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RBI Compounding Application

RBI Compounding Application Process: Ensuring Compliance and Mitigating Risks

This article delves into the comprehensive process of compounding contraventions under FEMA, highlighting the steps involved, compliance requirements, business impact, and the tools available to facilitate compliance.

Compounding application process – The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) plays a pivotal role in regulating foreign exchange transactions in India through the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999. As part of its regulatory framework, the RBI provides a mechanism for compounding contraventions under FEMA, allowing individuals and entities to voluntarily disclose and rectify breaches of FEMA provisions. 

This article delves into the comprehensive process of compounding contraventions under FEMA, highlighting the steps involved, compliance requirements, business impact, and the tools available to facilitate compliance.

Definition of Compounding:

Compounding involves admitting a violation of any provision of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) of 1999. It encompasses acknowledging a contravention, pleading guilty, and seeking redressal. This includes breaching the rules, regulations, notifications, orders, directions, or circulars issued under the Act. Section 15 of FEMA, 1999 permits the compounding of contraventions. The contravention must be compounded within 180 days from the date of receipt of the application.

When Should One Make a Compounding Application?

An individual or entity should apply for compounding when they become aware of a contravention of the FEMA, 1999 provisions. This awareness may arise from notification by the Reserve Bank, other statutory authorities, auditors, or through any other means. Additionally, individuals or entities can proactively apply for compounding, known as suo moto, upon discovering the contravention themselves.

Understanding the Compounding Process:

  1. Submission of Application: An application for compounding of contravention under FEMA, 1999 can be submitted to the Compounding Authority (CA) upon being advised or becoming aware of a contravention. The application must be in the prescribed format as per the Foreign Exchange (Compounding Proceedings) Rules, 2000.
  2. Documentation and Fee: The application, along with relevant documents and a fee of Rs. 5000/-, must be submitted to the designated address in Mumbai. The documentation should support the facts related to the contravention.
  3. Processing and Hearing: Upon receipt, the CA examines the application and may call for additional information or documents relevant to the compounding proceedings. The contravener and other concerned parties are provided with an opportunity to be heard before passing the Compounding Order.
  4. Assessment of Contravention: The nature of contravention is assessed based on factors such as its technicality, severity, and potential implications on national security or money laundering. The RBI reserves the right to classify contraventions accordingly.
  5. Compounding Order: Upon completion of the assessment, the CA issues a Compounding Order specifying the contravention provisions under FEMA, 1999. The order quantifies the amount of contravention, if compoundable.
  6. Additional Information and Rejection: The CA may request further information or documents during the proceedings. Failure to provide such information within the specified time may lead to rejection of the application.
  7. Referral for Investigation: In cases warranting further investigation, the RBI may refer the matter to the Directorate of Enforcement or other relevant authorities for appropriate action.

Document Requirements for Compounding:

  • Applicant Details: Includes name, date of incorporation, Income-tax PAN, nature of activities, and details about the foreign investor.
  • Details of Inward Remittances: Lists remitter names, total amount received, dates of receipt, and reporting dates to RBI.
  • Details of Shares Allotted: Provides information about investors, dates of allotment, number of shares allotted, amounts, and reporting dates to RBI.
  • Excess Share Application Money: Records excess share application money, dates of refund, amounts in forex, and RBI approval details.
  • Authorized Capital: Displays authorized capital details including dates, amounts, and filing information with the Registrar of Companies (ROC).

(Note: Reporting dates to RBI should be indicated, not to the AD)

Compliance Requirements:

The Compounding application process entails strict adherence to RBI guidelines and regulatory requirements. Applicants must ensure:

  • Accurate and complete disclosure of contraventions.
  • Timely submission of application and supporting documents.
  • Compliance with prescribed fee payment and format requirements.
  • Cooperation during the compounding proceedings, including attending hearings if required.
  • Adherence to RBI’s classification of contraventions and provision of additional information as requested.

Business Impact:

The compounding application process significantly impacts businesses by:

  • Mitigating legal and reputational risks associated with non-compliance.
  • Facilitating resolution of contraventions in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Demonstrating commitment to regulatory compliance and ethical business practices.
  • Avoiding potential penalties, sanctions, or regulatory enforcement actions.
  • Enhancing investor confidence and stakeholder trust in the organization’s governance and risk management framework.

Compliance Tools:

To streamline the compounding application process and ensure compliance, businesses can leverage:

  • Compliance Management Systems by implementing robust systems to track and manage regulatory compliance obligations, including compounding requirements under FEMA.
  • Internal Controls and Procedures by establishing internal controls and procedures to identify, report, and rectify instances of non-compliance promptly.
  • Training and Awareness Programs by conducting regular training sessions and awareness programs to educate employees about regulatory requirements and the importance of compliance.
  • Legal and Compliance Advisory Services by seeking guidance from legal and compliance professionals to navigate the Compounding application process effectively and address any regulatory challenges.
  • Technology Solutions by exploring technology-enabled solutions such as compliance software and digital platforms to automate and streamline compounding-related processes.


The RBI’s Compounding application process under FEMA, 1999 provides a structured framework for addressing contraventions and promoting regulatory compliance among individuals and entities engaged in foreign exchange transactions.

By understanding the Compounding application process, fulfilling compliance requirements, and leveraging appropriate tools and resources, businesses can proactively manage risks, enhance regulatory compliance, and uphold their reputation as responsible corporate citizens in the global marketplace.

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