How to Apply Importer Exporter Code (IEC): Stepwise Procedure By Kajal Govani

Application for Importer Exporter Code


Import Export (IE) Code is a registration required for persons importing or exporting goods and services from India. IEC is issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India. IEC, when issued, can be used by the entity throughout its existence and doesn't require any renewal or filing. Therefore, it is recommended for most organizations to obtain IEC, irrespective of if they need it at the moment.

IEC is required under the following circumstances:

  1. When an importer has to clear his shipments from the customs then it’s needed by the customs authorities.

  2. When an importer sends money abroad through banks then it’s needed by the bank.

  3. When an exporter has to send his shipments then it's needed by the customs port.

  4. When an exporter receives money in foreign currency directly into his bank account then it’s required by the bank.

IEC is not required under the following circumstances:

  1. Import/export of goods for personal use, which is not connected with trade, manufacture or agriculture.

  2. Import/export by government ministries and departments, and certain notified charitable organizations.

IEC application must be made to the Directorate General of Foreign Trade along with the necessary supporting documents. Once, the application is submitted, DGFT will issue the IEC within 05 Minutes (Earlier DGFT was taking 15-20 days for the issuance of IEC).

Features of Import Export Code

Business growth: Taking your services or products to the international market will enlarge your businesses. IEC enable you to sell products outside India.

Export Subsidies: On the basis of IEC, companies or firms can benefits and subsidies their exports/ imports from DGFT, Customs and export promotion council.

Lifetime validity: Once you are done with IE Code Registration and submit all the required documents, IE Code is issued for the lifetime of the entity and requires no renewal.

No Return Filing: IEC does not require the filing of any return. Once an IEC is issued there are no further procedures required to maintain the validity of IEC.

Individual can have IEC: Even individuals who are proprietors of a business can obtain IE Code in their name. It is not necessary to incorporate a business entity for obtaining IE Code.

Steps for Application of IEC:

Step 1: Application Preparation

In order to get the code, an application must be made in the ANF 2A (Aayaat Niryaat Form 2A) format to the DGFT in that region where the registered office of the company is established. The government has also arranged an online filing facility for obtaining IEC CODE ONLINE.

Step 2: Application Processing

Details of the business and its proprietors, directors or partners, bank account details and a bank certificate are the basic requirements of ANF 2A. All the required documents for IEC need to be submitted with ANF 2A.

Step 3: IEC fee payment

Once the application is complete, it should be filed with DGFT and an application fee needs to be paid to the government. IEC department may send back your application for correction/change. You need to reply back to the DGFT in 15 days. Fess will be Rs.500.

Step 4: IE Code Issuance

Once the application is completely verified by the department, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade will allot an IEC for your business. This IEC comes in both soft copy and hard copy. You receive the softcopy via email as well as online also and can start the import-export transaction with this.

Documents Required For IEC (Earlier)

IEC Documents In Respect Of Individual / Proprietor / Partner / Director

  1. Copy of PAN Card

  2. Passport size photograph

  3. Copy of Aadhaar Card/ Voter identity card

  4. Authorization letter (In case of Partnership)

  5. Authority from other Directors on letterhead (In case of Company)

  6. Copy of Partnership deed (In case of Partnership)

  7. Board Resolution/self-declaration (In case of Company)

  8. Telephone Bill in the name of the Individual (In case of an individual)

  9. Cancelled cheque of individual

IEC Documents In Respect Of Entity

  1. Copy of PAN Card firm/company

  2. Copy of Property papers (If owned property)

  3. Copy of Rent agreement (If rented property)

  4. Landlord NOC (Format will be provided by us)

  5. Cancelled cheque of firm/Company

  6. Telephone Bill in the name of the business

  7. Electricity/ water bill (Business Place)

  8. Certificate of incorporation (In case of Company)

  9. Bank statement of firm/company

  10. AOA and MOA (In case of Company)

  11. letter head of company (In case of Company)

  12. Digital Signature of one of Partner or Director

It has been observed that Exporters/Importers are facing various problem in obtaining and modifying IEC due to inter alia, Internet browser dependencies and other browser setting and Digital Signatures. Therefore, in order to automate the process of issue of IEC and thereby simplifying the business procedure for improving “EASE OF DOING BUSINESS”, automotive PAN verification has been now enforced in the IEC system. For these purpose, the DGFT vide Public Notice No 27 dated 08.08.2018 has notified that IEC will be auto generated by the system and applicant can print out the same. 

The system adopted by DGFT integration with CBDT comes into force w.e.f 09th August, 2018. Trade Notice No 23/2018-19 New Delhi, Dated the 8 th August,2018.

Documents Required For IEC (NOW From 09th August, 2018)

Mandatory Documents to be uploaded for new IEC

     (a)   Bank Certificate / Pre-printed Cancelled Cheque
     (b)  Address Proof of the firm

Any of the Following Documents:

Sale deed | Rent agreement | Lease Deed | Electricity bill | Telephone Landline bill | Mobile Post-paid bill | MOU | Partnership Deed

Other acceptable documents (for Proprietorship only): Aadhar Card | Passport | Voter Id

In case the address proof is not in the name of the applicant firm, a No Objection Certificate (NOC) by the firm premises owner in favor of the firm along with the address proof is to be submitted as a single PDF document

Not Required:

  1. Digital Signature Certificate

  2. Copy of PAN Card

  3. Photograph

Earlier a Separate IEC No given by DGFT. Now the PAN of the Applicant will be the IEC Code of the Application.

Further Entities got the IEC before Amendment has to get new IEC which is PAN-based, their earlier IEC is no longer available not even status of that IECs is available on DGFT site.

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