GST and Deemed Exports: A Quick Guide for Smooth Business Operation

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The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been a significant reform in the Indian tax system. It replaced a complex web of indirect taxes and aimed to simplify tax compliance and boost economic growth. One aspect of the GST compliance checklist  for businesses, particularly those involved in international trade, is “deemed exports.” In this comprehensive guide, we will explore what deemed exports are, how they affect businesses, and how to navigate the complexities of this aspect of GST to ensure smooth business operations.

Understanding GST

Before we delve into Deemed Exports, it’s essential to establish a basic understanding of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India. GST debuted in the country on July 1, 2017, marking a significant shift in the nation’s tax landscape. It replaced a complex web of central and state-level taxes, including Central Excise Duty, Service Tax, Value Added Tax (VAT), and Central Sales Tax (CST), unifying them under a single tax system.

GST is characterized by multiple tax rates, ranging from 5% to 28%, with additional levies on specific items. What sets GST apart is its method of taxing value addition at each stage of the supply chain, making it a comprehensive and transparent tax system. Under the GST framework, businesses must register, regularly file tax returns, and meet their tax obligations to maintain compliance.

Deemed Exports: An Overview

Deemed Exports is a term used in the context of GST, referring to certain transactions where the supply of goods qualifies as an export, even though the supplier and the recipient are both located in India. In other words, it’s an indirect export. Deemed exports are essential for businesses as they can claim certain benefits and exemptions available to actual exports, such as tax refunds and input tax credits.

Places of Supply Determined for Deemed Exports

1. Supply to Export-Oriented Units (EOUs)

Export-oriented units, or EOUs, are industrial units that export goods and services. When a business supplies goods to an EOU, it is treated as a Deemed Export. EOUs are typically eligible for various tax benefits, and suppliers to EOUs can claim those benefits as well.

2. Supply to Special Economic Zones (SEZs) 

Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are designated areas where businesses can enjoy particular economic policies and tax incentives. When a business supplies goods to an SEZ, it is considered a deemed export. SEZs play a significant role in promoting exports and industrial development. 

3. Supply to Projects Funded by Multilateral or Bilateral Agencies 

When goods are supplied to projects funded by multilateral or bilateral agencies like the United Nations or World Bank, it qualifies as a deemed export. These projects are often aimed at development and are eligible for tax benefits. 

4. Supply for Goods to Be Used in Manufacturing or Production of Goods for Export

If a supplier provides goods used in the manufacturing or producing goods meant for export, it qualifies as a deemed export. In such cases, the place of supply is where the goods are used for manufacturing.

deemed exports gst


Application of GST Rates on Deemed Exports

  • GST rates applied to deemed exports in India are typically 0%. It means that the supply of goods in deemed export transactions is mainly exempt from the Goods and Services Tax.
  • The 0% GST rate on deemed exports is designed to provide a level playing field for domestic manufacturers and exporters. It ensures that they can effectively compete in the global market without the burden of significant tax liabilities.
  • This approach encourages the growth of critical sectors and industries, including manufacturing and infrastructure development. It offers tax benefits and exemptions to businesses supplying goods to entities like Export-Oriented Units (EOUs), Special Economic Zones (SEZs), projects funded by multilateral agencies, and for the manufacturing of goods meant for export.
  • The 0% GST rate on deemed exports is a significant and effective strategy for GST compliance in businesses, as it reduces the tax burden on inputs and input services.
  • Proper documentation and adherence to GST regulations are essential for businesses to fully leverage the tax benefits and exemptions associated with deemed exports.

How is Deemed Export Treated in GST?

Deemed exports are transactions where the supply of goods qualifies as an export, even though the supplier and the recipient are both located in India. This unique treatment is essential for businesses, particularly those involved in international trade. Deemed exports are typically used to support the growth of specific sectors and industries, such as manufacturing and infrastructure development, by offering tax incentives and benefits.

Under GST, deemed exports are defined by various criteria, including supplies to Export-Oriented Units (EOUs), Special Economic Zones (SEZs), projects funded by multilateral or bilateral agencies, and supplies for the manufacturing of goods meant for export.

Deemed exports in GST come with a 0% GST rate, providing businesses with the opportunity to claim benefits such as input tax credits and refunds on GST paid on inputs and input services. Proper documentation and adherence to GST regulations are essential to avoid mistakes in GST compliance procedures

Importance of GST Compliance

Deemed exports under GST offer several noteworthy benefits, making them a compelling business option. Here are the key advantages:

  • Cost Reduction: One of the most significant advantages of deemed exports is the ability to claim a refund of the GST paid on inputs and input services. This effectively reduces the cost of production, enabling businesses to offer their products and services at more competitive prices.
  • Enhanced Competitiveness: By applying a 0% GST rate to deemed exports, the government levels the playing field for domestic manufacturers and exporters, helping them compete more effectively in the global market.
  • Support for Key Sectors: Deemed exports play a pivotal role in the growth of critical sectors such as manufacturing and infrastructure development. Businesses involved in these sectors can access tax incentives and benefits, which further stimulate their expansion and development.
  • Boost for Export-Oriented Units (EOUs): Suppliers to export-oriented units also reap the rewards of deemed export benefits. This encourages businesses to engage with EOUs, nurturing the growth and success of these specialized units.
  • SEZ Development: Deemed exports promote the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs). By supplying goods to SEZs under this category, businesses contribute to economic growth and infrastructure development within these zones.
  • Support for Multilateral Projects: Deemed Exports facilitate projects funded by multilateral or bilateral agencies. Suppliers to these projects enjoy tax benefits and help advance critical infrastructure development.
  • Tax Benefits: With a 0% GST rate, deemed exports effectively eliminate the tax burden on these transactions. This translates to a direct reduction in tax-related expenses, allowing businesses to allocate resources to other strategic areas.
  • Input Tax Credit: Businesses engaged in deemed exports can claim the input tax credit for the GST paid on inputs and input services. This not only reduces their overall tax liability but also enhances their cash flow, enabling more efficient financial management.

GST Filing Requirements for Deemed Exports 

In the domain of deemed exports within the framework of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India, proper documentation cannot be overstated. It is the backbone of the process, ensuring businesses can avail themselves of the benefits and incentives associated with deemed exports. Let’s delve into the essential documents that play a pivotal role in this context:

  • Tax Invoice: At the core of any business transaction, a tax invoice is indispensable. It must encapsulate critical details such as the parties involved, a unique invoice number, the date, GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number), HSN (Harmonized System of Nomenclature) code, and other pertinent particulars. This document formally records the transaction and the corresponding GST implications.
  • Form A-1: Form A-1 is a critical document for claiming the benefits of deemed exports. It serves as a declaration, affirming that the supply qualifies as a deemed export and is intended to seek a refund. The supplier must submit this form to the relevant authorities for the refund process.
  • Recipient’s Acknowledgment: It is prudent for suppliers to secure an acknowledgement from the recipient of the goods. This acknowledgment serves as tangible evidence of the receipt of supplies and typically includes an assurance that the goods will be used for their intended purpose. This additional documentation bolsters the case for deemed exports.
  • Proof of Payment: Maintaining evidence of payment is imperative. Bank statements, payment receipts, and other financial records demonstrating the transfer of funds for the supplied goods are vital for substantiating the transaction.
  • Shipping Documents: Deemed exports do not entail physically transferring goods across international borders. Shipping documents can be relevant in certain situations, mainly when the goods are delivered to Export-Oriented Units (EOUs) within India. These may encompass delivery challans or similar documents that provide concrete proof of the dispatch of goods to the recipient.
  • Letter of Undertaking (LUT): To facilitate a refund on the GST paid for the inputs used in deemed exports, suppliers may be required to furnish a Letter of Undertaking (LUT). This document acts as an assurance to the authorities, confirming the supplier’s commitment to adhering to the prescribed guidelines and complying with GST regulations.

Businesses should establish robust record-keeping practices and remain vigilant.

Otherwise, it becomes a tedious job to Navigate complex GST compliance rules for small and large businesses regarding any amendments or updates.


Deemed Exports within the framework of GST present a lucrative avenue for businesses to bolster their global competitiveness, reaping the rewards of tax benefits and exemptions. It is paramount for enterprises to comprehend the nuances of deemed exports, encompassing the various types, meticulous documentation prerequisites, and inherent challenges. While grappling with complexities and potential hurdles is inevitable, unwavering adherence to GST regulations and diligent compliance are the cornerstone of seamless business operations.

Deemed exports are a pivotal catalyst in driving domestic manufacturing, fortifying the expansion of export-driven enterprises, and elevating India’s standing in the global market. Enterprises that can adeptly navigate the intricate nuances of deemed exports and the GST framework are poised to ensure the fluidity of their operations and capitalize on the array of tax-related advantages they offer. For more information on GST and deemed exports, visit CaptainBiz.


  • What exactly are deemed exports in the context of GST?

Deemed exports rеfеr to transactions whеrе goods don’t physically lеavе India but arе still considеrеd еxports, making thеm еligiblе for cеrtain tax bеnеfits.

  • What advantages do businesses gain from deemed exports?

Businesses can enjoy thе benefit of claiming a rеfund on thе GST they’ve paid for the inputs used in deemed exports. This can make them more cost-competitive.

  • What’s thе procеss for a businеss to qualify for deemed export bеnеfits?

To qualify, a business nееds to meet specific criteria, which may include maintaining propеr documentation and rеgistеring with the relevant authorities.

  • What аrе somе of thе challenges that businesses might encounter with deemed exports?

Challеngеs oftеn revolve around dealing with complex paperwork, еnsuring compliancе with rеgulations, and making sure that the goods don’t accidentally lеavе thе country, which demands careful management.

  • How can businesses еnsurе a smooth opеration whеn dealing with deemed exports undеr GST?

Succеss in deemed exports involves a clear understanding of thе rules, mеticulous rеcord-kееping, and staying on top of compliancе to leverage the benefits this system offers fully. 

  • What is the time limit for filing a refund claim for deemed exports under GST?

The refund claim for deemed exports under GST can be filed within two years from the date of filing the return. It is essential to adhere to this time limit to ensure timely processing of the refund application.

  • Why should the recipient allow the supplier to claim a refund in any case?

The recipient should permit the supplier to claim a refund because the supplier can only do so if the recipient opts not to use input tax credit and grants permission.

  • When and how will the RFD-01 refund be processed?

The processing of the RFD-01 refund application occurs after its submission. When a refund application is filed in Form RFD-01, creating an ARN (Application Reference Number), the application and attached documents are allocated to a Refund Processing Officer for review and processing. The monitor status feature allows taxpayers to track the status of their refund application. 

  • Is it possible to submit a refund claim for multiple tax periods from two separate fiscal years?

Yes, a supplier can submit a claim for a refund for multiple tax periods belonging to two fiscal years.

  • What are the documents that I need to submit with my refund application for a deemed export supplier?

Regarding the documents required for a refund application by a deemed export supplier, the information is given below :

  • You must upload all necessary documents that should be filed with Form RFD-01.
  • Any documents requested by the refund sanctioning authority, as notified under CGST Rules
  • Statement 5B should be uploaded, providing details of the documents for which a refund is sought.
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Nandini Marwah Co-Founder
Nandini Marwah is a seasoned finance writer with a solid academic foundation, holding both a master's and bachelor's degree in economics. She specializes in making complex financial topics accessible to a broad audience. Her passion lies in dissecting macro and microeconomics, particularly delving into consumer behavior and market structures.

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