How Has GST Made It Easier For Businesses To Export Their Goods And Services?

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As shown by the “Make in India” campaign and exporter tax benefits, the current Indian government wants to improve export volume and quality. Exporters are unsure how the GST export would affect their business after its July 01 implementation. 

The amount of tax paid on the raw materials or inputs utilized, as well as how GST may impact the products exported, are questions that traders have. On June 28, 2017, the Indian government released a collection of notifications and a guidance note to the public regarding the applicability of the GST, UTGST, CGST, and cess rates to clear up any ambiguities.

Characteristics of Export Under the GST System

The products and services may be delivered outside of India either under a Letter of Undertaking (LUT) that waives the requirement to pay Integrated Commodities and Services Tax (IGST), which is claimable as a refund following the export of the commodities.

Businesses that send products and services outside of India under LUT are eligible for a refund of the accumulated ITC due to export. After the export general manifest is submitted and the applicant provides a valid return in Form GSTR-3, the shipping bill filed with Customs is regarded as an application to be reimbursed for payment of IGST.

How Will the Export-Related GST Be Assessed?

The export of any form of products or services shall not be subject to GST. The prior laws offered a duty drawback for the tax paid on inputs used in the export of goods that were exempt from duty. The process of claiming the duty drawback was laborious. 

Only customs duty paid on imported inputs or federal excise paid on specific petroleum or tobacco products used as inputs or fuel for captive power generation will be eligible for duty deduction under the GST. Regarding exporters’ return of input tax, there was some misunderstanding. 

The Indian government issued a guideline note on the subject, which has assisted in removing any uncertainty around the claim of input tax credit on zero-rated exports. One of the following alternatives is available to an exporter dealing in zero-rated goods under GST for reimbursement of zero-rated supplies:

  • Option 1

Provide products or services, or both, under a bond or letter of undertaking without paying integrated tax, and then request a refund of any unused input tax credit, subject to any criteria, safeguards, and procedures that may be specified. 

The exporter must submit a refund application on the common portal, either directly or via the facilitation center that the GST commissioner has designated. The Customs Act requires that an export manifest or report be submitted before a refund application can be submitted.

  • Option 2

After meeting certain requirements, safeguards, and procedures as may be prescribed, and after paying the IGST, any exporter, the United Nations, the Embassy, or other agencies/bodies as specified in section 55 that supply goods or services, or both, may request a refund of such tax paid on the supplied goods or services, or both. By the guidelines outlined in section 54 of the CGST Act, the applicant must apply for a refund.

When exporting products out of India, an exporter must submit a shipping bill. The shipping bill, in this instance, is regarded as a deemed application for an IGST reimbursement. The export manifest or report, which includes the number and date of the shipping bills, must be filed by the person overseeing the cargo for it to be considered filed.

The department modifies shipping bill types, both manual and electronic, to incorporate the IGST and GSTIN. The department’s official website has the updated forms. To support the Indian export sector under GST, the department is also in the process of easing the factory filling procedure and obtaining the required permits.

Deemed Exports

Under GST, providing products or services to the following would be considered an export.

  • Goods supplied by a registered individual without prior authorization
  • Provided to a Hardware Technology Park unit, Software Technology Park unit, Biotechnology Park unit, or Export-oriented undertaking (EOU)
  • Capital products supplied by a recognized individual in opposition to export promotion Capital Goods Permission
  • Gold is provided by a bank or government agency acting without prior authorization by customs law.

The general processes for export under GST must be followed when filing returns under GST for the deemed export.

Documents Needed to File an Export Refund Claim

The list of paperwork needed to get a refund is as follows: 

  • A copy of the return attesting to the duty payment.
  • An invoice copy
  • Documentation (CA certification or self-certification) attesting to the fact that the onus of paying taxes has not been transferred.
  • Any further document that the government mandates.

Refund Requests for Exports

You may also have to pay GST in addition to customs taxes. The good news is that you might be eligible for a partial refund of the taxes you paid. Duty drawbacks were previously available for taxes paid on inputs used in the export of exempt goods, but the application process for the refund was convoluted. 

The Indian government issued a guideline note to explain how to claim input tax credits on zero-rated suppliers to remove any confusion about the refund of tax paid on exports. When thinking about submitting a refund application for zero-rated supplies, keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Goods and services exported without IGST payment

If a business doesn’t use the input credit, it can request a refund. If refunds are sought for duties already paid, they are often granted in two weeks. The exporter sends the shipping bill for goods shipped outside of India. 

Before the supposed application is considered to have been submitted, the exporter, the Custom House Agent, or whoever is in charge of the shipment must file the export report or manifest that includes the date and number of the shipping bills.

  • Export of goods and services subject to IGST

The exporter may be entitled to a refund of the tax paid on such shipments. For both refund claims made without the payment of IGST and refund claims made for input credits, the exporter files a separate online application in the form of RFD-01A. 

The required supporting paperwork must be included with a paper copy of the application to manually submit it to GST export officials. In this case, the reimbursement is issued following a review of the filled documentation.

Type of Export Process Form Required Submission Method Details Required Refund Amount Refund Crediting
Goods Automatic None Integrated with GSTR-1 and Shipping Bill (ICEGATE) GSTR-1 details matched with Shipping Bill Automatic processing The bank account mentioned in the taxpayer portal
Services Manual RFD-01 GST Portal > Services > Refunds > Application for Refund > Export of Services with payment of tax > RFD-01 Upload using an offline utility Provided in RFD-01 Bank account mentioned in RFD-01

Table: Details on refund requests for Goods and Service exports

How to Make a GST Refund Claim?

Here are the following steps to make a GST refund chain:

  • Step 1

Send your claim for a GST’s role in export promotion refund, along with the necessary documentation, to the appropriate official to initiate the GST return procedure. 

A declaration detailing the date and quantity of invoices, as well as the Bank Realization Certificates, also known as Foreign Inward Remittance Certificates, should be included. 

After you file your GST refund, the officer will send you an acknowledgment in Form GST RFD-02 within three days.

  • Step 2

The officer must issue an order in Form GST RFD-04, approving the GST refund amount provisionally, within seven days of receiving the application.

  • Step 3

The officer will provide payment advice under Form GST RFD-05, which will be electronically credited to the bank account you indicated on the application. Ninety percent of the funds have been credited thus far.

  • Step 4

The remaining 10% of the total is required after the documents have been reviewed; all physical documents will be validated using the online information accessible through the GST site. 

Form GST RFD-06, which authorizes the payment of the remaining 10%, will be given if all the documents are found to be in order based on the online information available on the GST website.

GST E-Invoicing Requirement in India

India’s government is extending internet and technology access. Under its flagship program, “Digital India,” the Indian government empowers the nation by providing crucial online infrastructure to all stakeholders. The GST introduced e-invoicing for B2B transactions in India.

gst bb transactionsImage Source: Study Cafe

Effect of Goods and Services Tax on Exports

Since its inception, GST’s role in export promotion has been debated for its impact on exports. The export of goods and services has undergone some major changes as a result of the GST, which are covered Below:

  • A Zero-Rated Supply

Exports of products and services are regarded as zero-rated supplies for GST purposes. Exporting goods and services is tax-free. GST export paid on goods and services inputs is refundable.

Exporters pay less tax, and Indian goods and services are more competitive abroad. However, refunds can be difficult to get, delaying payment.

  • Goods and Services Tax Integrated (IGST)

The GST introduced the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST). Items sold across states or between India and other countries are subject to GST. State and federal governments split IGST tax collecting.

Exporters no longer have to manage numerous tax structures from various states thanks to the implementation of the IGST, which has streamlined the tax structure. Exporters now have less of a compliance burden as a result.


Indian exports are more efficient and transparent thanks to the GST. The GST system has helped the government’s “Make in India” agenda increase export volume and quality. GST has clarified the tax system, but exporters are still unsure about its impact. 

In summary, even though GST has changed the export environment and promoted a more integrated and competitive atmosphere, continued work is needed to improve the refund processes and handle logistical complexities. The combination of GST and “Make in India” offers a positive path for the country’s exports and strengthens India’s standing internationally as it advances toward being a major economic force.


  • What Impact Has GST Had On India’s Export Of Products And Services?

The introduction of the zero-rated supply mechanism under the GST has resulted in an exemption for exporters from tax obligations on the products and services they ship. This development has significantly impacted the export sector. 

  • In Exports Subject To GST, What Function Does The Integrated Goods And Services Tax (Igst) Serve?

An essential component for the supply of products and services to foreign nations or across state borders. Exporters derive advantages from a streamlined tax framework that promotes consistency and mitigates the onerousness of adhering to diverse state tax structures.

  • What Characteristics Of The GST Scheme’s Export Procedure Are There?

Services and products may be exported from India with or without an IGST payment under a Letter of Undertaking (LUT). After export, the IGST payment is eligible for a refund. 

  • How Is The Export Of Goods And Services Subject To GST?

Under GST, exporting products or services is regarded as a zero-rated supply. This indicates that no form of goods or services exported from India are subject to GST and other essential terms and regulations.

  • What Are Some Of The Major GST Duty Drawback Program For Exported Products?

The duty reduction that was previously available is now restricted to central excise or customs duty paid on certain products used as fuel or feedstock for captive power generation. 

  • How Can Exporters Who Deal In Zero-Rated Items Submit A Claim For A GST Refund?

Exporters have two options: they can deliver products or services under a letter of undertaking or bond, which waives integrated tax, or they can obtain a refund of any unused input tax credit. 

  • What Is The GST Refund Procedure For Exporters?

For goods and services exported without paying the IGST, exporters are entitled to a reimbursement of the input credit that was not used. For duties previously paid, the refund procedure usually takes two weeks to finish. 

  • How Are The Considered Exports Under The GST Treated, And What Are They?

The provision of products or services to Export Oriented Undertakings (EOU), Hardware Technology Park units, Software Technology Park units, Biotechnology Park units, and other units with advance authorization is considered an export. 

  • What Paperwork Is Needed To File A GST Refund Claim For Exports?

A copy of the invoice, a copy of the return attesting to the duty payment, proof that the cost of paying taxes has not been transferred, and any other documentation requested by the government are needed to get a refund.

  • What Effects Has India’s Adoption Of Required GST E-Invoicing Had On Export Transactions And Businesses?

The goal of required GST export e-invoicing is to improve digital infrastructure and expedite corporate processes. It enhances the overall efficiency and required transparency of invoicing procedures, which benefits export operations.

author avatar
Aaryan Singh
B.Com degree with finance and accounting Specialisation in Goods and Service Tax (GST) and taxation system Completed certification course on GST from ICAI in 2022 Online GST practitioner course completed in 2023 from Indian Institute of Skill Development and Training.

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  1. Professional Utlities

    Goods and Services Tax (GST) has significantly simplified the process of exporting goods and services for businesses in several ways:

    Unified Tax Structure: GST has replaced multiple indirect taxes with a single tax regime, streamlining tax compliance and reducing administrative burdens for exporters. This unified structure eliminates the complexities associated with various state-level taxes, making it easier for businesses to understand and comply with tax regulations.

    Input Tax Credit (ITC): Under GST, businesses can claim input tax credit on goods and services used in the export process. This includes taxes paid on inputs such as raw materials, packaging materials, and services availed. The availability of ITC reduces the overall tax burden on exporters, making their products more competitive in international markets.

    Refund Mechanism: GST provides a robust mechanism for the refund of taxes paid on inputs used in the export of goods and services. Exporters can claim refunds of integrated goods and services tax (IGST) paid on exports or claim input tax credit (ITC) accumulated on inputs and input services used in export production. This streamlined refund process ensures timely liquidity for exporters, facilitating smoother cash flow management.

    Export Promotion Schemes: GST provides for various export promotion schemes, such as the Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme and the Advance Authorization scheme, aimed at incentivizing exports. These schemes allow exporters to procure raw materials and capital goods at concessional rates or without payment of taxes, further enhancing the competitiveness of Indian exports in global markets.

    Digital Integration: GST has brought about digital integration of the entire taxation system through the GSTN (Goods and Services Tax Network) portal. This online platform enables seamless registration, filing of returns, payment of taxes, and processing of refunds for exporters. The digital interface enhances transparency, reduces compliance costs, and improves the overall ease of doing business for exporters.

    Uniform Documentation: With GST, exporters need to maintain standardized documentation for interstate and international transactions. This uniformity simplifies record-keeping and documentation requirements, reducing paperwork and administrative complexities for businesses engaged in export activities.

    Overall, GST has streamlined the export process, reduced compliance burdens, enhanced competitiveness, and facilitated the growth of India’s export sector. By providing a simplified tax regime and robust refund mechanisms, GST has made it easier for businesses to tap into global markets and expand their international footprint.