Press Releases

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Date : Jul 15, 2011
Regularisation of Liaison Offices / Branch Offices of foreign entities established in India during the pre-FEMA regime

The Reserve Bank of India has today issued an A.P. (DIR Series) Circular on the captioned subject on its web-site

It is observed that certain Liaison Offices (LO)/ Branch Offices (BO) established by foreign Non Government Organisations (NGOs), Non Profit Organisations (NPOs), news agencies and other foreign entities are continuing to function in India, without the approval of the Reserve Bank, even after the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 came into force from June 1, 2000.

Under the provisions of FEMA Act 1999, liaison offices/ branch offices can only be established with the prior permission from the Reserve Bank of India. Reserve Bank of India considers the requests of such entities to open an office in India, in consultation with Government of India, wherever required.

Accordingly, the foreign entities which have established LO or BO in India without obtaining permission from the Reserve Bank of India should approach the Reserve Bank within a period of 90 days from the date of the A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.02 dated July 15, 2011 for regularization of establishment of such offices in India, in terms of the extant FEMA provisions. Further, the foreign entities who have established LO or BO with the permission from the Government of India may also approach the Reserve Bank along with a copy of the said approval for allotment of a Unique Identification Number (UIN) by the Reserve Bank of India.

The foreign entities are also requested to be guided by the latest guidelines and procedures for establishment of LO or BO by foreign entities issued vide A.P. (DIR Series) Circular Nos. 23 and 24 dated December 30, 2009, as amended from time to time, as available on our web site ® Notifications ®FEMA.

Ajit Prasad
Assistant General Manager

Press Release : 2011-2012/86

Related Notification

July 15, 2011

Regularization of Liaison / Branch Offices of foreign entities established during the pre-FEMA period