What is
Free Trade Warehousing Zone
  • Free Trade Warehousing Zone, a Special Category of Special Economic Zone, can be a 'stand-alone or a demarcated area within a sector-specific or multiproduct specific SEZ. FTWZ is a deemed Foreign Territory with special status and benefits. It is a dedicated platform for warehousing and trading, governed by SEZ act 2005 & Rules 2006.
  • FTWZ is a Single window Platform for Importation, Exportation, Duty & Tax deferment, Management of Allied Act, VAS. Benefits equivalent to FTZs (Free Trade Zone) operating globally. It encourages foreign trade and warehousing activities for overseas and Indian entities provides an integrated platform for sourcing & distribution management, including trading (in and out of India), thus reducing operational costs, especially without own setup.
  • FTWZ is near international gateways for direct deliveries from port/ airport reducing cargo holding time. One can move the shipment from international gateways to FTWZ without Customs assessment. Operates on a freely convertible currency model, i.e. payment for services in FOREX Provides taxation benefits such as Exemption on Customs/ countervailing /Excise Duty, Interest on Duty and Licensing & Compliance of Allied Acts (whilst goods are within FTWZ).
The Act and Rules
Free Trade and Warehousing Zone under SEZ Act 2005 and Rules 2006
  • "Free Trade and Warehousing Zone" means a Special Economic Zone wherein mainly trading and warehousing and other activities related thereto are carried on; (Refer Section 2(n) of SEZ Act 2005)
  • Free Trade and Warehousing Zone Unit under "A Special Economic Zone" shall be deemed to be a territory outside the customs territory of India to undertake the authorized operations. (Refer per Section 53 of SEZ Act 2005)
  • A Special Economic Zone shall, with effect from such date as Central Government may notify, be deemed to be a port, inland container depot, land station and land customs stations, as the case may be, under section 7 of the Customs Act, 1962.
The Laws
Foreign (supplier/Buyers) & India (suppliers/Buyers) can warehouse and trade their goods through FTWZ
  • FTWZ Units can hold goods on behalf of Foreign Supplier & Buyer and Indian Supplier & Buyer as well. Refer rule 18(5) of SEZ Rules, 2006 (AS PER SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE INSTRUCTION NO.60 DT: 1st July 2010)
Click Here to find out the difference between Free Trade Warehousing Zone and Bonded Warehouse.

Features & Benefits of FTWZ

  • Movement of goods from customs gateway based on trans-shipment procedure without assessment by customs, in turn, decreasing Customs process lead time.
  • An overseas company can register with SERAMA and distribute it all over India.
  • Dedicated customs setup is available within the FTWZ 24x7x365.
  • 100% SERAMA owned and operated facility with the limited intervention of Govt. authority inside the warehouse.
  • Period of storage of goods - 5 years.
  • No interest to be paid on duty.
  • Value-added operations permitted within the FTWZ.
  • Removal of goods from FTWZ to DTA basis customs processing within the FTWZ zone.
  • Payment of duty and compliance with allied acts only when the goods move out of FTWZ into DTA.
  • Multi-user facility with shared experienced resources resulting in zero CAPEX for Customers.
  • Ease of re-exports and re-import.
  • Possibility of using this facility as a regional hub. Permits operations of the VMI model with INR and $ models.
  • No requirement for a double-duty bond.

Key Benefits of Serama FTWZ

  • Less Documentation and Less Paperwork
  • Less need for Co-ordination
  • Multi shipment clearance in a single document (max 3 shipments)
  • Same day Custom Clearance
  • Reduction of Container Detention
  • Single Window Operation

Features of Free Trade Warehousing Zone for Importer

  • Defer payment of customs duties & taxes till the removal of goods from FTWZ even up to five years
  • Faster /express clearance from port/ Airport (direct out from gateway port to FTWZ).
  • 'On wheel clearance' with 24hrs after container out from Port and clearance from FTWZ after duty payment within 2 to 3 hrs (after seal verification/Custom inspection).
  • PLA facility (custom duty deposit with custom) for quick custom duty payment or immediate duty payment for custom clearance from FTWZ custom.
  • Custom officers (AO/EO/PO) are stationed at FTWZ for faster clearance.
  • Work on NSDL online filling which much faster than ICEgate online filling
  • All allied acts like ADC clearance/FSSAI/PQ/AQ are carried out after cargo moves into FTWZ (container need not wait in CFS for want for above clearance).
  • Having facilities of Temperature controlled WH (2 to 8 degree / 18 to 22 degree) for Pharma or perishable goods storage.
  • Foreign manufacturers can hold inventories in FTWZ/ India without paying duties and taxes as if it in foreign territories.
  • Trading of goods in free convertible currency is allowed.
  • Foreign manufacturers use FTWZ as a showroom to showcase their products for the marketing of goods in India with getting into the Indian Tax net.
  • Have an option to re-export the imported goods if not sold or not required by Indian customers without liability of custom duty and taxes.

Benefits Across Industry Verticals

Vendor Managed Inventory
  • Demand and supply gaps are adjusted through vendor-managed inventories
  • Availability of stock as per demand for the buyer.
  • Faster response time during product launch
Just in Time
  • Strategic inventory management to save time and costs
  • Edge over competitors by way of increased service quality
Consolidation Hub
  • Commodities imported can be consolidated and stocked duty-free until required
  • Goods from different locations can be consolidated for exporting, reducing logistics cost and time-consumption
  • Defer Duty payment and compliance to Allied Acts whilst goods are still in FTWZ
  • Sufficient time to acquire necessary licenses and certificates, and avoid demurrages at gateways
  • Goods in FTWZ have the same tax concessions as Bonded, EOU & SEZ goods
  • Movement of goods from FTWZ into DTA is considered an import, and all Exemption/ concessions are available at par with normal import
  • Simplified export procedures as physical export transactions get completed once goods are moved into FTWZ
  • The exporter can claim export concessions as soon as goods have moved into FTWZ.
  • Availability of open/demarcated area for convenient storage of bulk and sensitive commodities
  • Single window clearance for goods otherwise requiring Regulatory approvals
  • Warehousing standards adhered to all Industry verticals
  • State of art Material Handling Equipment


Vendor Managed Inventory

  • Single facility (FTWZ)
  • Multi Vendors (Oversea entity or Indian entity)
  • Single Buyer
  • All vendors become registered a/c holders (client of Serama FTWZ Unit)
  • In FTWZ, Vendors/Buyer can have a quality check, if rejected, can be export back to the supplier, do consolidation of multi-shipment into single sale order.
  • All vendors will transfer their goods to Serama Logistics FTWZ Unit and hold the ownership.
  • Buyer issues pull orders to all vendors as per buyer's production/Sale requirements.
  • Vendors initiate sale order(Bill from parent country with address, Bill/Ship to Buyer with address and ship from Serama FTWZ)
  • On basis of the sale invoice, the buyer will file a custom bill at FTWZ custom and pull the goods.
  • Ownership transfer to buyer a/c on the filling of a custom bill with FTWZ custom official approval.
  • Serama Logistics FTWZ unit offers all logistics service including management of all Vendors Inventory, Order processing and release of goods to buyers as per vendors instructions.

Supplier Managed Inventory

  • SMI (Supplier Managed Inventory), where Foreign supplier transfer their inventory (stock transfer) to Serama FTWZ, India without ownership transfer (as per Indian Govt Notification 60 /2010) Refer copy.
  • Foreign Supplier Can warehouse and trade the goods stored in their name to Indian buyer and Foreign buyers as well. Any combination of qty or combination of two to three shipments or can do pick pack the goods with value-added service are possible.
  • Trading in Freely convertible currency and remittance at supplier bank in their own country.
  • No issues on PE (Permeant Establishment) as there is no fixed place of storage of goods and Serama FTWZ unit is not an agent of the supplier.
  • Invoices are raised from the parent country of the supplier and shipped from Serama FTWZ, for e.g if supplier "ABC" is from the UK, then
    • -Billed from ABC, UK
    • -Billed /Shipped to Buyer ( It can be Indian or Foreign )
    • -Shipped from Serama FTWZ on a/c of ABC, UK
    • -Remittance of Payment at the UK Bank.
  • The buyer on basis of supplier Sale Invoice and packing list can do the customs clearance of goods at FTWZ custom as per Indian Custom Act (at par with normal import)
  • The supplier can also take back the goods if not sold.
  • All Logistics services including custom documentation will be carried by Serama Logistics on behalf of the supplier.

Buyer Managed Inventory

  • Any Buyer planning to buy material can make a buying platform in FTWZ
  • For Indian suppliers instead of selling to overseas countries, they can ship the material to FTWZ and bill to overseas Buyer.
  • The ownership transfer will happen when the cargo reaches FTWZ and the customs formalities (Bill of Export) completed.
  • The supplier can secure his payment based on this Bill of Export.
  • Any Buyer can procure from multiple manufacturers within India. E.g., the XYZ garment brand can procure the materials from different manufacturers from different locations within India like Tirupur, Ludhiana, Haryana, Banglore, etc.
  • The buyer can set up a quality check platform in FTWZ, rejected pieces will be returned to the supplier.
  • Buyer can set up an international trading hub with FTWZ
  • Multi-Currency Transactions are permitted
  • Secured and Transparent international transaction between buyer and supplier.
  • Cost-effective and time-saving process.