The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the year 2012 mandated all Indian companies which have received Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and/or have made overseas investment in the previous year(s) including the current year, to file the Annual Return on Foreign Liabilities and Assets (FLA) via e-mail with the RBI by 15th day of July every year. The RBI subsequently enhanced the coverage of FLA by including –
- the reporting of inward and outward foreign affiliate trade statistics (FATS).
- reporting by the Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs).
In order to enhance the security-level in data submission and further improve the data quality, the RBI vide its A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 37 dated June 28, 2019 introduced a web-portal interface (https://flair.rbi.org.in), namely, Foreign Liabilities and Assets Information Reporting (“FLAIR”) and discontinued the e-mail-based reporting system, for submission of FLA by the reporting entities.
The RBI further issued the Foreign Exchange Management (Mode of Payment and Reporting of Non-Debt Instruments) Regulations, 2019 dated October 17, 2019 (“Regulations 2019”) which , inter-alia, regulates the reporting requirements for investment in India by a person resident outside India. The Regulations 2019 provides that an Indian company which has received FDI or an LLP which has received investment by way of capital contribution in the previous financial year including the current financial year, shall submit the FLA on FLAIR portal, on or before the 15th day of July every year.
The reporting entities are required to register themselves on the FLAIR portal by submitting the requisite information and documentation. It is imperative that the reporting entity goes through the user manual and FAQs provided on the FLAIR portal, prior to the registration. Further, the RBI has provided for FLA helpdesk numbers: 022-26578214 / 348 / 022-26572695 available from Monday to Friday, 10:30 am to 6:00 pm in case of any query related to registration or submission of FLA. The helpdesk can also be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information required to be filled in FLA includes investor-wise direct investment, FATS related details, overseas investment, disinvestment, first year in which FDI was received and other financial details. Upon successful submission of the FLA on the FLAIR portal, the reporting entities get system-generated acknowledgment. Further, the reporting entities have an option to revise the data (if required) by seeking online permission from the RBI, and view/download the information submitted on the FLAIR portal.
Delay in submission of FLA beyond 15th day of July is treated as a non-compliance of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 and regulations made thereunder. The Regulations 2019 provides that in case of delayed submission of the FLA, the entity responsible for filing the FLA shall be liable for payment of late submission fee.