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Import Export Code (IEC)

IEC (Import Export Code) is required by anyone who is looking to kick-start his/her import/export business in the country. It is issued by the DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade). IEC is a 10-digit code which has a lifetime validity. Predominantly importers merchant cannot import goods without the Import Export Code and similarly, the exporter merchant cannot avail benefits from DGFT for the export scheme, etc. without IEC.
IEC is required in the following situations

  • When an importer has to clear his shipments from the customs then it’s needed by the customs authorities.
  • When an importer sends money abroad through banks then it’s needed by the bank.
  • When an exporter has to send his shipments then its needed by the customs port.
  • When an exporter receives money in foreign currency directly into his bank account then its required by the bank.

Documents required for IEC (Import Export Code) Registration

For IEC Code Registration following documents are required:

Individual’s or Firm’s or Company’s copy of PAN Card
Individual’s voter id or Aadhar card or passport copy
Individual’s or company’s or firm’s cancel cheque copy of current bank account
Copy of Rent Agreement or Electricity Bill Copy of the premise

Benefits of IEC Registration

Expansion of Business
IEC assists you in taking your services or product to the global market and grow your businesses.
 Availing Several Benefits
The Companies could avail several benefits of their imports/ exports from the DGFT, Export Promotion Council, Customs, etc., on the basis of their IEC registration.
No Filling of returns
IEC does not require the filing of any returns. Once allotted, there isn’t any requirement to follow any sort of processes for sustaining its validity. Even for export transactions, there isn’t any requirement for filing any returns with DGFT.
Easy Processing
It is fairly easy to obtain IEC code from the DGFT within a period of 10 to 15 days after submitting the application. There isn’t any need to provide proof of any export or import for getting IEC code.
 No need for renewal
IEC code is effective for the lifetime of an entity and requires no renewal. After it is obtained, it could be used by an entity against all export and import transactions.

Frequently Asked Questions

The same IEC can be used for import and export both. Quite a lot of people have the wrong idea that separate IEC codes are required for Import and export, but this is not so. There is only one registration for import and export and the same IEC number can be used while importing as well as exporting. Moreover, there are plenty of advantages of having Importer – Exporter Code for businesses
It is assumed that IEC is only for import or export of goods. But it is necessary for both goods as well as services. Import or export of services is an international transaction. So any person providing services beyond the boundaries of India has to make online IEC application.  
IEC registration is a one-time registration. Since it has lifetime validity, there is no need to renew it. The IEC is to be quoted at the time of importing or exporting or paying or receiving payments. No returns are to be filed for IEC as there are no post registration compliances.    
Previously, the IEC department would issue a separate number for IEC code. Recently the Ministry initiated revisions due to which the PAN of an applicant will be the registration number of IEC. Hence the PAN and IEC number will be the same.  The Ministry will register the applicant under IEC and issue the approval letter immediately notifying PAN as their IEC number.  
IEC is mandatory only for business and commercial purpose. There is no need for IEC to import or export goods for personal use. Hence one can import or export goods without any registration for personal use.   
Not every firm has to apply for IEC. But IEC is associated with PAN. Hence, if a person has more than one proprietorship firm then for every firm only one IEC registration is to be taken. This is because proprietorship firm does not have a separate identity and so the PAN of an individual is used as PAN of their proprietorship firm. If one has allotted more than one IEC for one PAN then one has to surrender with the Ministry for cancellation.  A partnership firm or LLP or Company will need to quote their own PAN, as a separate PAN is allotted to them.   
The State government or Central government departments are not required to take IEC registration. They are allotted a fixed number which is quoted for any such transactions.   
Every person who imports or exports has to take IEC registration. It is mandatory to register a PAN with DGFT department if the business involves imports or exports even you have registered under GST.   IEC norms are very simple, don’t get affected rumours. Just focus on building your business internationally. But don’t forget to register under IEC and other registrations as applicable, to carry on business without any hassles.