Simplifying the Importer Exporter Code Application Process with DGFT

Simplify your international trade journey with a seamless Importer Exporter Code (IEC) application process through DGFT, ensuring a hassle-free experience.

In this era of intense competition, individuals want to expand their businesses beyond national boundaries. The process of doing business globally has become easier with the Importer Exporter Code in modern times, thanks to the internet and the prevalence of advanced technology

However, it is important to comply with various procedures and regulatory requirements including obtaining specific registrations and permits before entering global operations One such important requirement is the IEC (Import Export Code) permit, also known as the Importer-Exporter Code.

An IEC licence is mandatory for anyone starting import/export activities in India. The IEC issued by the DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade) consists of 10 digits valid for life.

Specifically, commercial importers cannot move goods without complying with the Import and Export Act. Similarly, commercial exporters cannot benefit from the DGFT’s export schemes without a valid IEC.

When do you need the IEC code?

Obtaining an IEC code is necessary for importers and exporters as per the provision highlighted by DGFT and is related to EODC Online. Some of the situations, when you will IEC code, are:

  • When a party intends to facilitate the customs clearance of their shipments, the customs authorities mandate the requirement of an Importer Exporter Code (IEC).
  • If an importer engages in international monetary transactions through banks, the banking institution necessitates the possession of an IEC.
  • For an exporter to dispatch their shipments, the customs port mandates the provision of an IEC.
  • When an exporter receives foreign currency directly into their bank account, the possession of an IEC is mandated by the bank.

Advantages of Importer Exporter Code Registration

Following are some of the benefits of having an IEC code:

Importer Exporter Code
Importer Exporter Code
  • Business Expansion: IEC facilitates the global expansion of your services or products, fostering business growth.
  • Access to Various Benefits: Companies with Importer Exporter Code registration can leverage benefits from DGFT, Export Promotion Council, Customs, etc., based on their import/export activities.
  • No Obligation for Return Filing: IEC eliminates the need for filing returns. Once allocated, there is no requirement to undergo any processes to maintain its validity. Additionally, for export transactions, filing returns with DGFT is not necessary.
  • Simplified Processing: Obtaining an IEC code from DGFT is a straightforward process, typically completed within 10 to 15 days of applying. No evidence of export or import is required during the application process.
  • Lifetime Validity: IEC codes remain effective for the lifespan of an entity, eliminating the need for renewal. Once obtained, the code can be utilised for all export and import transactions without expiration.

How to register for the Importer Exporter Code?

Procedures for IEC (Import/Export Code) registration are stated below:

  1. Begin by visiting the DGFT govt website.
  2. Navigate to the homepage and click on the ‘Services’ tab.
  3. Choose the ‘IEC Profile Management’ option from the drop-down menu.
  4. Access a new page and select ‘Apply for IEC.’
  5. Click on the ‘Register’ option, input the required details, and click ‘Send OTP.’
  6. Enter the OTP received and click ‘Register.’
  7. After successful OTP validation, you will receive a notification with a temporary password. You can change it upon logging into the DGFT website.
  8. Log in to the DGFT website using your username and password after registration.
  9. On the DGFT website dashboard, select ‘Apply for IEC.’
  10. Click on ‘Start Fresh Application.’
  11. Provide general information, details of proprietor/partner/director/Karta/managing trustee, bank information, and other necessary details, attach the Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) and make the payment.
  12. Following successful payment, you will be redirected to the DGFT website, where the receipt will be displayed. Download the receipt for future reference.
  13. The IEC Certificate will be sent via email. Access it by logging into the DGFT website and selecting the ‘Print IEC’ option under ‘IEC Profile Management.

Documents needed for Importer Exporter Code Registration

To complete the IEC Code Registration process, the following documents are necessary:

  • Copy of PAN Card for individuals, firms, or companies.
  • Voter ID, Aadhaar card, or passport copy for the proprietor.
  • Evidence of establishment, incorporation, or registration for partnerships, societies, proprietorship firms, companies, HUF, etc.
  • Proof of business premise address, such as a sale deed, lease deed, rent agreement, or utility bills (electricity, telephone, or mobile bills).
  • Cancelled cheque copies of current bank accounts for individuals, companies, or firms.
  • A self-addressed envelope for the delivery of the IEC certificate via registered post.

Where the Importer Exporter Code is not mandatory?

  • According to the latest circular issued by the government, the Importer Exporter Code is not mandatory for all traders registered under GST. In all such cases, the trader interprets the PAN as a new IEC code for import and export.
  • Export or import of goods is for personal purposes and not used for any commercial purpose Import Export Code (IEC) Export/ Import by Departments and Ministries of Government of India and Notified Charities does not require Import Export Code.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is the Importer Exporter Code mandatory?

Yes, an Importer-Exporter Code (IEC) is mandatory for importing to India or exporting from India. It serves as a crucial business identification number for import/export businesses. Importing or exporting without an IEC is not allowed unless specifically exempted. However, IEC is not required for services exports, except when the service provider is availing benefits under the Foreign Trade Policy.

Q2. How much time does it take to get the Importer Exporter Code?

Once the online application is submitted, along with the appropriate fees and necessary documents, the Importer Exporter Code will be auto-generated. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) will send the IEC Certificate to the applicant via email.

Q3. Can individuals obtain an Importer Exporter Code?

Yes, individuals acting as proprietors of a business can obtain IEC registration. Individuals can apply for IEC using either their name or the name of their company.

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