National Policy on Biofuels – 2018

Government of India has approved National Policy on Biofuels – 2018 biofuel_policy. In order to promote biofuels in the country, a National Policy on Biofuels was first made by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy during the year 2009. Globally, biofuels have caught the attention in last decade. The key features of the 2018 policy are as below:

  1. The Policy categorises biofuels as “Basic Biofuels” viz. First Generation (1G) bioethanol & biodiesel and “Advanced Biofuels” – Second Generation (2G) ethanol, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to drop-in fuels, Third Generation (3G) biofuels, bio-CNG etc. to enable extension of appropriate financial and fiscal incentives under each category.
  2. The Policy expands the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing use of Sugarcane Juice, Sugar containing materials like Sugar Beet, Sweet Sorghum, Starch containing materials like Corn, Cassava, Damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice, Rotten Potatoes, unfit for human consumption for ethanol production.
  • The Policy allows use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with petrol with the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee.
  1. With a thrust on Advanced Biofuels, the Policy indicates a viability gap funding scheme for 2G ethanol Bio refineries of Rs.5000 crore in 6 years in addition to additional tax incentives, higher purchase price as compared to 1G biofuels.
  2. The Policy encourages setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds, Used Cooking Oil, short gestation crops.
  3. Roles and responsibilities of all the concerned Ministries/Departments with respect to biofuels has been captured in the Policy document to synergise efforts.


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By Circular No: 03/2017- Customs dt: 16/01/2017 on the issue of Import of point of sale (PoS) terminal devices, its cells & batteries and labelling requirements thereof., The Government of India has Classified as below:circ03-2017cs

The government   has vide Notification No.   35/2016- Central    Excise,   dated   28.11.6 exempted   excise  duty on  Point  of  Sale  (PoS)  devices   and  also  goods  required   for  their manufacture.   These   devices   are already   exempted   from customs   duty. PoS devices   are indispensable in a cashless digital payment ecosystem.

  1. Ministry of Electronics  and Information  Technology  (MeitY)  have  stated that Point of sale (PoS)  Terminal  devices  and  sealed  secondary  cell/batteries   containing   alkaline  or other non-acid electrolytes  for use in portable  applications  are covered under the scope of Electronics and Information  Technology   Goods  (Requirement   for Compulsory  Registration)  Order, 2012 with effect from  13.5.2015 &  1.6.2016 respectively  for mandatory BIS registration
  2. MeitY have relaxed the import  conditions  of Point  of Sale (PoS)  terminal  devices  and cells/ batteries  fitted in these devices  to the following  extent.

(a)      Import of non-labelled  registered  PoS devices  shall be allowed  subject  to the condition that  the  importer  shall  put  standard  logo  on each  carton  at the  port  instead  of  each separate  PoS  Terminal  device  along  with  the declaration   to the  Customs  confirming that each terminal  device would  be labelled  after clearance  but before  sale /distribution in the Indian  market.  Customs  may release  the consignments   of PoS devices  based on the declaration  along  with the details of model/  Serial nos. of the PoS terminal  devices inside the cartons.

(b)     Special  permission   for import  of batteries  and cells coming  along (fitted)  with the BIS registered  PoS terminals   if the said cells /batteries  are either registered  with BIS as per IS 16046 or are certified  as per the International  standard  IEC 6213  3:  2012. Spares shall not be allowed under this relaxation.

Both the above exemptions from the regulatory requirements shall be valid till 31.3.2017 or till further orders issued by MeitY.


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Classification of Telecommunication Antenna used at Base Transceiver Station/NodeB/eNodeB

In context to the representation received by the trade  regarding the classification of Telecommunication Antenna which are used at Base Transceiver Station/NodeB/eNodeB in wireless or cellular networks. The govt. by Instruction No: 01/2018 –Customs dt: 15/01/2018 has clarified that:circ01-2018cs

1.In a wired communication system, transmitter as well as receiver is connected by a wired channel and information is transmitted through that channel. However, in a wireless communication, available physical channel for communication is free-space. The information can travel only in the electromagnetic waveform. Therefore, in a radio/ wireless communication system, the information at source is modulated and amplified in the transmitter and then passed on to the transmit antenna via a transmission line. The antenna radiates the information in the form of an electromagnetic wave in an efficient and desired manner to the destination, where the information is picked up by the receive antenna and passed on to the receiver via transmission line. The signal is demodulated and the original message is then recovered at the receiver. Thus, wireless communication gets established.

Therefore, antenna is an essential device of a wireless communication system, which can generate electromagnetic waves from currents and voltages and which can convert electromagnetic waves to currents and voltages when these waves impinge on it. In technical language, the antenna is a device that transforms time varying electrical signals (which are in the forms of voltages/current) into electromagnetic waves at transmit antenna and the electromagnetic waves induces voltage/ current at receive antenna. Further, the antenna for wireless communication works as transmit antenna as well as receive antenna.

  1. The basic issue to decide for the classification of the Telecommunication Antenna is, whether it is a part of the device/machine/apparatus of heading 8517 and classifiable under CTH 8517 70 90 or it is a telecommunication apparatus classifiable under any other heading of heading 8517.
  2. The classification of parts of the goods of Chapter 85 is governed by rules enumerated in section Note 2 of section XVI read with general Explanatory Notes to this Section Note. According to rule (a), parts which are goods included in any of the headings of Chapter 84 or 85, are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings. In other words, the parts which in themselves constitute an article covered by a heading of this section, in all cases are to be classified in their own appropriate heading even if specially designed to work as part of a specific machine. Therefore, the goods under consideration would fall under CTH 8517 70 90 as a part of the machine/apparatus classifiable under CTH 8517, only in the situation when it is not covered by any other heading of the section.

  3. However, as discussed above, the telecommunication antenna being a complete device with a specified function i.e. conversion of electrical signals into electromagnetic waves and vice-versa in a wireless communication system, is appropriately covered by the single dash heading “— Other apparatus for transmission or reception of voice, images or other data, including apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network (such as a local or wide area network): ” of heading 8517 as an ‘transmitting and receiving apparatus for radio-telephony’. Further, at double dash level, it is squarely covered by the heading “8517 62 – – Machines for the reception, conversion and transmission or regeneration of voice, images or other data, including switching and routing apparatus:”

5. In view of above and by application of General Rules for Interpretation 1 & 6, the Antenna used at Base Transceiver Station/NodeB/eNodeB in a wireless telecommunication network, merits classification under CTH 8517 62 90.


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The Ministry of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, introduced a new environmental compliance under the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. applicable on all registered brand owners, wherein they are mandatorily required to obtain registration under the Rules.PWM Rules, 2016

Further, the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 (“Parent Rules”) were amended and notified by the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2018 ( “Amendment Regulations”) on March 27, 2018.PWM amendment english 2018

Registration of Producers and Brand owners:

The Parent Rules imposed obligations on producers, i.e., persons engaged in manufacture or import of plastic bags or plastic sheets, including industries or individuals using plastic sheets for packaging or wrapping commodities, to obtain registration from the concerned authority. This provision has now been amended to include brand owners to obtain registration as well. Brand owners have been defined in the Parent Rules to mean a person or company who sells any commodity under a registered brand. Hence, companies or individuals selling commodities under a registered trademark will now have an additional compliance to obtain registration under the Amendment Rules.

Requisite Authority to obtain registration:

The registration under the Amendment Rules is required to be obtained by the producers and brand owners from the concerned State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control committee if they are operating in 1 or 2 States or Union Territories. In case the producer or brand owner is operating in more than 2 States or Union Territories, the registration is to be obtained by the Central Pollution Control Board. 

Other Amendments

The Amendment Rules lay down the phasing out of manufacture and use of multilayered plastic which is non-recyclable or non-energy recoverable or with no alternate use. The Parent Rules laid down a broader restriction by prescribing phasing out of non- recyclable multilayered plastic.

Further, the provision under the Parent Rules requiring shopkeepers and street vendors willing to provide plastic carry bags for dispensing any commodity to register with a local body has been omitted.

The Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016 have been issued under: The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, which has very stringent penal provisions.EPA-1986


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National Intellectual Property Rights Policy of India 2016

The Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), a professional body under the aegis of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry recently organized a conference on successful completion of two years of the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy adopted by the Government of India in May 2016.National_IPR_Policy_English.

The National IPR Policy is essentially a vision document that aims to create and exploit synergies between all forms of intellectual property (IP), concerned statutes and agencies. It sets in place an institutional mechanism for implementation, monitoring and review. It aims to incorporate and adapt global best practices to the Indian scenario.

In this regard, the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) was created in the year 2016 as a professional body under the aegis of DIPP to take forward the implementation of the National IPR Policy. Since then, CIPAM is working towards creating public awareness about IPRs in the country, promoting the filing of IPRs through facilitation, providing inventors with a platform to commercialize their IP assets and coordinating the implementation of the National IPR Policy in collaboration with Government Ministries/Departments and other stakeholders.

The Policy recognizes that India has a well-established TRIPS-compliant legislative, administrative and judicial framework to safeguard IPRs, which meets its international obligations while utilizing the flexibilities provided in the international regime to address its developmental concerns.  It reiterates India’s commitment to the Doha Development Agenda and the TRIPS agreement.

The National IPR Policy attempts to weave in the strengths of the Government, research and development organizations, educational institutions, corporate entities including MSMEs, start-ups and other stakeholders in the creation of an innovation-conducive environment, which stimulates creativity and innovation across sectors, as also facilitates a stable, transparent and service-oriented IPR administration in the country.

The broad contours of the National IPR Policy are as follows:

Vision Statement: An India where creativity and innovation are stimulated by Intellectual Property for the benefit of all; an India where intellectual property promotes advancement in science and technology, arts and culture, traditional knowledge and biodiversity resources; an India where knowledge is the main driver of development, and knowledge owned is transformed into knowledge shared.

Mission Statement: Stimulate a dynamic, vibrant and balanced intellectual property rights system in India to:

-foster creativity and innovation and thereby, promote entrepreneurship and enhance socioeconomic and cultural development, and

-focus on enhancing access to healthcare, food security and environmental protection, among other sectors of vital social, economic and technological importance.

Objectives: The Policy lays down the following seven objectives:

 i. IPR Awareness: Outreach and Promotion – To create public awareness about the economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs among all sections of society.

 ii. Generation of IPRs – To stimulate the generation of IPRs.

iii. Legal and Legislative Framework – To have strong and effective IPR laws, which  balance the interests of rights owners with larger public interest.

iv. Administration and Management – To modernize and strengthen service-oriented IPR administration.

v. Commercialization of IPRs – Get value for IPRs through commercialization.

vi. Enforcement and Adjudication – To strengthen the enforcement and adjudicatory mechanismsfor combating IPR infringements.

vii. Human Capital Development – To strengthen and expand human resources, institutions and capacities for teaching, training, research and skill building in IPRs.



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Model Agriculture Produce and Livestock Contract Farming and Services (Promotion & Facilitation) Act, 2018

With a view to integrate farmers with bulk purchasers including exporters, agro- industries etc. for better price realization through mitigation of market and price risks to the farmers and ensuring smooth agro raw material supply to the agro industries, GOI in the budget for 2017-18 announced preparation of a “Model Contract Farming Act” and circulation of the same to the States for its adoption. The final Model Act “The ….State/UT Agricultural Produce and Livestock Contract Farming and Services (Promotion & Facilitation) Act 2018” has now been approved by Government of India. It is essentially a promotional and facilitative Act and not regulatory in its structure. The key features of the Model Contract Farming Act, 2018 are:Model Contract Farming Act 2018

-The Act lays special emphasis on protecting the interests of the farmers, considering them as weaker of the two parties entering into a contract.

-In addition to contract farming, services contracts all along the value chain including pre-production, production and post-production have been included.

-“Registering and Agreement Recording Committee” or an “Officer” for the purpose at district/block/ taluka level for online registration of sponsor and recording of agreement provided.

-Contracted produce is to be covered under crop / livestock insurance in operation.

-Contract framing to be outside the ambit of APMC Act.

-No permanent structure can be developed on farmers’ land/premises.

– No right, title of interest of the land shall vest in the sponsor.

– Promotion of     Farmer Producer Organization (FPOs) / Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs) to mobilize small and marginal farmers has been provided

-FPO/FPC can be a contracting party if so authorized by the farmers.

– No rights, title ownership or possession to be transferred or alienated or vested in the contract farming sponsor etc.

 – Ensuring buying of entire pre-agreed quantity of one or more of agricultural produce, livestock or its product of contract farming producer as per contract.

– Contract Farming Facilitation Group (CFFG) for promoting contract farming and services at village / panchayat at level provided.

– Accessible and simple dispute settlement mechanism at the lowest level possible provided for quick disposal of disputes.


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Government of India (DGFT) through policy Circular No.12 (RE-2013)/2009-2014 dt: 15/01/2014 has prescribed the Type Approval Certificate issuing agencies under Policy Condition number 7 and 9 of Chapter 87 of ITC(HS) 2012 the details of which is as under:

Reference is invited to the policy conditions No.7 & 9 of Chapter 87 of ITC (HS), 2012 Schedule 1 (Import Policy) and to the Policy Circular No. 26 (RE-2003)/2002-2007 dated 9th February, 2004. The Type Approval Certificates may be accepted from countries as enlisted at Annexure-A, which are Contracting Parties to the 1958 Agreement, formally titled “Agreement concerning the adoption of uniform technical prescriptions for wheeled vehicles, equipment and parts which can be fitted and/or be used on wheeled vehicles and the conditions for reciprocal recognition of approvals granted on the basis of these prescriptions”.The list of International accredited agencies for issuance of Type Approval Certificate / COP as notified by United Nations Economic and Social Council dated 15th  February, 2013 is at Annexure – I (page 318-365) of the document which can be accessed at:

List of contracting Parties to the 1958 Agreement


ECE symbol Contracting Parties Date of adhesion
E 1 Germany1 28.01.1966
E 2 France 20.06.1959
E 3 Italy 26.04.1963
E 4 Netherlands 29.08.1960
E 5 Sweden 20.06.1959
E 6 Belgium 05.09.1959
E 7 Hungary 02.07.1960
E 8 Czech Republic3 01.01.1993
E 9 Spain 10.10.1961
E 10 Serbia10 12.03.2001
E 11 United Kingdom 16.03.1963
E 12 Austria 11.05.1971
E 13 Luxembourg 12.12.1971
E 14 Switzerland 28.08.1973
E 16 Norway 04.04.1975
E 17 Finland 17.09.1976
E 18 Denmark 20.12.1976
E 19 Romania 21.02.1977
E 20 Poland 13.03.1979
E 21 Portugal 28.03.1980
E 22 Russian Federation 17.02.1987
E 23 Greece 05.12.1992
E 24 Ireland9 24.03.1998
E 25 Croatia5 08.10.1991
E 26 Slovenia2 25.06.1991
E 27 Slovakia4 01.01.1993
E 28 Belarus 02.07.1995
E 29 Estonia 01.05.1995
E 31 Bosnia and Herzegovina6 06.03.1992
E 32 Latvia 18.01.1999
E 34 Bulgaria 21.01.2000
E 35 Kazakhstan 08.01.2011
E 36 Lithuania 29.03.2002
E 37 Turkey 27.02.1996
E 39 Azerbaijan 14.06.2002
E 40 The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia7 17.11.1991
E 42 European Union8 24.03.1998
E 43 Japan 24.11.1998
E 45 Australia 25.04.2000
E 46 Ukraine 30.06.2000
E 47 South Africa 17.06.2001
E 48 New Zealand 26.01.2002
E 49 Cyprus11 01.05.2004
E 50 Malta11 01.05.2004
E 51 Republic of Korea 31.12.2004
E 52 Malaysia12 04.04.2006
E 53 Thailand13 01.05.2006
E 54 Albania 05.11.2011
E 56 Montenegro14 03.06.2006
E 58 Tunisia 01.01.2008
E 62 Egypt 03.02.2013



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