(b) Additional Directors of Enforcement;

(c) Deputy Directors of Enforcement;

(d) Assistant Directors of Enforcement; and

(e) such other class of officers of Enforcement as may be appointed for the purposes of this Act.

Section 4. Appointment and powers of officers of enforcement

(1) The Central Government may appoint such persons as it thinks fit to be officers of Enforcement.

(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (1), the Central Government may authorise a Director of Enforcement or an Additional Director of Enforcement or a Deputy Director of Enforcement or an Assistant Director of Enforcement to appoint officers of Enforcement below the rank of an Assistant Director of Enforcement.

(3) Subject to such conditions and limitations as the Central Government may impose, an officer of Enforcement may exercise the powers and discharge the duties conferred or imposed on him under this Act.

Section 5. Entrustment of functions of Director or other officer of enforcement

The Central Government may, by order and subject to such conditions and limitations as it thinks fit to impose, authorise any officer of customs or any Central Excise Officer or any police officer or any other officer of the Central Government or a State Government to exercise such of the powers and discharge such of the duties of the Director of Enforcement or any other officer of Enforcement under this Act as may be specified in the order.

Section 6. Authorised dealers in foreign exchange

(1) The Reserve Bank may, on an application made to it in this behalf, authorise any person to deal in foreign exchange.

(2) An authorisation under this section shall be in writing and-

(i) may authorise dealings in all foreign currencies or may be restricted to authorising dealings in specified foreign currencies only;

(ii) may authorise transactions of all descriptions in foreign currencies or may be restricted to authorising specified transactions only;

(iii) may be granted to be effective for a specified period or within specified amounts;

(iv) may be granted subject to such conditions as may be specified therein.

(3) Any authorisation granted under sub-section (1) may be revoked by the Reserve Bank at any time if the Reserve Bank is satisfied that,-

(i) it is in the public interest to do so; or

(ii) the authorised dealer has not complied with the condition subject to which the authorisation was granted or has contravened any of the provisions of this Act or of any rule, notification, direction or order made thereunder:

Provided that no such authorisation shall be revoked on the ground specified in clause (ii) unless the authorised dealer has been given a reasonable opportunity for making a representation in the matter.

(4) An authorised dealer shall, in all his dealings in foreign exchange and in the exercise and discharge of the powers and of the functions delegated to him under section 74, comply with such general or special directions or instructions as the Reserve Bank may, from time to time, think fit to give, and, except with the previous permission of the Reserve Bank, an authorised dealer shall not engage in any transaction involving any foreign exchange which is not in conformity with the terms of his authorisation under this section.

(5) An authorised dealer shall, before undertaking any transaction in foreign exchange on behalf of any person, require that person to make such declarations and to give such information as will reasonably satisfy him that the transaction will not involve, and is not designed for the purpose of any contravention or evasion of the provisions of this Act or of any rule, notification, direction or order made thereunder, and where the said person refuses to comply with any such requirement or makes only unsatisfactory compliance therewith, the authorised dealer shall refuse to undertake the transaction and shall, if he has reason to believe that any such contravention or evasion as aforesaid is contemplated by the person report the matter to the Reserve Bank.

Section 7. Money-changers

(1) The Reserve Bank may, on an application made to it in this behalf, authorise any person to deal in foreign currency.

(2) An authorisation under (his section shall be in writing and-

(i) may authorise dealings in all foreign currencies or may be restricted to authorising dealings in specified foreign currencies only;

(ii) may authorise transactions of all descriptions in foreign currencies or may be restricted to authorising specified transactions only;

(iii) may be granted with respect to a particular place where alone the money­changer shall carry on his business;

(iv) may be granted to be effective for a specified period, or within specified amounts;

(v) may be granted subject to such conditions as may be specified therein.

(3) Any authorisation granted under sub-section (1) may be revoked by the Reserve Bank at any time if the Reserve Bank is satisfied that-

(i) it is in the public interest to do so; or

(ii) the money changer has not complied with the conditions subject to which the authorisation was granted or has contravened any of the provisions of this Act or of any rule, notification, direction or order made thereunder:

Provided that no such authorisation shall be revoked on the ground specified in clause (ii)unless the money-changer has been given a reasonable opportunity for making a representation in the matter.

(4) The provisions of sub-sections (4) and (5) of section 6 shall insofar as they are applicable, apply in relation to a money changer as they apply in relation to an authorised dealer.

Explanation. In this section "foreign currency" means foreign currency in the form of notes, coins, or traveller's cheques and "dealing" means purchasing foreign currency in the form of notes, coins and traveller's cheques or selling foreign currency in the form of notes or coins.

Section 8. Restrictions on dealing in foreign exchange

(1) Except with the previous general or special permission of the Reserve Bank, no person other than an authorised dealer shall in India, and no person resident in India other than an authorised dealer shall outside India, purchase or otherwise acquire or borrow from, or sell, or otherwise transfer or lend to or exchange with, any person not being an authorised dealer, any foreign exchange:

Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall apply to any purchase or sale of foreign currency effected in India between any person and a money-changer.

Explanation. For the purposes of this sub-section, a person, who deposits foreign exchange with another person or opens an account in foreign exchange with another person, shall be deemed to lend foreign exchange to such other person.

(2) Except with the previous general or special permission of the Reserve Bank, no person, whether an authorised dealer or a money-changer or otherwise, shall enter into any transaction which provides for the conversion of Indian currency into foreign currency or foreign currency into Indian currency at rates of exchange other than the rates for the time being authorised by the Reserve Bank.

(3) Where any foreign exchange is acquired by any person, other than an authorised dealer or a money-changer, for any particular purpose, or where any person has been permitted conditionally to acquire foreign exchange, the said person shall not use the foreign exchange so acquired otherwise than for that purpose or, as the case may be, fail to comply with any condition to which the permission granted to him is subject, and where any foreign exchange so acquired cannot be so used or the conditions cannot be complied with the said person shall, within a period of thirty days from the date on which he comes to know that such foreign exchange cannot be so used or the conditions cannot be complied with, sell the foreign exchange to an authorised dealer or to a money­changer.

(4) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that where a person acquires foreign exchange for sending or bringing into India any goods but sends or brings no such goods or does not send or bring goods of a value representing the foreign exchange acquired, within a reasonable time or sends or brings any goods of a kind, quality or quantity different from that specified by him at the time of acquisition of the foreign exchange, such person shall unless the contrary is proved, be presumed not to have been able to use the foreign exchange for the purpose for which he acquired it or, as the case may be, to have used the foreign exchange so acquired otherwise than for the purposes for which it was acquired.

(5) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prevent a person from buying from any post office in accordance with any law or rules made thereunder for the time being in force, any foreign exchange in the form of postal orders or money orders.

Section 9. 9. 9. 9. Restrictions on payments

(1) Save as may be provided in, and in accordance with any general or special exemption from the provisions of this sub-section which may be granted conditionally or unconditionally by the Reserve Bank, no person in, or resident in, India shall-

(a) make any payment to or for the credit of any person resident outside India;

(b) receive, otherwise than through an authorised dealer, any payment by order or on behalf of any person resident outside India;

Explanation. For the purposes of this clause, where any person in, or resident in, India receives any payment by order or on behalf of any person resident outside India through any other person (including an authorised dealer) without a corresponding inward remittance from any place outside India, then, such person shall be deemed to have received such payment otherwise than through an authorised dealer;

(c) draw, issue or negotiate any bill of exchange or promissory note or acknowledge any debt, so that a right (whether actual or contingent) to receive a payment is created or transferred in favour of any person resident outside India;

(d) make any payment to, or for the credit of, any person by order or on behalf of any person resident outside India;

(e) place any sum to the credit of any person resident outside India;

(f) make any payment to, or for the credit of, any person or receive any payment for, or by order or on behalf of, any person as consideration for or in association with-

(i) the receipt by any person of a payment or the acquisition by any person of property outside India,

(ii) the creation or transfer in favour of any person of a right (whether actual or contingent) to receive payment or acquire property outside India;

(g) draw, issue or negotiate any bill of exchange or promissory note, transfer any security or acknowledge any debt, so that a right (whether actual or contingent) to receive a payment is created or transferred in favour of any person as consideration for or in association with any matter referred to in clause (f).

(2) Nothing in sub-section (1) shall render unlawful-

(a) the making of any payment already authorised either with foreign exchange obtained from an authorised dealer or a money-changer under section 8 or with foreign exchange retained by a person in pursuance of an authorisation granted by the Reserve Bank;

(b) the making of any payment with foreign exchange received by way of salary or payment for services not arising from any business in, or anything done while in, India.

(3) Save as may be provided in, and in accordance with, any general or special exemption from the provisions of this sub-section, which may be granted conditionally or unconditionally by the Reserve Bank, no person shall remit or cause to be remitted any amount from any foreign country into India except in such a way that the remittance is received in India only through an authorised dealer.

(4) Nothing in this section shall restrict the doing by any person of anything within the scope of any authorisation or exemption granted under this Act.

(5) For the purposes of this section and section 39, "security" includes coupons or warrants representing dividends or interest and the life or endowment insurance policies.

Section 10. Blocked accounts

(1) Where an exemption from the provisions of section 9 is granted by the Reserve Bank in respect of payment of any sum to any person resident outside India and the exemption is made subject to the condition that the payment is made to a blocked account-

(a) the payment shall be made to a blocked account in the name of that person in such manner as the Reserve Bank may by general or special order direct;

(b) the crediting of that sum to that account shall, to the extent of the sum credited be a good discharge to the person making the payment.

(2) No sum standing at the credit of a blocked account shall be drawn or except in accordance with any general or special permission which may be granted conditionally or otherwise by the Reserve Bank.

(3) In this section, "blocked account" means an account opened, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, as a blocked account at any office or branch in India of a bank authorised in this behalf by the Reserve Bank, or an account blocked, whether before or after such commencement, by order of the Reserve Bank.

1 [* * * * *]

1. Sections 11 and 12 omitted by Act 29 of 1993, sec. 4 w.e.f. 8-1-1993.


Section 13. Restrictions on import and export of certain currency and bullion

( 1 ) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, order that, subject to such exemption, if any as may be specified in the notification, no person shall, except with the general or special permission of the Reserve Bank and on payment of the fee, if any, prescribed, bring or send into India1[* * *] any foreign exchange or any Indian currency.

Explanation. For the purposes of this sub-section, the bringing or sending into any port or place in India of any such article as aforesaid intended to be taken out of India without being removed from the ship or conveyance in which it is being carried shall nonetheless be deemed to be a bringing, or, as the case may be sending, into India of that article.

( 2 ) No person shall except with the general or special permission of the Reserve Bank or the written permission of a person authorised in this behalf by the Reserve Bank, take or send out of India any2[* * * * *] Indian currency or foreign exchange other than foreign exchange obtained by hi m from an authorised dealer or from a money-changer.

1 . The words "any gold or silver or" omitted by Act 29 of 1993, sec. 5 w.e.f. 8-1-1993.

2 . The Words "gold, jewellery or precious stones or" omitted by Act 29 of 1993, section 5 w.e.f. 8-1-1993.


Section 14. Acquisition by Central Government of foreign exchange.

The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, order every person in or resident in India-

(a) who owns or hold such foreign exchange as may be specified in the notification, to offer it, or cause it to be offered for sale to the Reserve Bank on behalf of the Central Government or to such person, as the Reserve Bank may authorise for the purpose, at such price as the Central Government may fix, being a price which is not less than the price calculated at the rate of exchange for the time being authorised by the Reserve Bank;

(b) who is entitled to assign any right to receive such foreign exchange as may be specified in the notification, to transfer that right to the Reserve Bank on behalf of the Central Government on payment of such consideration therefor as the Central Government may fix having regard to the rate for the time being authorised by the Reserve Bank in pursuance of sub-section ( 2 ) of section 8 for conversion into Indian currency of the foreign currency in which such foreign exchange is expressed:

Provided that the Central Government may, by the said notification or by a separate order, exempt any person or class of persons from the operation of the order made in the said notification:

Provided further that nothing in this section shall apply to any foreign exchange acquired by a person from an authorised dealer or from a money-changer and retained by hi m with the permission of the Reserve Bank for any purpose.

1[* * * * *]

1 . Section 15 omitted by Act 29 of 1993, section 6 w.e.f. 8-1-1993 .


Section 16. Duty of persons entitled to receive foreign exchange, etc.

(1) No person who has a right to receive any foreign exchange or to receive from a person resident outside India a payment in rupees shall, except with the general or special permission of the Reserve Bank, do or refrain from doing anything, or take or refrain from taking any action, which has the effect of securing-

(a) that the receipt by him of the whole or part of that foreign exchange or payment is delayed, or

(b) that the foreign exchange or payment ceases in whole or in part to be receivable by him.

(2) Where a person has failed to comply with the requirements of sub-section (1) in relation to any foreign exchange or payment in rupees, the Reserve Bank may give to him such directions as appear to be expedient for the purpose of securing the receipt of the foreign exchange or payment, as the case may be.

1 [* * * * *]

1. Section 17 omitted by Act 29 of 1993, Section 6 w.e.f. 8-1-1993.


Section 18. Payment for exported goods

(1)(a) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, prohibit the taking or sending out by land, sea or air (hereafter in this section referred to as export) of all goods or of any goods or class of goods specified in the notification from India directly or indirectly to any place so specified unless the exporter furnishes to the prescribed authority a declaration in the prescribed form supported by such evidence as may be prescribed or so specified and true in all material particulars which, among others, shall include the amount representing-

(i) the full export value of the goods; or

(ii) if the full export value of the goods is not ascertainable at the time of export the value which the exporter, having regard to the prevailing market conditions, expects to receive on the sale of the goods in the overseas market, and affirms in the said declaration that the full export value of the goods (whether ascertainable at the time of export or not) has been, or will within the prescribed period be, paid in the prescribed manner.

(b) If the Central Government is of opinion that it is necessary or expedient in the public interest so to do, it may, by notification in the Official Gazette specified any goods, from among those goods to which a notification under clause (a) applies, and direct that in respect of the goods so specified, where an exporter makes a declaration under sub-clause (ii) of clause (a) of the value which he, having regard to the prevailing market conditions expect to receive on the sale of such goods in the overseas market, he shall not, except with the permission of the Reserve Bank on an application made to the Reserve Bank by the exporter in this behalf, authorise or permit or allowow in any manner be a party to, the sale of such goods for a value less than that declared:

Provided that no permission shall be refused by the Reserve Bank under this clause unless the exporter has been given a reasonable opportunity for making a representation in the matter:

Provided further that where the exporter makes an application to the Reserve Bank for permission under this clause and the Reserve Bank does not, within a period of twenty days from the date of receipt of the application communicate to the exporter that permission applied for has been refused, it shall be presumed (that the Reserve Bank has granted such permission.

Explanation. In computing the period of twenty days for the purposes of the second proviso, the period, if any, taken by the Reserve Bank for giving an opportunity to the exporter for making a representation under the first proviso shall be excluded.

(2) Where any export of goods to which a notification tinder clause (a) of sub-section (1) applies, has been made, no person shall, except with the permission of the Reserve Bank, do or refrain from doing anything, or take or refrain from taking any action, which has the effect of securing-

(A) in a case falling under sub-clause (i) or sub-clause (ii) of clause (a) of sub­section (1),-

(a) that payment for the goods-

(i) is made otherwise than in the prescribed manner, or

(ii) is delayed beyond the period prescribed under clause (a) of sub­section (1), or

(b) that the proceeds of sale of the goods exported do not represent the full export value of the goods subject to such deductions, if any, as may be allowed by the Reserve Bank; and