How to Start a IEC Registration

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Overview of IEC Registration

With the rapid upsurge 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 his business on a global platform by dealing with the Import and Export business is mandatorily required to obtain IEC registration.

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.

Benefits of IEC Code Registration

Benefits of IEC

The following listed are the benefits of IEC Registration:

  • Expansion of Business

    With the help of IEC registration, 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 IEC Registration is 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 IEC Registration is 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 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.

Features of Import Export Code Registration

Features of IEC

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 Registration is not required for the goods or services imported or exported either for individual or legislative purposes.
  • An IEC Registration is obligatory and mandatory for making foreign bank transfers.
  • It is considerable for all parts of importers or exporters business.

Documents Required for IEC Registration

The following listed are the documents needed by a Sole Proprietorship Firm for obtaining IEC Registration:

  • Digital photograph (3*3) of the proprietor
  • A copy of proprietor’s PAN Card
  • A copy of proprietor’s Passport, Voter ID, Driving License, UID
  • A copy of sale deed, if in case the business is self-owned
  • A copy of Rent Agreement or Lease Deed, if in case the business is rented.

The following listed are the documents needed by a Partnership Firm for obtaining IEC Registration:

  • Digital photograph (3*3) of the managing partner
  • A copy of the Partnership Deed
  • A copy of the Managing Partner’s PAN Card
  • A copy of Passport, Voter ID, Driving License, UID of the MD (Managing Partner) signing the document.
  • A copy of sale deed, if in case the business is self-owned
  • A copy of Rent Agreement or Lease Deed, if in case the business is rented.
  • Bank certificate according to ANF 2A or a Cancelled cheque bearing the account number and the blueprinted name of the applicant entity

The following listed are the documents required by a Limited Liability Partnership and Company for obtaining IEC Registration:

  • Digital photograph (3*3) of the Company’s Director or LLP’s Designated Partner who is signing the application
  • A copy of applicant’s PAN Card
  • A copy of Passport, Voter ID, Driving License, UID of the MD (Managing Partner), or the director signing the document.
  • A copy of sale deed, if in case the business is self-owned
  • A copy of Rent Agreement or Lease Deed, if in case the business is rented.
  • Bank certificate according to ANF 2A or a Cancelled cheque bearing the account number and the blueprinted name of the applicant entity

The following listed are the documents required by a Trust for obtaining IEC Registration:

  • Digital photograph (3*3) of the Managing Trustee or Chief Executive or the signatory applicant
  • Certificate of Registration of the society
  • A copy of the Trust Deed
  • A copy of Passport, Voter ID, Driving License, PAN card, UID of the Managing Trustee, or Chief Executive or the signatory applicant signing the document.
  • A copy of sale deed, if in case the business is self-owned
  • A copy of Rent Agreement or Lease Deed, if in case the business is rented.
  • Bank certificate according to ANF 2A or a Cancelled cheque bearing the account number and the blueprinted name of the applicant entity

The following listed are the documents required by a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) for obtaining IEC Registration:

  • Digital photograph (3*3) of the Karta
  • A copy of Karta’s PAN Card
  • A copy of Passport, Voter ID, Driving License, UID of the Karta
  • A copy of sale deed, if in case the business is self-owned
  • A copy of Rent Agreement or Lease Deed, if in case the business is rented.
  • Bank certificate according to ANF 2A or a Cancelled cheque bearing the account number and the blueprinted name of the applicant entity

Procedure for IEC (Import Export Code) Registration

IEC Registration procedure

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

Visit the Official Website

In the first step of the process, the applicant requires to visit the Official DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade) Website at https://dgft.gov.in/CP/. Further, the applicant needs to click on the option “Apply for IEC” located on the right side of the Homepage.

Fill in the Required Details

In this step, the applicant needs to enter the required details. Further, the details termed as “Required Details” are as follows: 

  • Register User as ‘Importer’ or ‘Exporter’;
  • First Name;
  • Last Name;
  • Applicant’s Email Address;
  • Applicant’s Registered Mobile Number;
  • Pin Code;
  • Name of the District;
  • Name of the City;
  • Name of the State;

After filing all the details asked, click on the option “Send OTP”. Now, the applicant will receive a One Time Password (OTP) for verification on his/her Registered Mobile Number and Email Address.

After successful verification, the applicant will now receive a temporary password again on the registered E-mail Address, which he/she needs to mandatorily change after the first login.

Fill-in Login Credentials

Now in the third step, the applicant requires to go back to the Homepage and choose the option “Apply for IEC”. After choosing the option, the applicant needs to provide his/her Login Credentials by selecting the option “Login”.

Provide Details in IEC Application Form

After providing the Login Credentials, the concerned applicant requires to click on the option “Start Fresh Application” and enter the required details.

The term ‘Required Details’ includes all types of details such as General, Bank, Specific, and Other Details. Further, after entering all the details, select the option saying “Save and Next” button.

Acceptance of Declaration

In this step, the applicant is required to tick the box named ‘Declaration’ and fill the place. Thereafter, click on the option “Save and Next”.

Final Submission

Now, the applicant will be re-directed to a new page wherein he/she requires to choose the option “Sign” located at the bottom of the webpage.

Mode of Submission

There are two methods through which an applicant is able to submit or sign his/her IEC registration form, i.e., Aadhar OTP (One Time Password) or DSC (Digital Signature Certificate). However, in the case of Aadhar OTP, the applicant will require to provide his/her Aadhar Number or Virtual ID and then submit the IEC Application Form.

Payment of Registration Fees

After successfully submitting and signing the IEC Registration Form, the applicant requires to choose the option saying “Confirm and Proceed to Make Payment”.

Further, for the purpose of making payment, the applicant will be re-directed to the Payment Gateway termed as “Bharatkosh”. The application fee for the IEC Code Certificate is Rs 500.

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.

What are the 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).

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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