What is Import Export Code (IEC)?

What is Import Export Code (IEC)?

Export Sector

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

152 week ago — 4 min read

Import Exporter Code (IEC) is a 10 digit business identification number which is mandatory for export from India or import to India. No export or import shall be made by any person or company without obtaining an IEC. For services exports however, IEC is not necessary except when the service provider is taking benefits under the Foreign Trade Policy. This code is also known as Importer Exporter Code and it is issued by the DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade), Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India.


Documents required for for filing of IEC

- Valid Digital Signatures Token (Class II or III)
- Valid PAN
- Valid Mobile Number and Email ID
- Valid Address Details of Branch Office
- Valid Bank Account in the name of IEC Holder
- Valid Aadhar Card matching the details with PAN Card
- Application form Aayaat Niryaat Form 2A


Registration process for IEC Code

IEC is issued in electronic form (e-IEC) by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) which is under the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India. Application fee to get IEC is Rs 500.

Follow the below steps to register for IEC:

  1. Prepare an application form i.e. Aayaat Niryaat Form 2A format and file it with the respective DGFT.
  2. Along with the form, you will be required to submit all identity documents such as your PAN Card/Passport/Aadhaar Card, etc, your proof of address Aadhaar Card/Voter ID/Passport, along with your bank details.
  3. Once you complete your application process, you need to file it with the DGFT using a digital signature certificate and pay the necessary fee to register for the IEC. Here is a quick guide for a user to register on DGFT. Refer to this guide on registering Digital Signature Certificate on DGFT.
  4. Once your application is approved, you will receive a soft copy of the IEC Code from the government.


Annual updation of IEC

An IEC allotted to an applicant has permanent validity but it is mandatory to update the IEC annually so that the IEC is not deactivated. If the IEC is updated between April-June period each year, no fee shall be charged for updation of IEC.

In case of non-updation of IEC within the prescribed time, it will be deactivated. An IEC so deactivated may be activated, on its successful updation.


Watch this video to learn the process for annual updation of IEC.



Benefits of the Import Export Code

  • Expansion of business. IEC enables you to take your products to the international market and grow your business.
  • Avail of subsidies. With an IEC, an exporter can get subsidies, a refund of taxes paid, and other benefits from custom and export authorities for their exports/ imports as per the policies of the Indian government.
  • Enjoy lifetime validity. IEC comes with lifetime validity. Only after the winding up of the company, this code expires. Once allotted, IEC does not require filing periodical returns to maintain its validity, much like a PAN card.
  • IEC for Individuals. Even proprietors can get IEC in their name. There is no need to incorporate a business entity. Individuals can apply for IEC with the name of their company or their name directly.
  • Access to online international marketplaces: With an IEC code exporters and importers can easily sell on online international marketplaces like Amazon, Alibaba, etc.
  • Easy online application process: The whole process to apply for IEC is online, you need not go anywhere physically. It is relatively easy to obtain the IEC code.

Also read: How to start an export business






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