How to Apply IEC code & related DGFT FAQ's

ITC-HS Codes or better known as Indian Trade Clarification based on Harmonized System of Coding was adopted in India for import-export operations. Indian custom uses an eight digit ITC-HS Codes to suit the national trade requirements.

ITC-HS Codes Schedules

ITC-HS codes are divided into two schedules. ITC(HS) Import Schedule I describe the rules and guidelines related to import policies where as Schedule II describe the rules and regulation related to export policies. Schedule I of the ITC-HS code is divided into 21 sections and each section is further divided into chapters. The total number of chapters in the schedule I is 98. The chapters are further divided into sub-heading under which different HS codes are mentioned. Export Policy Schedule II of the ITC-HS code contain 97 chapters giving all the details about the guidelines related to the export policies.

Governing Body of ITC (HS) Code:

Any changes or formulation or addition of new codes in ITC-HS Codes are carried out by DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade). Commodity description, weeding out of defunct codes, addition of new codes, change of product description etc., are taken up periodically as a part of the ongoing process towards perfection.


Please refer for latest FAQs & Help Documents

The SIMS System

Q1.     What are the prerequisites for applying for SIMS?

Importers needs to register on DGFT Website by login on

Link the existing IEC (For more details please see IEC section FAQ’s)

Register the DSC under My Dashboards > View and Register Digital Signatures Token

Then they can apply for SIMS under Services > Import Management System > Steel Import Monitoring System (Click on Explore) > Apply for New Authorization

Q2.    Where we can apply for SIMS or where we can get the link to apply for SIMS?

SIMS under Services > Import Management System > Steel Import Monitoring System (Click on Explore) > Apply for New Authorization

Q3.    I have submitted the application but not received the registration / STL Number?

Please follow the below path to get the license / registration number for SIMS

My Dashboard > Submitted Applications

Enter Type of Scheme (Select in dropdown: Import Management System) and Type of Sub Scheme (Apply for SIMS)

Click on Search

Click on Action (Under the Results) > View Approved Licenses > View Letter

Q4.    What we can do if We are not been able to proceed as District and State Details were blank and non-editable?

The details of Branch (After Selecting the Branch from Drop Down) is getting populated from IEC. If the details were not reflecting, request to please apply for modification in

Q5.    What to do if IS Code mentioned in QCO Issued by M/s Steel is not available in dropdown?

 If IS Code mentioned in QCO Issued by M/s Steel is not available in dropdown, you may please

select the option of “NA, None of the above” and proceed.

Q6.    Where the notification of registration / license number under SIMS?

After Successful Submission, a notification goes on Email ID and Mobile Number registered under IEC mentioning the registration / license number for SIMS

Q7.    How many Manufacturers and Sellers we can add under one application for SIMS?

You can add only One Seller and One Manufacturer only under one license application for

Q8.    On Declaration Page of SIMS Registration, I am unable to proceed further, or System is not allowing me to click on “Save and Next”.

If user profile is not updated, please update your logged in user profile before submitting the application by clicking on your Username > Profile in the top right corner of If Designation is not appearing, the same needs to be updated on profile of User to proceed further.

Q9.    What does SIMS stand for? Why was it created?

SIMS is a Steel Importing Monitoring System instituted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India to provide advance information about steel imports to both, the government as well as relevant

Q10. What do you do with this information?

The purpose of the licensing system is to provide statistical data on steel imports entering India prior to arrival of the Once a week, the data submitted on the steel licenses are compiled, checked and published on the Ministry of Steel website for the public to analyze.

Q11. Who is required to fill out the license?

Any business importing steel products covered under the licensing program is required to create a license for concerned imports. Importers, importing agents, or brokers, may apply for this license. Please ensure that the contact person named on the license is knowledgeable about the license, should we reach out for queries/

Q12. Do I need license for each shipment?

Yes, a license is required for each customs You may include multiple products on one license as well.

Q13. May foreign filers apply for a license?

Yes, foreign filers may apply for a license if they have a valid Indian IEC (Importer Exporter Code) number.

Q14. What is the application fee?

A registration fee of INR 1 per thousand subject to a minimum of INR 500/- and a maximum of INR 1 Lakh on aggregate CIF value of imports will need to be paid through electronic mode in the online system for each import

Q15. What products are covered?

There are over 524 steel tariff lines (8-digit HS Code) that require registration for imports into A detailed list of these HS codes is available in the dropdown of the “HS Code and Description” field in the Items Details section of the application.

Q16.  Do Indian origin goods processed in a foreign country need a license when re-entering India?

Yes, all steel products that are entering into India require prior registration before imports

Q17. At what point in the importation process should the license be filled?

The license must be filled out prior to submitting the Bill of Entry with Customs. It should be filled out between 15 days to 60 days before the expected arrival of the imports into

Q18. How long is the license valid for?

The automatic registration number granted shall be valid for a period of 75

Information about SIMS License

Q1.       How do I apply for a license?

After logging in to the DGFT website, please select “Apply for SIMS” and start filling the relevant information for the concerned Post the payment of the fee, the license will be created.

Q2.    How exactly is ‘Exporter’ defined?

Exporter is defined in-line with the Customs Act, 1962. It is broadly defined as the person, country or company that is sending the goods into

Q3.    How exactly is ‘Manufacturer’ defined?

Manufacturer is defined as the entity which carried out maximum value addition on the product being

Q4.    How exactly is the ‘Country of origin’ defined?

This is defined in-line with the rules of origin definition laid out. These rules are different across various national and international Please ensure you refer to the relevant rules of origin while filling this field.

Q5.    How exactly is the ‘Port of exportation’ defined?

Port of exportation is the port in the exporting country from where the goods were dispatched for India.

Q6.    What if I’m unsure about the ‘HS Code’ for the product being imported?

HS Codes are necessary information that must be filled in for importing products. Request you to connect with technical experts to identify the HS codes for your concerned products before

Q7. What if I’m unsure about the ‘Technical detail’ for the product being imported?

Technical detail is important information that is requested. It is necessary to fill in relevant information in this field. Please connect with the manufacturer of your product for more details on this.

Q8. Can one license application cover multiple products?

 Yes, one license application can cover multiple SIMS has the provision of adding multiple items for each registration provided the importer, exporter, manufacturer, country of origin and port of exportation is the same.

Q9. How long will it take to create the license number for my registration?

 The SIMS license number is created immediately after completing the payment and clicking on the

“Final Submit” button.

Q10. What do I do if I don’t receive my license number after the registration process?

 Firstly, please ensure that the license is still not in your drafts. This happens if you forget to click the “Final submit” button post payment of the fee. If your query hasn’t still been resolved, please contact the DGFT helpdesk (1800111550) for

Q11. What if there is no specific IS Code that matches to the product I am importing?

 For HS-IS Codes that are covered under the QCO, it is important that you fill in the relevant information. In case there is no specific IS code that matches your exact specification, please select “None” and fill in technical information about the product being imported in the “Technical Details” field.

Q12. What if I do not have information about Indian steel players manufacturing the product I am importing?

If you are unaware about whether this product is being manufactured in India, please reach out to the industry and try gathering the information before importing. In case this information is hard to find, but you know this product is being manufactured in India, please select “Yes” and write “Unaware at the moment” in the conditional text box that opens

Q13. Where can I view my approved license?

After the application has been auto approved, the approved license is visible in the approved letters section of the submitted

Go to My Dashboard → Submitted Applications

Select, Type of Scheme → Import Management System & Type of Sub Scheme →Apply for SIMS

In the action section, select View Approved

Q14. Where can I view my previous license details?

A view SIMS registration section has been made available to the applicant where they can input the registration number as well as the IEC. This feature is available without login

Q15. What to do if I am unaware of the IS Code definition basis steel grade?

IS Codes specifications are created by the BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) for many In case you are unaware of the IS Code definition basis steel grade, request you to please research the BIS website for the relevant IS Codes. If you can’t find the IS code that matches your exact specification, please fill in technical information about the product being imported in the “Technical Details” field.

Q16. What if I discover an error after submitting the license?

For all licenses that are not yet submitted (applies to situations where the fee payment has also been made), you can modify the license from the “Drafts” section on the In case you have submitted the license application, no changes can be made.

Q17. How will I get to know that whether my payment process is successful or Unsuccessful?

After Successful payment you will get the Acknowledgement stating the Successful Submission of application. The Application Status can be tracked using ‘Track Status’ and Receipt could again be printed.

Q18. Will I have to remake the registration payment if I modify the license?

Presently, there is no provision for a modification. 

Q19. How do I cancel my license?

Licenses that are not yet submitted can be canceled by deleting the draft crated. In case the application has been submitted, cancellations cannot be

Q20. Will I receive refund for the registration payment if I cancel the license after submitting?

Presently, there is no provision for a

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