India amends biofuel export rules; export from SEZ/export-oriented units eased

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Exports of biofuel from special economic zones (SEZ) and export-oriented units are permitted for both fuel and non-fuel purposes without any restrictions, considering the biofuel is produced using imported feed stock, the government announced on March 22.

Within days of placing limitations on their imports, the government on August 28, 2018, had restricted the export of biofuels as well in a bid to increase the domestic capacity. Biofuel like Ethyl alcohol, petroleum oil, oils derived from bituminous materials, bio-diesel, and mixes require a license  for both imports and exports.

The 2018 notification has been amended by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to an extent that export of biofuel from special economic zones/export-oriented units, are allowed for fuel as well as non-fuel purpose without any restriction when produced using only imported feed stock.

Special economic zones and export oriented units are meant specifically for export purposes.

Under the national biofuel policy, India has set an ambitious biofuel roadmap of achieving 20% ethanol blending in petrol by 2025-26.  The initial target to achieve 20% blending was 2030. Last year in June, the target of petrol supplies with 10% ethanol blending was achieved, before the original schedule of November 2022.

The oil and petroleum ministry at the national level has plans to set up 12 bio-refineries to produce fuel from items including crop stubble, plant waste and municipal solid waste.