STPI & Non-STPI Registration

STPI & Non-STPI Registration

Software Technology Park of India (STPI), an autonomous society under the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Dept. of Electronics and Information Technology, Govt. of India has been set up with a distinct focus to boost up Software export from the country. STPI is constantly working with an objective to implement STP/EHTP scheme formulated by Govt. of India, to set up and manage infrastructural facilities.

Why Non STPI is required ? What is the rational beyond Softex Form?

When physical goods are exported, they pass through the Customs Office. Whereas when the Software is exported, it goes through media or internet (data communication links). So, in order to track the export of software, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced the issue and submission of SOFTEX forms. STPI is the administrative authority for software export valuation and certification of SOFTEX form, in place of Customs. As per RBI circular dated 13th September 2013, the exporters of software will have to declare all the export transactions in SOFTEX, including those less than US$25000. This means, all companies exporting software, irrespective of the value, have to register as Non STPI unit, file SOFTEX forms.

What is STP and what are the advantages of becoming a STP unit?

The Software Technology Park (STP) scheme is a 100% export oriented scheme for the development and export of computer software using data communication links or in the form of physical media including the export of professional services. The major attraction of this scheme is a single point contact service to the STP units. All the imports of Hardware & Software in the STP units are completely duty free. Import of second hand capital goods is also permitted.

Who can become a STP unit and how?

  • 1. An Indian company.
  • 2. A Subsidiary of a Foreign Company.
  • 3. A branch office of Foreign Company.

In order to become a certified member unit under STP scheme, approval from the competent authority is required. The following steps are involved for obtaining approval:

1. An application in the prescribed format for registering and establishing a STP unit is to be submitted to Software Technology Parks of India.

2. The application should be along with the details of the Software Project in terms of strengths, area of expertise, marketing arrangement, business plans, means of finance.

Being a STP unit, can I take up domestic projects?

Yes, subject to meeting the Minimum Export Performance norms, an STP unit can do business in the Domestic Tariff Area (DTA).

Who can become a NON-STP unit under STPI and how?

Any company/partnership firm/proprietorship which is into the development of Export oriented Computer Software/IT Enabled Services can register itself as NON-STP unit under STPI to avail Softex certification. In order to become a NON-STP unit under STPI, the company has to register itself with STPI.

Is it mandatory for any IT/ITES companies who are into exports, to get registered as NON-STP unit under STPI?

As per the prevailing RBI Master Circular No. RBI/2013-14/14 dated 1st July 2013 any company who does IT/ITES exports through Data communication links needs to submit the Softex Form for certification. For getting the Softex certification by STPI (which is the Designated Authority), the companies have to become STP members by either registering under STP scheme or as NON-STP unit with STPI.

Once the Non STP registered unit Letter of Permission (LoP) expires after 3 years, what is the procedure to be followed for renewal of LoP?

Letter of permission for Non STP registration is issued for a period of 3 years. During the last three months prior to the expiry of LoP, NON STP registered unit should approach Director STPI for renewal of LoP. There shall be no charges for renewal of LoP.

What is the frequency of submission of Softex?

A common monthly Softex in the form of an Excel summary sheet as prescribed by RBI can be filed for all invoices raised in a month. The Softex is required to be filed within 30 days from the date of last invoice raised in that month.

What happens if the unit fails to submit Softex Forms on time to STPI?

In case of delay, the units should approach the regional RBI office and get the delay condoned before submitting the Softex Forms to STPI.

Who allots the Softex numbers, STPI or RBI?

Softex numbers are allotted by RBI. Both STP and NON-STP units based on their requirement can generate Softex numbers online from RBI official website.