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Import Export Code | IEC

Everyone wants to expand their company outside the boundaries of the domestic market in this era of cut-throat competition. But doing business worldwide isn't just a cup of tea for everyone. In India, for making export or import to another country the con

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What is IEC | Import Export Code?

Everyone wants to expand their company outside the boundaries of the domestic market in this era of cut-throat competition. But doing business worldwide isn't just a cup of tea for everyone. In India, for making export or import to another country the concern must have the license (registration certificate) of Import-Export code for making such transactions.

It is issued by DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade). It’s a 10 code (PAN of concern) issued by the authority which is valid for lifetime. Neither the Importers merchant import goods without the Import Export Code nor they can take advantage of DGFT for the export program, etc. without IEC.

This is a prerequisite criterion that concern needs to follow before making the import or export.

IEC required for transaction

Customs Clearance

When Importer import goods from other countries then at the custom port he needs to produce the IEC certificate for clearing the goods from the custom port. Goods will remove from custom port only when all the required documents along with duty will be paid by the importer and IEC is one the document which will be required here. Similarly when Indian trader exports its goods to outside the country then IEC will be needed.

➲ For Importer banking purpose

When an importer sends money into a foreign country through the banking channel then banks ask for an IEC certificate from the importer for such transactions. Without IEC certificate importer can’t transact (transfer of money) to a foreign county.

➲ Exporting of goods

When Indian trader wants to export its goods to a foreign country, then at the time of export Indian custom department will ask for IEC certificate, without it trader can’t make the export. It is one of the important documents while making export.

➲ Exporter Banking Purpose

When the exporter receives money from the foreign importer in the bank account then the exporter has to submit the IEC certificate to the bank for clearing the transaction.

Benefits of registration

Business expansion

Everyone wants to expand their company outside the boundaries of the domestic market in this era of cut-throat competition and for this, every trader want to do trade with a foreign country, which will lead to increase in customer’s base and branding in foreign countries

➲ Other Benefits

After getting an IEC certificate, the registered entity can avail of the several benefits of their importers/exporter from the DGFT, exporter promotion council, customs, etc. It will also help in banking transaction settlement when foreign currency is involve at the time of export/import. Banks ask for the IEC certificate for such transactions.

➲ No further compliances

Unlike other license or registration IEC is a one-time process, means no further compliance is needed to be done once after getting the registration certificate. This is one time and lifetime registration and after registration, no annual returns or compliances need to be fulfilled.

➲ No renewal

IE Code is valid over an entity's lifespan and does not require renewal. An individual/ business will be entitled to use it against all export and import transactions after it is acquired.

Features of IEC

Import Export Code or IEC is a 10-digit code for importation/export of goods/services by a company or person. DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India issues this code. This code is valid for a lifetime, that is, no need to renew it. This code is created within 5-7 working days of submission of the documents and all the correct information as required.

This code has many names, such as importers exporter code, import-export code, import license for exports, import number for exports, IE code, IE license, etc. You may issue this code either under your name or under the name of the business. Once issued it will be valid for all divisions/units/factories/branches thereof.

➲ 10-digit code (PAN number)

➲ One time registration

➲ No renewal

➲ One code for one business

➲ One code is valid for all branches/ factory/units with the same PAN

Steps for registration:

Step1. Verify PAN detail on DGFT site

Visit DGFT’s website and go for enrolment of IEC, Over their fill your PAN detail and verify with CBDT data, once it verifies then it will proceed further.

Step 2. Verify through OTP

After CBDT verification DGFT will redirect for OTP verification, you have to verify your email and mobile through OTP.

Step 3. Fill the Form

Once verification will be done the IEC form will be open in which manufacturer/seller/trader details need to fill. Put the name of the business, then business detail and address, then on next owners detail, then required attachment like business address proof and bank canceled cheque copy need to be uploaded in PDF form.

Step 4. Attach the attachments

After filing the details  of Business and its owner the next step is to upload the required document that is business address proof (Electricity bill/ rent agreement/ lease agreement/ other ownership proof) and bank detail (canceled cheque/bank certificate)

Step 5. Make the government fee payment

After all this scrutiny your form once and after this makes the payment of government fees that is of INR 500 (for registration) or INR 200 (for making modification in IEC).

Step 6. Submit the form

After all please submit the application after submission department will verify the information and within 2-3 days certificate will be issued

Document required for the registration:

➲ PAN card of Entity

➲ PAN and Aadhar of Company’s Directors/Partners/Proprietor

➲ Address Proof of Entity (any one of the following)

  • Rent agreement
  • Electricity Bill
  •  Sale deed
  •  Ownership Proof

Governance under Customs act

Import not involve remittance of foreign exchange.

In India import and export are governed under customs act 1962, this act tells us about when custom duty will be levied, how to calculate customs duty when to pay the duty, the procedure of import-export, consequences of non-payment of duty and others provisions related to export and import of goods.

Whereas the government has made customs tariff act 1975, under which the rate of duty for different products is specified. In customs tariff act two schedules are mentioned, schedule-1 deals with the rate of import duties and schedule II deals with the rate of export duties, there are only 49 items on which government charge export duty, which mentioned under schedule II.

Customs duty applies to the tax levied when shipped across international boundaries on the goods. The goal behind the levying of customs duties is to safeguard the economy, employment, environment, citizens, etc. of each nation by regulating the movement of goods, especially prohibited and restrictive goods, into and out of any country.

Each good has a predefined duty rate, which is calculated on the basis of various factors, including where such goods were obtained, where such goods were manufactured, and what such goods are made from. Also, whatever you first carry to India should be declared in compliance with the customs law. For example, you must report the goods purchased in a foreign country and any gifts that you purchase

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Import of Restricted Items in India

Restricted products can only be imported after the relevant regional licensing authority has issued an import licence. The goods covered by the license shall be disposed of in the manner specified by the licensing authority, which the license itself should clearly indicate. ITC (HS) includes a list of the restricted products. For capital goods, an import license is valid for 24 months, and for all other goods, 18 months.


For importing such products prior approval from DGFT is required under importing restricted products.



Application category

Mandatory information

(Scanned copy)

Live animals and bovine semen for breeding purpose

  • - NOC from concerned State Animal Husbandry department

Horses for Sportsmen

- Recommendation from Equestrian Federation

Import of Pets

  • - Pet Book along with return ticket

(if applicable) and any other relevant document

Import of live animals for R & D purpose

  • - Certification of having R & D facilities

Import of tyre scrap/lead scrap/battery scarp

  • - DIC/Udyog aadhar
  • - NOC from MOEF& CC
  • - CA certificate indicating production/consumption data for last 3 year

Import of Slag

  • - State pollution control board certificate

Import of Ozone depleting substance

  • - CA certificate indicating production/consumption data for last 3 year

Import of Wild animals under Animal Exchange Programme

  • - Recommendation of central Zoo Authority

Import of Arms and ammunition

  • - Arms dealer License
  • - Furnish sale detail of arms and ammunitions in preceding 3 licensing year (in RS)

For Supply to govt. Deprtts. Including police and defence furnish

  • - End User Certificate and
    • - Proforma invoice of supplier

Aircraft/Helicopter/Hot Air Balloons/UAVs

  • - DGCA permission number and date
  • - NOC from WPC of Deptt of telecom, if applicable
  • - Aircraft detail

Transmitter or communication device

  • - Regional WPC permission/NOC

Refurbished electronic item

  • - BIS registration certificate or exemption letter from MeITY

Import of Gold Dore

  • - NABL certification for first time importers
  • - BIS certification for subsequent import
  • - Pollution certificate from state
  • - DIC/Udyog Aadhar

Import of Silver dore

  • - Pollution certificate from state pollution control board
  • - DIC/udyog Aadhar

Exempted Categories IEC No.

Importer-Exporter Code (IEC) numbers are not required for the following groups of importers or exporters:

  • Exporters covered by clause 3(2) of the Foreign Trade (Exemption from Application of Rules in Certain Cases) Order, 1993 and importers covered by clause 3(1) [excluding sub-clauses (e) and (l)].
  • Departments or Ministries of the central or State Government.
  • people who are not involved in trade, manufacturing, or agriculture but are importing or exporting things for their own use.
  • People who are importing or exporting goods to or from Nepal as long as the CIF value of each shipment does not exceed 25,000 Indian rupees.
  • People who import or export items over the Indo-Myanmar border regions as long as the CIF value of a single consignment is under Indian Rs. 25,000.
  • However, unless an export falls under category (ii) above, the exemption from acquiring an Importer-Exporter Code (IEC) number must not apply to the export of Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipments, and Technologies (SCOMET) as mentioned in Appendix-3, Schedule 2 of the ITC(HS).
  • The categories of importers and exporters listed against the following permanent IEC numbers shall utilise them for import and export purposes.

The following permanent IEC number shall be used by the categories of importer/ exporters mentioned against them for import/ export purpose.


Code number

Categories of importer/ exporter






Departments or Ministries of the central or State Government and agencies wholly or partially owned by them









Departments or Ministries of the central or State Government and agencies wholly or partially owned by them










Indian diplomatic counsellor  officers in india and officials of uno and its specialised agencies







Indians who are returning from abroad and claiming benefits from baggage rule






Institutions /personnel/ hospitals  exporting or importing goods for personal benefits and not for trade commerce or manufacturing






Person importing or exporting goods from Nepal to India and India to Nepal






Person importing or exporting goods  from Myanmar through indo – Myanmar border



  1. How to surrender the IEC?
  1. IEC can be surrendered by notifying the issuing body that originally provided the licence. The issuing body must cancel the licence after receiving a licence surrender application and specifying the cause. The DGFT is then informed, and they in turn send the information to the customs, RBI, or any other relevant agencies informing them that the IEC is no longer functional.
  1. Is there any renewal of IEC?
  1. There is no renewal of IEC but there is an annual compliance in relation to this, the IEC holder must update their IEC before 30th June every year for keeping their IEC valid and effective.
  1. IEC Application Fees?
  1. For obtaining IEC the applicant needs to pay INR 500 as government fees and for any modification further the applicant needs to pay INR 100 as modification fees.
  1. Validity or Expiry period of IEC?
  1. IEC remains valid for throughout the life of entity until and unless applicant raise request for the surrender, it may get invalid if the IEC holder laps in updating it annually.
  1. Can IEC be modified?
  1. Yes IEC can be modified, for modifying IEC applicant needs to filed modification application with the required docs and detail.
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