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Import Export Code


Import Export Code

With the passage of time, the number of businesses that want to break the barriers of local markets and venture into global markets is only increasing. However, carrying out a global business is not everyone’s cup of tea. In case you are a business owner who wishes to take your business into international waters, there are certain laws that must be adhered to and certain procedures that must be followed. Licensing and registration must also be done to carry out importing and exporting. The first requirement before you start an import/ export business in India is to obtain an IEC(Import Export Code). An IEC is necessary for import/export of goods. IEC(Import Export Code) is known as many names such as importer exporter code, import export code, import export license, import export number, etc. IE CODE NO. is a 10 digit code which is provided by DGFT(Directorate General of Foreign Trade) required for import export transactions. You can take IE code in your personal name or company name. An IEC number issued to applicant shall be valid for all its divisions/ units/ factories/ branches. IE Code registration is permanent registration which is valid for a lifetime. Hence, there will be no hassles for updating, filing and renewal of IE Code registration. It is valid until the business exists or the registration is revoked or surrendered. Further, unlike tax registrations like GST registration or PF registration, the importer or exporter does not require to file any filings or follow any other compliance requirement like annual filing.

As IE code registration is one-time and requires no additional compliance, it is recommended for all companies and LLPs to obtain IE code after incorporation.

IEC is required by importers to clear customs and shipment, and to transfer money to foreign banks. Exporters require IEC to send shipments and receive money from foreign banks. In short, no importer/exporter can operate in India without getting the IEC.

In case the import/export is of services or technology, IEC is required in only limited circumstances, when import/export is in ‘specified services’ or ‘specified technologies’, i.e. services or technologies in which international trade is restricted by the Government of India as they pertain to national security, such as dealing in nuclear weapons, automatic guns, etc.


Conditions in which IEC Code is required

The following are the situations in which importers and exporters will require the Import Export Code:

  1. When an importer has to clear his shipments from the customs then an IEC code is required by the customs authorities.
  2. The IEC code is required by the banks when money is sent to abroad through banks by the importer.
  3. The IEC code is required by the customs port when the shipment has to be sent by the exporter.
  4. The IEC code is required by the banks when the money in foreign currency is received by the exporter directly in his bank account.

How to Apply for Import Export Code/IEC Registration

The application for registration is submitted on the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) website by the applicant. The full information regarding the list of documents required is provided on the website. The following steps have to be fulfilled by the applicant for applying for IEC code.

  • The first step in the registration of IEC code is that the applicant is required to go to the DGFT website and click on the Service Tab and is required to fill the details of his PAN Card
  • Then the applicant is required to enter the name, date of birth, incorporation details once is the PAN Card is submitted.
  • Upon the verification of the PAN Card, the next step is to provide the phone number and email id of the applicant for the OTP.
  • A 20 digit ECOM (e-commerce) reference number shall be provided to the applicant, as a unique identifier for the application.
  • Further, the applicant is required to provide the information regarding his import export business entity.
  • Now, the applicant is required to upload the supporting documents and the information so provided by the applicant will appear on the window in ANF- 2A Form.
  • Once your application is completed, you need to file with DGFT via DSC (Digital Signature Certificate) and pay the required fee for the IEC Registration.

Once all the above-mentioned steps are completed, the applicant shall receive an e- IEC certificate. And the import export license will be received within 15 days from the date of the application.


Documents Required for Import Export Code Registration

The Documents Required Are Relatively Less For Iec Registration. Only A Few Documents Are Required Which Are Listed Below For A Better Scope.

  • PAN card of the individual or company
  • Copy of the entity’s government ID (Driving license/Aadhar/Voter ID).
  • Incorporation certificate/Partnership deed.
  • Personal or company’s current bank account statement.
  • Address proof (Electricity bill/rent agreement/sale deed of the office location.
  • Copy of cancelled cheque leaf of the current account.


Benefits of Import Export Code Registration

Business Expansion

IEC code helps to make goods and services of the individual or company, reach to the global market and this leads to the expansion and growth of the business.

Obtaining several benefits

The individuals or companies can obtain several benefits on their import or export of goods and services from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Export Promotion Council, customs and etc on the grounds of their IEC Code registration.

No filing of returns

One the IEC code is obtain there is no need to file any returns. It does not require following any sort of processes for upholding the validity of IEC code once obtained. There is no need to file any returns with the DGFT for export transactions.

Easy Processing

Once the application is submitted for the registration of IEC code, it is quite easy to obtain it from the DGFT within a period of 10 to 15 days.

No renewal of IEC code

Once the IEC code is obtained, it is not required to renew the IEC code again and is effective for a lifetime of an entity and can be used by it against all the import and export transactions.


Any type of business registration: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Private Limited and Charitable organization dealing with the export and import of goods should register for Importer Exporter Goods.

Any type of business registration: sole proprietorship, partnership, private limited companies, charitable organizations dealing with import and exports of goods can register for import-export code, irrespective of the size. However, IE code is not required for Import/export of goods for personal use, which is not connected with trade, manufacture or agriculture. There is no need for a business set up.


When is it not compulsory to have an Import Export Code?

Another step has been taken by the government of India for ease of doing business. Now, no IEC code shall be required for Import/Export, as decided by the government via notification.

As a result, the importer/exporters need NOT apply for separate IEC code for import/Export in India.Import Export Code (IEC) isn’t required to be taken in case the goods exported or imported is for personal purposes and isn’t used for any commercial purpose. Export/ Import done by the Government of India Departments and Ministries, Notified Charitable institutions need not require getting Import Export Code. As per the latest trade circular by the DGFT, the PAN shall be construed as new IEC code for the purpose of import and export and the DGFT department shall also issue the new IEC code as your PAN number only.




About AuthorAbhishek Giri

Team MeraProfit