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Overview of IEC Registration

With the rapid increase in globalization, the chances of engaging in cross border transaction have increased as well. However, for involving in cross border transactions, one needs to acquire IEC Registration.

The Import Export Code (IEC) is one of the basic requirements for expanding a business at a global level. It not only provides the chance to reach the international market but assists in amplifying the business’s growth level as well. 

Concept of Import Export Code

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

An Import Export Code has lifetime validity. That means there is no need for the holder to apply for IEC Renewal.

Benefits of an IEC Code

The benefits of and IEC Registration are as follows:

Expansion of Business

With the help of IEC registration, an individual can easily and effortlessly expand the business's range in the global market. Further, an Import Export Code not only offers an opportunity for the export of goods outside India but will assist in creating a brand name for oneself in the international market as well.

Availing Several Benefits

On the basis of IEC Registration, nowadays, the businesses can relish and avail of benefits provided by the Customs, EPC (Export Promotion Council), and DGFT.

No Need to File Return

It shall be significant to state that there is no need to file any return to prove the legitimacy of IEC or Import Export Code. Also, in the case of export dealings, there is no need to file any return to DGFT.

Hassel-Free Processing

The procedure for obtaining IEC registration is genuinely easy and simple and easy and just needs a period of 10-15 working days, starting from the date of presenting the application. Further, no evidence relating to export or import is needed subsequent for obtaining IEC Code.

Free for Lifetime

Once the applicant has obtained his/ her IEC, the same has lifetime validity. That there is no need for the applicant to apply for any renewal.

Government Authorise

Import Export Code or IEC acts as a government identity, which is issued by the DGFT or Director General of Foreign Trade. Therefore, during shipment clearance, one needs to show this ID number to the customs authorities.

Need for IEC Registration

The situations that need IEC Registration are as follows:  

  • Whenever an importer wants to get his/ her shipment cleared from the customs authorities;
  • Whenever an importer wants to send money abroad through banks;
  • Whenever an exporter desires to send his/ her shipments abroad;
  • Whenever an exporter directly wants to transfer the money into his/her bank account;
  • An IEC code is a must requirement for obtaining Food Licensing and APEDA Licensing
  • Whenever an exporter wished to avail of some amount of export subsidy;

Features of the Import Export Code

The features of IEC Registration are as follows:

  • No business can involve in the activities concerning Import or Export without obtaining IEC registration;
  • IEC works as evidence for the firm indulged in the import or export of goods;
  • IEC has lifetime validity. That means there is no need to apply for renewal;
  • There is no need to obtain IEC Registration for the goods imported for an individual or legislative purposes;
  • It is compulsory to have IEC Registration for making foreign bank transfers;
  • An IEC is considerable for all types of importers or exporters business;
IEC Registration

Exemptions under Import Export Code

The exemptions under Import Export Code are as follows:

  • An individual who is engaged in importing and exporting goods for his/ her personal purpose and not related to the horticulture, trade, manufacturing, etc., are exempt from obtaining IEC registration;
  • Individuals who want to export or import goods to or from Myanmar and Nepal through Indo-Myanmar and China fringe zones with just a single transfer that does not surpasses Rs 25,000 in Indian cash, does not require IEC Registration;
  • The Exemption from IEC registration will not be applicable to the export of SCOMET (Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment & Technologies) as specified in the Appendix - 3, Schedule 2 of the ITC (HS);

Documents needed for obtaining IEC Registration?

The documents needed by a Sole Proprietorship Firm for acquiring an IEC Registration are as follows:

  • Digital photograph (3*3) of the Proprietor;
  • A copy of PAN Card;
  • A copy of Passport, Voter ID, Driving License;
  • If in case the business is self-owned, then the copy of Sale Deed;
  • If in case the business is rented, then the copy of Rent Agreement or Lease Deed;

The documents needed by a Partnership Firm for getting an IEC Registration are as follows:

  • Digital photograph (3*3) of the Managing Partner;
  • Partnership Deed;
  • A copy of the PAN Card;
  • A copy of Passport, Voter ID, Driving License;
  • If in case the business is self-owned, then the copy of Sale Deed;
  • If in case the business is rented, then the copy of Rent Agreement or Lease Deed;
  • A Bank certificate in accordance with ANF 2A or a Cancelled cheque having the account number and the name of the applicant entity;

The documents needed by a Limited Liability Partnership for getting an IEC Registration are as follows:

  • Digital photograph (3*3) of the Director or Designated Partner who is authorised to sign the application;
  • A copy of the PAN Card;
  • A copy of Passport, Voter ID, Driving License;
  • If in case the business is self-owned, then the copy of Sale Deed;
  • If in case the business is rented, then the copy of Rent Agreement or Lease Deed;
  • A Bank certificate in accordance with ANF 2A or a Cancelled cheque having the account number and the name of the applicant entity;

The documents needed by a Trust for getting an IEC Registration are as follows:

  • Digital photograph (3*3) of the Managing Trustee/ Chief Executive/ the signatory applicant;
  • Certificate of Registration (COR) of the society;
  • Trust Deed;
  • A copy of the PAN Card;
  • A copy of Passport, Voter ID, Driving License;
  • If in case the business is self-owned, then the copy of Sale Deed;
  • If in case the business is rented, then the copy of Rent Agreement or Lease Deed;
  • A Bank certificate in accordance with ANF 2A or a Cancelled cheque having the account number and the name of the applicant entity;

The documents needed by a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) for getting an IEC Registration are as follows:

  • Digital photograph (3*3) of the Karta;
  • A copy of the PAN Card;
  • A copy of Passport, Voter ID, Driving License;
  • If in case the business is self-owned, then the copy of Sale Deed;
  • If in case the business is rented, then the copy of Rent Agreement or Lease Deed;
  • A Bank certificate in accordance with ANF 2A or a Cancelled cheque having the account number and the name of the applicant entity;

Procedure for IEC Registration

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

Preparation of Application

In the first step, the applicant needs to file an application in the “Aayaat Niryaat Form 2A” format to the DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade) of the region wherein the company has its registered office situated. Further, an online filing facility for applying IEC Code Online has been initiated by the government as well.

Processing of Application

All the details regarding the business and its directors/ proprietors/ partners, bank certificate, and the bank account needs to be filled in Aayaat Niryaat Form 2A (ANF 2A). Further, all the documents required and the Digital Signature Certificate need to be attached with ANF 2A as well.

Payment of Fee for IEC

Once the application for IEC is filed with DGFT, the applicant needs to pay the fee prescribed to the government. Also, the IEC department has the right to send back the application furnished for modification or correction. The said applicant needs to reply back to the DGFT within a period of 15 days.

Issuance of IEC

After filing the application if the DGFT is satisfied with the application submitted, it will then allot an Import Export Code (IEC) for the applicant’s business.

Further, it shall be relevant to state that an IE code is available in both hard and soft copy. Also, the applicant can receive the softcopy through email as well.  

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Frequently Asked Questions

An IEC once issued has lifetime validity.

Anyone who wants to start an Import Export Business in India needs to apply for IEC Registration first.

No, there is no need to obtain IEC Registration for importing goods for personal use.
The DGFT or Director General of Foreign Trade has the authority to issue IEC to the applicant.
No PAN or Permanent Account Number and IEC or Import Export Code are not the same things.

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