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Importer Exporter Code (IEC) Registration

Want to take your business deals across different countries and make global trades?

The IEC is a 10-digit identification number that helps participation in global markets by providing government recognition and authorization, enabling trust with partners across the globe and customers.


What is the Importer Exporter Code (IEC)?

The Import and Export Code (IEC) is a 10-digit unique number issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). The business entity must obtain IEC compulsorily before initiating import or export from or to India. Importers rely on IEC for customs clearance and payment to be made to foreign banks. Whereas, exporters rely on the IEC for streamlining the export process and for receiving foreign credits.

Benefits of Obtaining IEC

  • Simplified Customs Clearance: IEC streamlines customs processes, reducing manual process and paperwork.

  • Access to International Markets: It opens doors to new markets and enables international transactions.

  • Smooth Foreign Bank Transactions: IEC facilitates hassle-free payments to international clients and suppliers.

  • Government Benefits: It offers subsidies, tax exemptions, and incentives from Customs, Export Promotion Council, and various other authorities.

  • Simplified Registration: The online process of obtaining the IEC is quick and hassle-free.

  • Validity: The validity of IEC is throughout the lifetime of the business unless it is revoked or surrendered.

  • Compliance-Free: Compared to other registrations under various tax laws, IEC is free from compliances like annual filing or return submissions.

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Situations where IEC is Required

Here are the situations where you need to have an IEC number for your business–

  • In cases where the importer has to clear shipments from customs, IEC is essential.

  • While making payments to foreign banks, importers need to furnish IEC.

  • In cases where the exporter has to send shipments out of India, IEC is required at the customs port.

  • While receiving payments in foreign currency, exporters need to furnish IEC.

Situations where IEC is not Needed

  • Goods imported or exporter for personal use

  • Transactions undertaken by Government Ministries and Departments

  • Certain Notified Charitable Institutions

  • Items specified as exempt under Foreign Trade Policy (FTP)

Process for IEC Registration


Prepare Documents:

Gather required documents like PAN card, business address proof, and bank details, to be uploaded while making an application.


Application Form:

Fill and submit the online application form, attaching the requisite documents and making payment of applicable government fees.


Verification by DGFT:

Upon successful submission of the application, the DGFT will verify the application, documents attached and thereafter approve or reject the application.


Approval and Issue of IEC:

Once DGFT approves the application, the IEC will be issued and communicated through the email or message.


Registration on the DGFT Portal:

First step is to register on the DGFT portal.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in IEC Registration

  • Incorrect information leads to verification issues. 

  • Missing documents while registering for the IEC. 

  • Invalid signatures on official documents.

  • Filling out the wrong business category in the IEC form. 

  • Failure to verify important information. 

  • Ignoring DGFT Guidelines issued recently. 

  • Delay in Response to IEC queries, as and when raised.

  • Failure to verify the existing IEC and applying for the new.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in IEC Registration.png

Required Documents for IEC Registration

PAN card

Aadhaar card

Bank account details

Proof of establishment or registration of the business entity

Proof of address for the business premises (sale deed, lease agreement, or utility bills)

Canceled cheque copy of company’s current bank account

Digital photograph

A self-addressed envelope for IEC certificate delivery


Surrendering IEC

Surrendering refers to the voluntary giving up of the IEC when not required anymore.

How to do it?

An application for surrendering must be made to the DGFT.

The application must mention the reason for surrender such as business closure, merger, or any other reason.

Submit the necessary documents along with the application for surrender such as original IEC certificate, proof of business closure, and likewise.

After the receipt of the surrender application, the DGFT will conduct the verification after which the IEC will be deactivated. The status of the IEC will also be updated in the records of the DGFT as ‘deactivated’.

Once the surrender application is accepted, the applicant will receive a confirmation from DGFT regarding the deactivation of the IEC.


Launch into the world of imports and exports with an IE Code

₹ 1999/-

*Exclusive of Taxes

  • Fast Service

  • Affordable Pricing

  • Expert Assistance

  • Track Application Status

  • Hassle-Free Process

Renewal and Updating of IEC

The IEC issued in India does not expire and is valid for the lifetime of the business. Meaning, once the license is obtained, there is no need to renew the same. Following points are to be considered while maintaining and updating the IEC:

Updating IEC Details:

In case of any updates in the details provided while obtaining IEC certificate, the same should be updated on the DGFT website.

Annual Updation: The DGFT has introduced an annual update requirement for IEC which should be updated/validated by the IEC holder annually.

Frequently asked questions


What is an Import Export Code (IEC), and why is it necessary?


An Import Export Code (IEC) is a key business identification number that you need for exporting or importing goods. It is important because it allows your business to be recognized by the government and customs authorities. Without an IEC, you can't send your products abroad or bring in goods from other countries.


Who is eligible to apply for an IEC?


Anyone who is planning to start a business involving the import or export of goods in India can apply for an IEC. This includes individuals, companies, and partnerships. It's a must-have if you want to take your business global.


What documents are required for IEC registration?


For IEC registration, you will need:

  • A PAN card for the business or individual.

  • A photo and a copy of an ID proof like an Aadhar card or passport.

  • Proof of your business address. These documents help prove your identity and business to the authorities.


How do I apply for an IEC online?


Applying for an IEC online is simple. You just need to visit the DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) website, fill out the application form, and upload the necessary documents. After paying the fee, submit your application and wait for your IEC to be issued.


Can IEC be updated or renewed?


Yes, your IEC can be updated or renewed. If there are changes in your business information or if your IEC expires, you can easily update or renew it through the DGFT website. Keeping your IEC current is important for smooth business operations.


Is IEC mandatory for service exports?


Yes, IEC is mandatory for service exports as well. Whether you're selling products or providing services internationally, having an IEC is essential. It's your ticket to entering the global marketplace.


How long does it take to obtain an IEC?


Usually, it takes about 7 to 10 working days to obtain an IEC after you submit your application. However, this can vary depending on the processing time by DGFT.


Is there a fee for applying for an IEC?


Yes, there is a fee for applying for an IEC. The fee is nominal and can be paid online during the application process. It's a small investment for the vast opportunities it opens up for your business.


What are the benefits of having an IEC for my business?


Having an IEC for your business offers several benefits:

  • Legal permission to import and export goods.

  • Access to global markets.

  • Eligibility for various benefits and schemes offered by the DGFT. It's an essential tool for expanding your business internationally.


How does the IEC facilitate international trade for Indian businesses?


IEC facilitates international trade for Indian businesses by:

  • Providing a recognized standard for businesses engaging in import and export.

  • Streamlining the customs process for your goods.

  • Helping in availing benefits and schemes from the government. It acts as a bridge for Indian businesses to reach global markets.

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