Wednesday, 04 August, 2021
EPCH is an apex organization of trade and industry for promotion of handicrafts and is credited with organizing Asia's largest Handicrafts & Gifts Show.

Marketing Access Assistance (MAI)

(FAQs on MARKETING ACCESS INITIATIVE (MAI) SCHEME OF DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, MINISTRY OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY, GOVT. OF INDIA TO ASSIST EXPORTERS FOR EXPORT PROMOTION ACTIVITIES BY PARTICIPATION IN EPC LED ACTIVITIES)

Q1. What is MAI?
Ans 
Marketing Access Assistance (MAI) is a government grant/subsidy provided to member exporters for their export promotion activities like participation in EPC led international Trade Fairs/Exhibitions/ Buyer Seller Meets (BSM) abroad to explore new markets for export of their handicrafts or specific product(s) and commodities from India in the initial phase. The Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India has issued the Revised Market Access Initiative Scheme 2021 vide letter no. K-11020/9/2021-E&MDA, dated 19th July, 2021 for a period of five years. The complete details of scheme are available in the guidelines. Please (click here).

Q2. Is MAI grant available in case of direct participation?
Ans. 
No, MAI is not available in case of direct participation. It is availed through participation in Council led activities.

Q3. Who are eligible to avail MAI grant / subsidy?
Ans. 
Exporting companies (registered member of EPCH – if applying for the grant through the council) with a f.o.b. value of exports upto Rs. 50 crore (maximum limit) in the preceding year will be eligible for MAI assistance for participation in trade delegations / BSMs / fairs / exhibitions abroad.

Q4. Can one company participate in all the fairs organized by EPCs and FIEO/ITPO under MAI grant / subsidy and claim grants for all the events so participated?
Ans. 
No, as per MAI guidelines, MAI Funding support is only provided to a member participant company for a maximum of three MAI events in a year.

In order to ensure that the benefit of the scheme reach a larger number of exporters, a maximum of three participations in a particular trade fair / exhibition would only be eligible for MAI Assistance, i.e. members who have availed assistance three times (including past cases) for a particular fair / exhibition, thereafter have to participate in that fair on their own.
However, In the case of exporters belonging to SC/ST/Women and the exporters having f.o.b. value of exports of or less than Rs.50 crore in the preceding year, 5 participations in a year allowed, provided each one of these in different market (e.g. Africa, LAC, WANA, ASEAN, CIS, NEA etc).

Q5. What is the minimum period of membership required in the Council to avail MAI subsidy/ grant?
Ans. 
Members to have complete 12 months of Membership and is regularly filling return with the EPC.

Q6. Is it possible to avail MAI grant / subsidy towards participation by a parent company and also for it's sister concern under the supervision of a single representative?
Ans. 
No, two separate representatives holding Indian passport should be present on the occasion to represent their respective booths in EPC led events.

Q7. Is Reimbursement of Air fare under MAI available to eligible exhibitors for such international fairs / exhibitions?
Ans. 
Yes, eligible exhibitors having exports of or less than FOB value of Rs.50 crores, having minimum 12 Months Membership with the concerned EPC have to claim their air fare reimbursement after successful completion of the event within a period of 45 days of return to India. This reimbursement is Permissible only to the regular Director/Partner/Proprietor or a regular officer of the company on senior managerial position. (**Not admissible to a foreign national).

Q8. Under MAI what is the criteria of Airfare reimbursement for participation in International Events?
Ans. 
Maximum of Rs.75,000/- (Rs.1,25,000/- for Africa and American Continents) is permissible for economy airfare reimbursement to eligible exhibitors after successful participation in EPC led International Trade Fairs/Exhibitions. *However, the actual reimbursement amount shall be subject to the funds provided by the Ministry for the said purpose.

Q9.  Is travel by Business Class reimbursed under the MAI grant?
Ans.
 No, Funding under the MAI Scheme, is admissible only in the case of travel by economy class.

Q10. Is MAI support available for overseas buyers for fairs organized by EPCH in India ?
Ans. 
The Ministry of Commerce provides MAI grant to the overseas buyers to visit and attend Fairs organised by EPCs in India. Such events are Reverse Buyer Seller Meets. Subsidies / Reimbursements are provided to buyers (of the level of Director/ Senior Executive/ Sourcing Agent) to visit /attend/source from fairs / exhibitions (RBSM) organised in India by the concerned EPCs. Such approvals of events are subject to MAI terms and conditions of Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

Q11. Are Indian exhibitors eligible for MAI support for fairs organized by EPCH in India ?
Ans. 
The Council obtains MAI approvals of RBSMs (Physical/Virtual/Hybrid as per the nature of the event) from the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India and such support to the exhibitors of Reverse Buyer Seller Meets is subject to MAI terms and conditions.
            
Note: These FAQs are only of illustrative nature for ready reference and revised MAI guidelines 2021 may be referred for details. The specific cases/queries/claims shall be dealt as per revised MAI guidelines 2021 vide Notification No. K-11020/9/2021-E&MDA, dated 19th July, 2021 of Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India and subsequent revisions (if any) from time to time.

Revised Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme 2021

Revised Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme 2018

Submission of claims relating to reimbursement of airfare to members of EPCs to participate in an approved MAI events

 

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