Import-Export Code

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Import-Export Code (IEC)

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Benefits of IEC

Overview and Benefits of IEC Code Registration for Import/Export Businesses in India

  • Import Export Code (IEC) is a 10-digit unique code that is mandatory for all import/export business owners in India. The Director-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce issues the IEC code, and there is no requirement for filing or renewal. The IEC number is essential for importers to clear customs and shipment and transfer money to foreign banks. Similarly, exporters require their IEC code to send shipments and receive money from foreign banks. In summary, no importer/exporter can operate in India without obtaining the IEC number.

Benefits of IEC Code

  1. IEC registration helps traders, including online e-commerce operators, venture into the global market.
  2. Businesses can avail government schemes like the Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS), the Service Export from India Scheme (SEIS), and others from customs and export promotion.
  3. No compliance requirements post-registration, making business maintenance relatively simple.
  4. The process of obtaining IEC Code is not tedious and can be obtained with minimal, basic documents.

Nature of the Firm Obtaining an IEC

  • Any individual, company, partnership firm, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), or other types of entities engaged in import or export activities can obtain an IEC. Whether you are an exporter or importer, having an IEC is mandatory for all such transactions. Even if a business is not actively engaged in import or export activities, but it plans to do so in the future, it still needs to obtain an IEC beforehand.

Prerequisites for Applying for IEC

To apply for IEC, the following prerequisites are required:

  1. A valid Permanent Account Number (PAN) card issued by the Income Tax Department of India.
  2. The applicant must have a bank account in the name of the firm or individual as IEC is issued in the name of the applicant.
  3. The business entity should be registered under the Registrar of Companies (ROC).
  4. The applicant needs to submit relevant documents such as identity proof, address proof, and details of the business entity to the DGFT office.


  • Any business engaged in import and export activities in India can register for an IEC license, regardless of its size or type of registration (sole proprietorship, partnership, private limited company, or charitable organization). However, an IEC Number is not required for the import/export of goods for personal use, that are not connected with trade, manufacture, or agriculture. No business set up is required to apply for an IEC license.

Import Export Code (IEC) registration in India is a straightforward process that can be completed online. Follow the steps below to register for an IEC license: 

  1. Visit the official website of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), which is responsible for IEC registration in India.
  2. If you are a new user, create a new account by clicking on the ‘Register’ button and providing your basic information such as name, email address, and phone number.
  3. Once you have registered, log in to the DGFT website using your registered email ID and password.
  4. Click on the ‘Online IEC Application’ button on the homepage to access the IEC application form.
  5. Fill out the IEC application form with the required details, including the name and address of the individual or firm, PAN number, bank account details, and contact information.
  6. Upload the necessary documentation, such as the PAN card of the company (or the applicant’s PAN and Aadhaar card if applicable), incorporation certificate/partnership deed, address proof, and a copy of the cancelled cheque leaf or banker certificate of the current account in the company’s name. 
  7. Pay the IEC application fee online using internet banking, debit card, or credit card.
  8. Review the application and click on the ‘Submit’ button to complete the registration process.
  9. Once you have submitted the application, you can track the status of your application online. You will receive an IEC certificate on your registered email ID once the IEC is issued.

Why Start-Up Kro?

  • Had a bad experience with an online retailer and would like to make a complaint? Then, Start-Up Kro is a your Personal Start-up Accelerator. You can schedule a consultation with our team of experts to guide you through the process and provide support in resolving any issues you may be facing. Our legal experts can serve as your advocate and assist you in taking the necessary actions to resolve the matter if you have been unable to do so on your own. This includes sending a legal notice and initiating any required actions with precision and accuracy.

from IEC

Exemptions from Import Export Code (IEC) Requirements in India

Certain persons or entities in India may be exempt from obtaining an import-export Export Code for their import and export activities. Here are the details of the IEC exemptions: It is important to note that importers and exporters who do not fall under any of the above categories must obtain an IEC to conduct import and export activities in India.

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