How to Start a IEC Registration

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An Overview of IEC Registration

With the rapid increase in globalization, nowadays, the opportunity of having a cross border business is also increased. Moreover, an IEC Registration also assists an individual in unlocking the growth opportunities of the international business. Further, every individual who wants to expand their business on a global platform by dealing with the Import and Export business is mandatorily required to obtain IEC Registration Certificate.

Hence, having an IEC (Import and Export Code) is one of the basic and essential prerequisites for expanding and running a business at the global level. Moreover, an IEC has various advantages annexed to it. One such benefit of an IEC Code is that it not only assists in unlocking the international market but also helps in increasing the business's growth level.

What is an Import Export Code?

IEC or Import-Export Code is a 10-digit code that an individual or a business needs for the import or export goods or services. Further, this code is allotted by the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India.

Furthermore, the validity period of this code is for a lifetime. This means that there is no need for the IEC code holder to apply for its renewal. Hence, the company having IEC is able to perform all requirements concerning import-export and related issues.

Usually, a period of 12-15 working days is required for the generation of IEC code once all the required documents are submitted and corrections are made. Further, having an IEC is mandatory and compulsory for every commercial importer or exporter in India. Hence, the business not having IEC is not qualified to undertake the category of import and export.

Features of Import Export Code Registration

The following listed are the Features of IEC Registration:

  • No business can indulge in the activities concerning Import or Export without obtaining IEC registration.
  • IEC works as evidence for the firm involved in the import or export of goods and products
  • Once an individual has obtained IEC, then the same remains valid for a lifetime. This means this code does not require any filing or renewal.
  • IEC Code is not required for the goods or services imported or exported either for individual or legislative purposes.
  • An IEC is obligatory and mandatory for making foreign bank transfers.
  • It is considerable for all parts of importers or exporters business.

Benefits of IEC Code Registration

The following listed are the benefits of IEC Registration:

  • Expansion of Business

With the help of IEC code license take your business global and an individual can easily and smoothly expand the business's reach in the global market. Further, an IEC not only provides an opportunity for the business to export goods outside India but also assists in creating a name for oneself in the international market.

  • Availing Several Benefits

Based on IEC registration, nowadays, businesses can enjoy and avail benefits provided by the EPC (Export Promotion Council), DGFT, and Customs.

  • No Need to File Return

IEC does not require the filing of return. Hence, once an IEC Code is allocated, there is no need to abide by any procedure for proving its legitimacy. Further, in any event, relating to export transactions, DGFT does not require the filing of any return.

  • Hassle-Free Processing

The process of obtaining IEC registration from the DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade) is genuinely simple and easy. Moreover, the same can be acquired within a period of 10-15 working days from presenting the application. Further, no evidence relating to export or import is needed subsequent for obtaining IEC Code.

  • Free for Lifetime

Once an individual has obtained his or her IEC, he or she can enjoy its validity till perpetuity since it is free for a lifetime, and there is no need to apply for any renewal.

  • Government Authorised

Import Export Code (IEC) acts as a government identity which is issued by the Director General of Foreign Trade. Hence, at the time of shipment clearance, one can show this identification number to the customs authorities.

When is IEC Registration Required?

The following listed are the situations which mandatorily requires IEC Registration:

  • When an importer wants to clear his shipments from the customs authorities, this code is required by the customs authorities.
  • Whenever an importer sends money abroad by way of banks, then the banks need this code.
  • If an exporter wants to send his shipments abroad, this code is required by the customs port.
  • Whenever an exporter receives money in the form of foreign currency directly into his bank account, then this code is required by the bank.
  • For obtaining Food Licensing and APEDA Licensing, having IE Code is a must.
  • Whenever an exporter wants to avail of some export subsidy, then this code is required by the export promotion council.

When is IEC Registration not Required?

The following listed are the situations which mandatorily requires IEC Registration:

  • When an importer wants to clear his shipments from the customs authorities, this code is required by the customs authorities.
  • Whenever an importer sends money abroad by way of banks, then the banks need this code.
  • If an exporter wants to send his shipments abroad, this code is required by the customs port.
  • Whenever an exporter receives money in the form of foreign currency directly into his bank account, then this code is required by the bank.
  • For obtaining Food Licensing and APEDA Licensing, having Import Export Code is a must.
  • Whenever an exporter wants to avail of some export subsidy, then this code is required by the export promotion council.

Who can apply for IEC Registration in India?

  1. Export Houses;
  2. Production facilities importing raw material;
  3. Entities intending to involve in EXIM Business;
  4. Exporter & Importer;
  5. Importers of goods or products seeking special authorisation from DGFT;
  6. Manufacturer cum exporter;

Note: IEC is available to the registered entities only in India. Hence, ensure to secure a Business Certificate in the first place before getting IEC Registration.

Documents Required for IEC Registration

Following are some vital documents required for IEC Registration in India:

  • PAN Card of the company (not applicable in case of the proprietor);
  • PAN Card and Aadhaar Card of the applicant such as Voter ID, Driving License, Passport, etc.;
  • Partnership Deed or Certificate of Incorporation;
  • Address Proof such as electricity bill or Sale Deed or Rent Agreement of the office location;
  • Copy of cancelled cheque leaf or Banker Certificate of the current account in the company’s name.

Procedure for IEC Registration

The steps involved in the process of IEC Registration are as follows:

Step 1: Obtain DSC from a Certified Agency: A Digital Signature Certificate is conferred by the Certification Authority & is signed with the private key of Chartered Accountant (CA). A Digital Signature Certificate entails the following details:

  • Serial Number;
  • Owner Name;
  • Digital Signature of issuer;
  • Public Key Expiration Date;
  • Public Key of the Owner;
  • Issuer’s Name.

Step 2: File an Application: After obtaining the DSC, the next step is filing application, the applicant can proceed to DGFT official website to apply for IEC Registration. To service this purpose, they must create a legit account on the website before completing the registration formalities.

Step 3: Submit Documents: At the time of filing the application, the applicant shall be prompted to provide above mentioned documentation and submit the same in the prescribed format along with the application.

Step 4: Payment: Proceed to the payment section to submit the requested fees upon submitting the application form.

Step 5: Inspection: After submitting the application for IEC Registration, the concerned authority shall initiate the inspection process to make some legal checks.

Step 6: Issuance of IEC Registration Certificate: After the verification or inspection of all the documents and application, the authority will issue the IEC Registration Certificate.

Note: IEC Registration is non-renewal & comes with lifetime validity.

Cancellation of IEC Registration

Following are the reasons for the cancellation of IEC Registration in India:

  1. Violating norms prescribed under Foreign Trade Policy;
  2. Import or Export of prohibitive items;
  3. Non-adherence to custom’s direction;
  4. Misleading custom authority by fabricating details in the shipping documents.

Exemptions under Import Export Code

The following listed are exemptions under Import Export Code:

  • The individual who is engaged in importing and exporting goods for individual purposes and not related to the trade, manufacturing, and horticulture are exempted from obtaining IEC registration.
  • People who want to export or import products to or from Nepal and Myanmar by way of China and Indo-Myanmar fringe zones with a single transfer that does not exceeds Rs. 25,000 in Indian cash does not require IEC Registration.
  • Exemption from acquiring IEC registration will not be valid for the export of SCOMET (Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment and Technologies) as provided in Appendix - 3, Schedule 2 of the ITC (HS).

What are the changes made under IEC for GST?

After the enforcement of the GST regime, the GSTIN (Goods and Service Tax Identification Number) would be used for the credit flow of IGST (Inter-state Goods and Service Tax) paid on the import of products. However, PAN is an identifier at the substance or entity level of the limit. In contrast, GSTIN would be applied as an identifier at the transaction level for each import and export. Further, the UIN (Unique Identification Number) or PAN (Permanent Account Number) would be acknowledged as IEC. Furthermore, all the importers are required to state GSTIN in their solicitations, nevertheless IEC.

The following listed are changes made after the implementation of GST Laws:

  • After the GST implementation, the traders were mandatorily required to declare their GSTIN at the time of import or export.
  • GSTIN would be used for the credit flow of the IGST on import of goods, and for the rebate or refund of the IGST concerning the export of goods.
  • Obtaining IEC will not be obligatory for all traders registered under GST.
  • Exports or Imports done by the Ministries, Government of India Departments, Notified Charitable Institutions do not require Import Export Code.
  • IEC is not necessary for the goods imported or exported for personal use.

FAQs of IEC Registration

IEC stands for Import Export Code. It is a mandatory requirement for every individual who wants to start an Import Export Business in India. Further, an IEC code is a 10-digit code allotted by the DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade).

An IEC code issued by the DGFT has lifetime validity.

The documents required for obtaining IEC Registration in India include PAN Card; Passport, Voter ID, or Aadhar Card of the applicant; Cancelled Cheque of the Current Bank Account; Rent Agreement for Address Proof; and Copy of the Utility Bill in the form of the electricity bill for premises.

Any person who is or wants to get involved in the business of import or export in India

No, a PAN Number is not the same as the IEC Code. PAN (Permanent Account Number) number of a company is used for obtaining IEC. In contrast, the IEC is issued by the DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade). Further, a PAN number is alphanumeric in nature, whereas an IEC code is a 10-digit numeric number.

Yes, an individual is eligible to apply for IEC (Import Export Code). However, the same eligibility applies only when he/she has a registered sole proprietorship business, alo0ng with a registered GST number.

To check the status, the applicant needs to visit the official portal of DGFT at www.dgft.gov.in. After that, the applicant needs to click on the option “Service” and choose the “IEC” icon. Now, click on “View IEC Status”. Lastly, the applicant needs to enter his/her credentials and information, and then press “Proceed”.

An IEC Branch Code denotes the code issued as per the information filled in the IEC Application Form. Further, an applicant needs the IEC Branch Code only when he/she has business in any other place in India other than the place where its registered office is located.

An individual needs IEC code is to operate Import and Export business from India. Further, this code will assist in obtaining goods clearance from the customs authority.

No, a person is not eligible to import goods in India without having an IEC Code.

In India, the authority to issue Import Export Code (IEC) is with the DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade), Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India.

For acquiring an IEC Certificate, the applicant needs to file an online application form. After that, the authorities will process and verify the details filled in the form. If the DGFT is satisfied with the details provided, he will issue an IEC Certificate to the applicant. Moreover, an IEC certificate has lifetime validity.

A draft certificate is a new concept that provides the benefits, such as one can modify progress without even deleting and re-issuing the certificate as well as can allow incrementally modify progress over various multiple sessions.

Usually, it takes around a period of 12 to 15 days.

No, obtaining DSC (Digital Signature Certificate) is not mandatory for getting an IEC Code.

Any individual who is having a registered business such as a Company, Partnership Firm, LLP, etc., and who wants to engage in the business of Import and Export is eligible to apply for IEC code.

The exporter can cancel his/her allotted IEC (Import Export Code) only by surrendering the same.

No, only one IEC is issued to a single person or entity. Hence, if anyone wants more than one IEC code, then he/she needs to surrender the previous one at the Regional Office for Cancellation.

Yes, one can surrender his or her IEC Code. For surrendering an IEC code, one needs to inform about the decision to the issuing authority. After that, the authorities will immediately cancel the applicant’s IEC number and will electronically transmit it to the DGFT for onward transmission of the same to the Customs and Regional Authorities.

No, there is no imposition of tax on an IEC code. However, the customs duty may be imposed on it. Further, the levying of tax also depends on the category of the products being imported or exported from India. To know about goods on which customs duty is imposed, the IEC holder needs to visit the official website of the Customs Department.

An IEC Code is neither hand-delivered nor over the counter. This code is actually delivered by way of a speed post. Further, in the case of deficiency letters, the same is delivered at the IEC counter, together with the Application form and Documents to the authorized person or Applicant.

Yes, we will send you a mail regarding the IEC code since the whole registration process is carried out online.

Yes, and IEC number is displayed in all the customs documents concerning exports and imports.

Only one IEC is issued to an individual or entity.

An Import and Export business is not possible without having a valid IEC. Further, the penalty imposed may include paying heavy-duty depending on the quantity of the goods.

MEIS Scheme stands for the “Merchandise Export from India”. Under this scheme, there are various rewards and incentives provided to the exporters. Further, these incentives vary from product to product and are offered to the exporters at a prescribed rate.

We provide services related to IEC registration across all over India. Moreover, we have already completed IEC registration for various clients located in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Gujarat, Bangalore, Uttar Pradesh, Kolkata, etc.

An IEC (Import Export Code) is just a license authorising the import and export of goods. Therefore, there is no need to file a Monthly Return under an IEC code.

Yes, an NRI can apply for obtaining IEC Code, as per the standard prescribed procedure. However, in some exceptional cases, permission from RBI is also required.

Any individual who is having a registered business such as a Company, Partnership Firm, LLP, etc., and who wants to engage in the business of Import and Export is eligible to apply for IEC code.

IEC stands for the Import Export Code. This code is required by everyone who wants to engage in the business of Import and Export. However, import and export of specifically exempted do not require IEC Number.

The prescribed government fee for applying IEC registration to the DGFT (Director General for Foreign Trade) is Rs. 500. Further, the applicant needs to pay the fee prescribed together with the application for IEC Registration.

Yes, it is mandatory and compulsory for the applicant to provide PAN card details for obtaining IEC registration.

No, the IEC code is just a numeric code and deals with importing and exporting of goods. Therefore, there is no need to file any transaction done or pay any taxes after acquiring the IEC number.

No, there is no need for any renewal or return under an IEC code. IEC code is quoted at the time of importing and exporting goods or receiving or making payments. Moreover, this code has lifetime validity, which means there is no need to get it renewed. Also, there is no need to file any return as there are no post-registration compliances.

No, there is no need for the state and central government departments to obtain IEC registration as they are given a prescribed number for these transactions.

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