The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) is an Indian law which regulates the activities related to foreign exchange. The main objective of the law is to facilitate external trade and payments and for promoting the orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange market in India.
Foreign Exchange Derivative Contracts are governed by FEMA Notification No. FEMA 25/RB-2000 dated May 3, 2000 and subsequent amendments thereto. The Master Circular titled “Risk Management and Inter-bank dealing” consolidates the existing instructions on the derivatives at one place. Besides, in April 2007 RBI had issued “Comprehensive Guidelines on Derivatives” which got amended on November 2, 2011. The exchange traded currency derivatives are jointly governed by SEBI and RBI.
A person resident in India (as defined in FEMA) can transact in OTC forex market on declaration of the underlying exposure (contractual and probable). While transacting on exchange traded currency derivative instruments, any such declaration is not required. However, there are pre-set limits for transacting in currency derivatives.
The companies need to submit the Board resolution and if required, board approved ‘Risk Management Policy’. Besides, depending upon the type of exposures (contractual and probable) quarterly and annual declaration / certificate is also requires to be submitted.
Currently, EEFC balances need to be converted in rupee by the end of next calendar month (i.e. maximum 60 days). Balances in the EEFC accounts can be sold forward by the account-holders provided they remain earmarked for delivery. Such contracts cannot, be cancelled