IEC, Import Export Code

What is IEC – How to apply IEC Code in India?

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In today’s time, everyone wants to grow their business beyond the limits of the domestic market but faces stiff competition. But before going global or international, one needs to follow several procedures and laws in place and get different registration and license. Import and Export Code is one of the requirements to grow the business globally. Expanding a business is one thing but visualizing an import/export itself can be difficult for an uninitiated person and the job is made difficult by various commercial jargon and legal procedures that international has.


What is Import Export Code?

Importer Exporter Code (also known as IEC, Import Export Code, IE License, IE code, etc.) is a 10 digit identification number. The regional office of the DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade) issues the code to Indian companies and business organizations. It is mandatory for every importer and Exporter carrying out business in India.

 There are certain processes and conditions that you need to fulfill in order to obtain the Import Export Code. You also need to adhere to certain regulations. Once you fulfill the conditions, you can get the IEC code in india from the DGFT offices. It has several regional offices throughout the country.


How to obtain the IEC Code?

In order to apply and get the Import Export Code in India, there are certain processes to follow. Every applicant must follow these steps.

  1. You need to get the application form for IEC Code in India. It is available online from the DGFT website.
  2. You can make the application in form no. ANF 2A.
  3. You need to furnish documents, such as a bank account, and PAN to apply for an IEC code in India.
  4. You need to fill up sections A, B, and D of the form and submit for getting the new code.
  5. You need to sign each page of the application form.
  6. You need to provide your passport size photo along with the documents and form.
  7. You have to send an IEC license fee of Rs.250/- (Rupees two hundred fifty only), along with your applications. The money has to be sent through EFT (electronic fund transfer) directly to DGFT.
  8. In case of offline submission, you have to pay through a demand draft for Rs.250/-(Rupees two hundred fifty only) to the Regional Office of DGFT.
  9. You also have to provide a self-addressed envelope with Rs.30/- (Rupees thirty only) along with the filled-in application form and other requisite documents.


What is the process involved?

In case one needs assistance whilst filing up the application of the IEC form, you can get in touch with the PRO of the regional or zonal office. You can fill the requisite form via an online portal.


Benefits of IEC
  1. Avail Government Benefits

DGFT, EPC, Customs, and other such government bodies offer benefits and schemes which can be availed only with an IEC.

  1. Minimal Compliance: Unlike other licenses, you only require basic documents while registering. You do not have to renew the IEC as it has lifetime validity. There is no requirement of filing returns with DGFT.
  2. Global markets: IEC assists traders to grow their business and not constrain to Indian markets.
  3. Efficient processing: DGFT issues an IEC with 5-15 days of submitting an application.
  4. No eligibility constraints: Any property owner can apply in their name (not necessary to have an established business) or under the company’s name. The code is valid for all the company’s branches, factories, and units.


Who can apply for IEC CODE?

An individual or a company that wants to do international business can get an IEC. Individuals can use either the name of their company or their name directly to apply for IEC.


Who issues IEC?

IEC is issued in electronic form (e-IEC) by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) which is under the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India.


IS GST IN Necessary?

In the GST regime, GSTIN would be used for the credit flow of IGST paid on the import of goods. Therefore, GSTIN would be the key identifier. DGFT in its Trade Notice No. 09 dated 12.06.2017 has stated that PAN would be the Import-Export Code (IEC). However, while PAN is an identifier at the entity level, GSTIN would be used as an identifier at the transaction level for every import and export. Further, in scenarios where GSTIN is not applicable, UIN or PAN would be accepted as IEC. It is advised that all importers need to quote GSTIN in their Bills of Entry in addition to IEC. In due course of time IEC would be replaced by PAN / GSTIN.

A trade circular vides notification no: 01/93/180/04/AM-18/PC-2 (B) by the government of India published in the official gazette has stated the above-mentioned information.


Our Corporate Professional Team is ever willing to provide assistance on any issue concerning GSTInsolvency and Bankruptcy LawBusiness Model Advisory in India and Abroad, Customs LawCorporate & Commercial AdvisoryIPRs. Secretarial Compliance, Agreement Drafting & Negotiations etc. you may write us on [email protected],  

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