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Status-holders—What special privileges are they eligible for?

Who are status holders?

status-holders are business leaders who have excelled in international trade and have successfully contributed to the country’s foreign trade. They are expected to not only contribute towards India’s exports but also provide guidance and handholding to new entrepreneurs.

All exporters of goods and services having an importer-exporter-exporter code (IEC) number shall be eligible for recognition as a status-holder depending upon a certain level of export performance. An applicant for status-holder recognition should have exported goods/services at least for two years to claim Export House status. Their export performance will be calculated for the current year plus the previous two years. In the previous policy, it was current year plus previous 3 years. The export performance will be counted on the basis of FoB value of exports earnings in free foreign exchange. Deemed exports also counted for this purpose on the basis of FoR value. The rupee earnings shall be converted into US dollar at the exchange rate notified by Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) as applicable on 1st April of each financial year.

For granting status, export performance is necessary in at least two out of 3 years.

In the previous policy, status-holders were classified into 5 categories with benchmark of export performance.

1) Export House - Rs 20 crore

2) Star Export House - Rs 100 crore

3) Trading House - Rs 500 crore

4) Star Trading House - Rs 2500 crore

5) Premier Trading House - Rs 7500 crore

The names have been changed with export performance spelt out of US dollars in the current policy (2015-20):

Double weightage

Double weightage in given to claim status-holder position only to One Star Export House. It is granted to following categories:-

1) Micro, Small and Medium Exterprises (MSME) as defined in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006

2) Manufacturing units having ISO/BIS

3) Units located in North Eastern States (including J & K and Sikkim)

4) Units located in Agri Export Zone (There are 60 notified Agri-Export Zones vide Appendix 2V)

Double weightage shall be available for grant of One Star Export Houses status category only.

A shipment can get double weightage only once in any one of the above 4 categories.

Export performance of one IEC holder cannot be transferred to another IEC holder. Hence, calculation of export performance based on disclaimer letter shall not be granted.

Export on re-export basis not counted.

Export of items under authorisation, including 500 MET items would be included for calculating export performance.


There are 10 privileges granted to status-holders out of which the important ones are the following:

C) Exemption from furnishing of Bank Guarantee for schemes under FTP, unless specified otherwise anywhere in FTP or HBP.

d) Exemption from compulsory negotiation of documents thro’ banks, Remittance/Receipts, however, would be received thro’ banking channel.

e) Two Star Export Houses and above permitted to establish Export House Warehouses as per Dept. of Revenue guidelines

f) Three Star Export Houses and above entitled to get the benefit of Accredited Clients Programme (ACP) as per the guidelines of CBEC (website:

g) Manufacturers who are status-holders (3/4/5 Star Export Houses) will be enabled to certify their manufactured goods (as per their IEM/IL/LOL) as originating from India with a view to qualify for preferential treatment under different preferential trading agreements (PTAs), Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreements (CECA) and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements (CEPA). Subsequently, the scheme may be extended to the remaining status-holders.

h) Manufacturers who are also status-holders are eligible to self-certify their goods as originating from India as per para 2.108 (d) of the Hand Book which reads as follows:-

"The agency would ensure that goods are of Indian origin as per criteria defined below before granting Coo (non-preferential) certificates would be issued as per format given in Annexure II to Appendix 2E. It should be ensured that no correction/re-type is made on certificate. Any agency desirous of enlistment in Appendix 2E may submit their application as per Annexure I to Appendix 2E to DGFT".

Para 2.108(e) reads as follows:-

"Now preferential self-certification: Manufacturer exporters who are also status holders shall be eligible to self-certify their goods as originating from India if goods qualify the criteria, as laid down in (a) above, as per Annexure-III to Appendix 2E".

Para 2.61 (III) (IV) of Foreign Trade Policy (2015-20) also deals with self-certification of originating goods by status-holders:-

Approved exporters scheme for self-certification of Certificate of Origin:-



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