The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) on Tuesday said it has relaxed the norms for compulsory registration under the Coal Import Monitoring System (CIMS).

Under the revised norms, the DGFT through a notification has reduced the number of days required to inform the Customs about the date of arrival of their import consignment and to complete the registration formalities.

Advance info

Coal importers are mandated to provide advance information about their imports and have to obtain a registration number or CIMS licence to have effective foreign trade policy interventions. Under this earlier, an importer had to complete the registration not earlier than the 60th day and not later than the 15th day before the expected date of arrival of the import consignment.

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Now, the DGFT has revised this norm and importers can apply for registration not earlier than the 60th day and not later than the 5th day before the expected date of arrival of their import consignment.

“Coal is already under the Open General Licence (OGL) and consumers are free to import coal from the source of their choice. This notification by DGFT offers more time to importers to book their consignments with shipping firms,” a Coal Ministry official said.

Coal import rise

According to CareEdge, during April-August in FY23, coal imports have increased despite the surge in international prices. This increase in India’s coal imports is mainly driven by non-coking coal, which forms more than 65 per cent of coal imports. Coal traders and power sectors are the major importers of non-coking coal.

During April-August FY23, the country’s total coal imports rose 25.3 per cent Y-o-Y to 115.9 million tonnes.

Coal prices of South African thermal coal, a global benchmark, have been on an upward trajectory since November 2021 and the geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine have caused significant price fluctuations since the beginning of FY23. As of July 2022, the global benchmark had crossed its all-time high price of around $300 per tonne in April 2022 and had reached $329 per tonne in July 2022, before settling at $321 per tonne in September 2022. International coal prices are expected to remain elevated owing to the heightened geopolitical tensions, CareEdge added.