For doing any business related to import and exports an entity at first have to obtain an IEC registration.

After the registration, they will be allotted with a unique code number from the DGFT. In this article, we will discuss in brief about the Import Export Code

What is an Import - Export Code (IEC)?

An Import - Export Code (IEC) is a 10 digit unique business identification number which is mandatory for those businesses involved in export and Import. No one can export any goods or services from India or Import any goods or services from outside India without obtaining an Import and Export Code unless specifically exempted.

Who issues the Import Export Code?

Import Export Code is issued by the Director-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India. 

Who are eligible to obtain the IEC?

The following are eligible to obtain the Import Export Code:

  • Proprietorship, 
  • Partnership, 
  • LLP, 
  • Limited Company, 
  • Trust, 
  • HUF, 
  • Society

The one who wants to do business involving import and export of goods are eligible to obtain the Import Export Code.

What are the documents required for IEC registration?

The following are the documents required for IEC registration:

  • In case of Individual’s or Firm’s or Company’s - a copy of PAN Card 
  • Copy of voter id or Aadhar card or passport of an Individual
  • In case of Individual’s or Firm’s or Company’s - Cancelled cheque of a current bank account.
  • For Address proof - a copy of Rent Agreement or Electricity Bill
What are the pre-requisites of IEC registration?

The pre-requisites of IEC registration are as follows:

  • Valid Mobile Number 
  • Valid Email ID
  • PAN Card
  • Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)
What is the procedure for IEC registration?

From 1st July 2020, an online registration facility has been unveiled by the DGFT. The entity has to follow the given steps for obtaining IEC registration:

  • At first, visit the official website of DGFT There on the homepage, click on the ‘Apply for IEC’ option
  • A new page will appear, where the requisite details need to be entered for the Registration. After entering all the details, click on the ‘Send OTP’ button.
  • The applicant will receive an OTP on their registered mobile number and email Id. The applicant will receive a notification consisting the temporary password on their mobile number and email id, after successful validation of the OTP. This temporary password has to be changed upon first login.
  • Now, select “Apply IEC” option again. A login page will appear, the applicant has to enter the login id and password as received after the successful user registration. 
  • A fresh application page will appear, there the applicant has to enter the following details:
  1. General Information
  2. Details of Proprietor or Partners or Directors etc as the case may be.
  3. Bank Information
  4. Other details such as the preferred sector of operations
  5. Declaration

After entering the above details, an application summary will appear, the applicant has to check and verify the same and then if everything appears to be correct, then they have to submit the details.

  • The applicant has to select the mode of submission i.e either through Digital signature certificate or Aadhaar OTP.
  • Then they have to sign the form. Thereafter, confirm and proceed to make the payment against the application. 
  • For Payment, they will be redirected to Payment Gateway (Bharatkosh). 
  • The Applicant has to pay Rs. 500 for IEC registration.

The applicant will receive the IEC Certificate in the registered email id and if required the same can be downloaded after login into their account. 

Earlier IEC was issued by the DGFT within 10 to 15 working days but now one can procure an IEC certificate quite early from the date of filing the application.

What is the validity of the Code?

The validity of the Import Export Code is for a lifetime.

What are the benefits of IEC?
  1. Expansion of Market: It helps to expand the business across the globe.
  2. No filing of returns:  Annual Filing or any type of filing is not required in the case of IEC.
  3. Several other benefits: Several other benefits from the DGFT, Export Promotion Council and Customs, etc can be availed with the help of IEC registration.
  4. Easy to obtain: The process for obtaining Registration is easy with minimal basic requirements.

Since the online registration services have been started, so it is advisable for those who want to avail the IEC. As now the registration process is very simple and very minimal paperwork is required for obtaining the same.

Edited by Minu Mishra

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