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Export Bond for GST & Letter of Undertaking

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  • Post published:October 5, 2023
  • Post category:GST News


GST Export Bond & Letter of Undertaking

In India’s ever-evolving taxation landscape, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) stands as a transformative milestone. Introduced in 2017, GST has revolutionized the nation’s taxation system by unifying many indirect taxes into a comprehensive framework. Its significance in simplifying tax compliance, enhancing transparency, and fostering economic growth cannot be overstated.

This article embarks on a journey to demystify two vital facets of GST about international trade and export businesses: the Export Bond and the Letter of Undertaking (LUT). These financial instruments serve as linchpins in facilitating cross-border commerce while ensuring tax adherence.

 GST and Its Impact on Exports

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a comprehensive indirect tax that replaced a myriad of taxes in India, such as excise duty, service tax, and value-added tax. GST was introduced with the primary objectives of streamlining the taxation system and fostering economic growth. Under this tax regime, the country is treated as a unified market, making it easier for businesses to operate across state borders.

When it comes to international trade and exports, GST plays a significant role. It is essential to comprehend the fundamental principles of GST and how they apply to export transactions. GST is a destination-based tax, which means that tax is levied based on the consumer’s location or the place of supply. For exports, this implies that the tax is not levied on the export itself, as the destination is outside the Indian territory.

Export of Goods and Services

In the realm of GST, exports are broadly categorized into two categories: the export of goods and the export of services.

  • Export of Goods: This pertains to the physical movement of tangible products from India to a foreign destination. It encompasses goods that leave the Indian territory and are meant for consumption or use abroad. Exporting goods typically involves submitting various documents, including shipping bills, to provide evidence of the goods leaving the country.
  • Export of Services: This category includes services provided by Indian service providers to recipients outside India. It could involve IT services, consulting, software development, and more. Certain conditions must be met to qualify as an export of services under GST, including that the supplier and recipient are in different countries.

What is an Export Bond?

An Export Bond, in the context of GST compliance, is a financial instrument furnished by a registered taxpayer engaged in the export of goods or services. It guarantees the government that the taxpayer will fulfil their GST obligations concerning export transactions. Essentially, it is a commitment to abide by the rules and regulations governing the export of goods or services under the GST framework.

The primary role of an Export Bond is to facilitate the export process by allowing businesses to forego the upfront payment of Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) on the exported goods or services. Instead of paying the tax at the time of export, the taxpayer provides a bond, ensuring they will fulfil their tax liability on exports later. This mechanism eases the working capital burden on exporters, enabling them to allocate resources more efficiently.

Eligibility and Conditions for Export Bond

To be eligible for availing an Export Bond in GST, businesses must meet certain criteria:

  • Registered Exporter: The taxpayer must be registered under GST and have an active Goods and Services Taxpayer Identification Number (GSTIN).
  • Exporter of Goods or Services: The entity should be engaged in exporting goods or services to foreign countries.

Conditions for availing an Export Bond:

  • No Adverse Compliance Record: The taxpayer should not have a history of significant non-compliance with GST regulations, including defaulting on tax payments or non-filing returns.
  • Valid Export Order: An Export Bond can typically be obtained only if a valid export order is in place, indicating the intention to export goods or services.
  • Financial Stability: The business should have a stable financial track record, ensuring it can fulfil its GST liabilities when they become due.

Benefits and Limitations of Export Bond


  • Working Capital Relief: The most significant advantage of opting for an Export Bond is its relief on working capital. Exporters can use their funds for operational needs instead of tying them up in upfront tax payments.
  • Simplified Export Process: Export Bonds streamline the export process by eliminating the need for immediate tax payment during export, reducing bureaucratic hurdles.


  • Bond Amount: Exporters must provide a bond equivalent to the tax liability on the exported goods or services. This amount can vary based on the nature and value of the exports, which may burden some businesses financially.
  • Compliance Responsibility: Choosing an Export Bond means the taxpayer must diligently fulfil their GST obligations and comply with the conditions mentioned in the bond. Failure to do so can result in penalties and the forfeiture of the bond amount.

Introduction to Letter of Undertaking (LUT)

A Letter of Undertaking (LUT) is a crucial document in Goods and Services Tax (GST) compliance, especially for businesses that export goods or services. An LUT is a legal undertaking provided by a registered taxpayer to the GST authorities. It serves as a commitment that the taxpayer will abide by the GST regulations concerning exports and will fulfil their tax liabilities as required by law.

The primary role of an LUT is to simplify the GST compliance process for exporters. It eliminates the need for exporters to pay the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) on their exports upfront. Instead, they can export goods or services without paying any tax at the time of export and without a bond requirement. The LUT ensures that the taxpayer will fulfil their tax obligations on the exported goods or services within the specified period.

Eligibility and Conditions for LUT

To be eligible for obtaining an LUT for GST compliance, businesses must meet specific criteria:

  • Registered Exporter: The taxpayer should be registered under GST and have a valid Goods and Services Taxpayer Identification Number (GSTIN).
  • Exporter of Goods or Services: The entity must be engaged in exporting goods or services to foreign countries.

Conditions for obtaining an LUT:

  • Clean Compliance Record: The taxpayer should have a history of compliance with GST regulations, including the timely filing of returns and payment of taxes. A good compliance record is crucial for the approval of an LUT.
  • Valid Export Order: An LUT can typically be applied when a valid export order is in place, indicating the intent to export goods or services.
  • Financial Stability: The business should have a sound financial standing, ensuring its capacity to meet GST liabilities when they fall due.

Benefits and Limitations of LUT


  • Working Capital Advantage: One of the primary advantages of opting for an LUT is that it provides working capital relief to exporters. They can utilize their funds for operational needs instead of locking them in immediate tax payments.
  • Streamlined Export Process: LUT simplifies the export process by eliminating the requirement for upfront tax payment during export, reducing administrative complexities.


  • Compliance Responsibility: Choosing a LUT means that the taxpayer must diligently fulfil their GST obligations, including the timely payment of taxes on exported goods or services. Non-compliance can lead to penalties and the revocation of the LUT facility.
  • Stringent Eligibility Criteria: The eligibility criteria and conditions for obtaining an LUT are stringent. Not all businesses may meet these requirements, making it important for exporters to evaluate their eligibility.

Application Process for Export Bond

  • Eligibility Check: Ensure that your business meets the eligibility criteria for Export Bonds. If your business qualifies, proceed to the next steps.
  • Bond Format: Prepare the bond in the required format. It should include the bond amount, validity period, and authorized signatories.
  • Financial Security: Arrange for the financial security required for the bond. This typically involves providing the GST authorities with a bank guarantee or cash deposit.
  • Application Submission: Submit the bond and supporting documents to the relevant GST office. Ensure that all paperwork is complete and accurate.
  • Verification: The GST authorities will verify the submitted documents and financial security. This process may take some time.
  • Bond Approval: Once the verification is complete and the authorities are satisfied, they will approve the Export Bond.
  • Bond Execution: After approval, execute the bond by signing it with authorized officials.
  • Bond Registration: Register the bond with the customs department, as it is an essential document for export clearance.

Application Process for LUT

  • Eligibility Check: Ensure that your business meets the eligibility criteria for LUTs. Eligible exporters can proceed with the application.
  • Application Form: Obtain the LUT application form (GST RFD-11) from the GST portal or office.
  • Complete Application: Fill out the LUT application form with accurate information. Ensure that an authorized signatory duly signs it.
  • LUT Submission: Submit the completed LUT application form to the GST authorities.
  • Verification: The GST authorities will verify the provided information and eligibility for an LUT.
  • LUT Approval: Upon successful verification, the authorities will approve the LUT application.
  • Validity Period: LUTs are typically valid for one financial year. Ensure that you renew it annually if required.

Required Documentation

The following are commonly required documents for both Export Bonds and LUTs:

  • Eligibility Certificate: To prove eligibility for an LUT or Export Bond.
  • Bank Guarantee or Cash Deposit: Required for Export Bonds.
  • Letter of Authorization: Authorizing signatories for bond execution.
  • LUT Application Form (GST RFD-11): Required for applying for an LUT.
  • Financial Statements: To assess the financial stability of the business.
  • Copy of GST Returns: Providing evidence of GST compliance.
  • Any Other Documents: Additional documents as specified by the GST authorities.

Compliance Requirements

Here are the compliance requirements and responsibilities for businesses opting for these mechanisms:

Export Bond Compliance:

  • Bond Validity: Ensure that the Export Bond remains valid throughout the export transactions. Renew the bond before its expiration, if necessary.
  • Exports Records: Maintain accurate records of all export transactions, including invoices, shipping documents, and foreign exchange realization.
  • Export Documentation: Prepare and submit all required export documentation per GST regulations.
  • Bond Utilization: Properly utilize the bond amount to pay integrated GST (IGST) on exports.
  • Bond Cancellation: If the bond is no longer required or applicable, follow the proper procedure for bond cancellation.

LUT Compliance:

  • LUT Validity: Keep track of the validity period of the Letter of Undertaking. Renew the LUT annually to ensure continuous compliance.
  • Timely Submission: Ensure timely submission of the LUT application and any required renewals.
  • Export Records: Maintain comprehensive records of export transactions, including invoices, shipping details, and foreign exchange realization.
  • Accurate Declarations: Make accurate declarations in the LUT application and any subsequent correspondence with the GST authorities.
  • Proper Utilization: Ensure that the LUT is appropriately utilized for GST-exempted exports.


In conclusion, Export Bonds and Letters of Undertaking (LUTs) are integral components of India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) framework, designed to facilitate and bolster the export sector. This comprehensive guide has shed light on the fundamental aspects of GST, the nuances of exporting goods and services, and the distinct roles of Export Bonds and LUTs.

By understanding these options’ eligibility criteria, conditions, benefits, and limitations, businesses can make informed choices that align with their specific needs. The application process, documentation requirements, compliance, and reporting responsibilities have also been demystified.

Ultimately, the judicious selection of Export Bonds or LUTs empowers exporters to confidently navigate the complex GST landscape, contributing to economic growth and global competitiveness.


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