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IEC Code Registration

Import and Exporter Code

Import and Export Code

In today's competitive world, many businesses want to expand beyond their domestic markets. Doing business globally is easier than ever thanks to technology and the internet. However, before you can start exporting or importing goods, you need to follow certain procedures and laws, and obtain various registrations and licenses. One of these requirements is the IEC (Import Export Code) license.

The IEC license is required for anyone who wants to start an import/export business in India. It is issued by the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and is a 10-digit code that is valid for life. It remains valid until the business ceases to exist or the registration is revoked or surrendered. Unlike other tax registrations, such as GST and PF registration, there are no annual filings or compliance requirements for IEC registration. Therefore, it is recommended that all exporters and importers obtain an IEC license after incorporation. It is a one-time process with no additional compliance requirements. Without an IEC license, importers cannot import goods and exporters cannot take advantage of DGFT export schemes. Since the introduction of GST, the IEC issued matches the PAN of the business. Yet, the IEC will still be granted separately by DGFT upon application. Firms seeking an IEC can have various structures: Proprietorship, Partnership, LLP, Limited Company, Trust, HUF, or Society. Engaging with export-import activities without IEC registration is not permissible in India and is henceforth deemed as a legal offence. Before bringing goods into India, the person bringing them in needs to make sure their business in India is registered for GST and has an IE code. These are necessary for getting the goods through customs. If they don't have both the IE code and GST registration, the goods could get stuck at the port and they might have to pay extra charges or the goods might even be destroyed.

Who needs IEC?

  • Businesses/Companies: Any business or company involved in importing/exporting goods from or to India.
  • Individuals: Individuals involved in international trade, importing/exporting goods or services.
  • Manufacturers: Manufacturers who import raw materials or export finished products.
  • Traders: Traders engaged in buying and selling goods internationally.
  • Service Providers: Service providers rendering services outside India that are subject to payments in foreign currency.

In essence, anyone engaging in cross-border trade activities, whether it's importing or exporting goods or services, needs an IEC.

Documents Required:

  • Essential Documents for Every Applicant:

    • PAN Card: Individual’s, firm’s, or company’s copy, depending on your entity type.
    • Proof of Identity: Proprietor’s voter ID, Aadhaar card, or passport copy. Additional documents might be required for partnership firms or other entities.
    • Proof of Establishment/Registration: Varies based on your business structure:
      • Incorporation certificate for companies
      • Partnership deed for partnerships
      • Registration documents for societies, trusts, HUFs, etc.
    • Proof of Business Address: Choose one of the following:
      • Sale deed
      • Rent agreement
      • Lease deed
      • Utility bills (electricity, telephone, mobile)
      • MoUs
    • Additional Documents for Proprietorships (if address proof is not in firm's name):
      • No objection certificate (NOC) from the premises owner
      • One of the following personal address proofs: Aadhaar card, passport, voter ID
    • Proof of Bank Account: Submit either a cancelled cheque or a bank certificate of the current account in the firm's name.
    • For Online Filing:
      • Scanned copies of all the above documents
      • Active Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) or Aadhaar card of a firm member
      • Active bank account details for application fee payment

Procedure for IEC Registration

Embarking on the rewarding journey of international trade in India necessitates the acquisition of an Import Export Code (IEC). This crucial document serves as your official authorization to engage in import and export activities, acting as a key to unlocking the vast potential of global commerce. This guide provides a comprehensive roadmap for securing your IEC efficiently and seamlessly.

Step 1: Obtain a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)

Initiate the process by acquiring a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) from a duly accredited certification agency. This electronically verifiable certificate serves as your digital identity, ensuring the security and authenticity of your application.

Step 2: Access the DGFT Portal

Navigate to the official website of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), the government body responsible for administering IEC registrations. Register for an account or, if already registered, login using your credentials.

Go to the DGFT website.

Click on the Services tab on the homepage.

Select the IEC Profile Management option from the drop-down list.

A new page will open. Click on the Apply for IEC option on the page.

Click on the Register option. Enter the required details and click on the Sent OTP button.

Enter the OTP and click on the Register button.

Upon successful validation of the OTP, you will receive a notification containing the temporary password which you can change after logging into the DGFT website.

After registering on the DGFT website, login to the website by entering the user name and password.

Step 3: Complete the Online Application Form

Click on the Apply for IEC option on the DGFT website dashboard.Click on the Start Fresh Application button. Carefully complete the form, providing accurate and detailed information regarding your business entity, legal structure, contact details, bank account particulars, and other relevant particulars. Additionally, upload the requisite documents, ensuring conformity with the prescribed format and specifications.

Step 4: Submit the Application Fee

Finalize the process by settling the application fee through the secure online payment portal. Utilize your preferred method, be it internet banking, credit card, or debit card.

Step 5: Monitor the Application Status

The DGFT will efficiently process your application. You can readily track its progress and stay informed throughout the review process by accessing the dedicated online portal.

Step 6: Receive Your IEC Certificate

Upon successful authorization, the DGFT will issue your IEC certificate and dispatch it electronically to your registered email address. Download and maintain a printed copy for future reference.

Once you've successfully obtained your IEC registration, you're all set to kickstart your export journey.

Benefits of IEC Registration

An IEC (Import Export Code) registration is a must for businesses that want to export or import goods. With an IEC, you can reach a global market and grow your business exponentially.

Benefits of Importer Exporter Code (IEC):

1. Global Market Access: IEC facilitates access to international markets for import and export activities, allowing businesses to engage in global trade.

2. Legal Recognition: It provides legal recognition and is a mandatory requirement for import/export businesses in India.

3. Availing Government Benefits: Registration with IEC allows businesses to avail benefits under various government schemes, incentives, and export promotion councils.

4. Expansion Opportunities: Having an IEC opens avenues for expanding business horizons by exploring new markets and opportunities worldwide.

5. Credibility and Trust: It enhances the credibility of the business in the eyes of international partners and banks, fostering trust in transactions.

6. No Requirement for Renewal: Once obtained, the IEC is valid for a lifetime and doesn’t require renewal, simplifying administrative processes.

7. Bank Transactions: It is required for foreign remittances and payments, making it essential for conducting international financial transactions.

8. Exemption from Certain Taxes: IEC holders can benefit from certain tax exemptions and incentives provided by the government for export-oriented businesses.

9. Easier Documentation: Streamlined documentation processes for customs clearance and other regulatory compliances, reducing procedural complexities.

10. Establishing Brand Globally: It aids in building a global brand presence by enabling seamless import/export operations.

Cases where Import-Export Code (IEC) is not mandatory

According to the latest circular issued by the government, IEC is not mandatory for all traders registered under GST. In all such cases, the PAN of the trader shall be construed as a new IEC code for the purpose of import and export.

  • Traders registered under GST: IEC is not mandatory for traders who are registered under the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Their PAN number will be used as their IEC code instead.
  • Goods exported or imported for personal use: IEC is not mandatory for goods that are exported or imported for personal use and not for commercial purposes.
  • Export/import by government departments and ministries and notified charitable institutions: Government departments and ministries, as well as notified charitable institutions, don't need an IEC.
  • Additional cases where IEC is not mandatory:
  • Importing goods for personal use from Nepal, Myanmar, and China: You don't need an IEC to import goods for personal use from Nepal, Myanmar, and China, as long as the CIF value of a single consignment is less than Rs. 25,000. However, you do need an IEC to import special chemicals, organisms, materials, equipment, and technologies (SCOMET) as listed in Appendix-3, Schedule 2 of ITC (HS).
  • Importing goods by courier: You don't need an IEC to import goods by courier, as long as the CIF value of a single consignment is less than Rs. 1 lakh.
  • Importing gifts: You don't need an IEC to import gifts, as long as the value of the gift is less than Rs. 50,000.

How Ecfile can help you get IEC registration easily

  • Convenience: We make the IEC registration process easy and convenient for you. You can complete the entire process online, from the comfort of your home or office.
  • Expertise: Our team of experienced professionals has a deep understanding of the IEC registration process. We can help you avoid any common mistakes and ensure that your application is processed smoothly.
  • Speed: We understand the importance of getting your IEC certificate quickly. We will work with you to expedite the process as much as possible.
  • Affordability: We offer our IEC registration service at a competitive price.

If you are interested in getting IEC registration through Ecfile, please visit our website or contact us for more information. We would be happy to help you get started.

Why Choose Ecfile

Expert guidance: Our dedicated team is available to answer your questions and walk you through every step.

Transparent process: Track your application progress in real-time and stay informed.

No hidden fees: Pay a flat fee with no surprises, transparently outlined from the start.

Comprehensive document assistance: We help you gather and verify the required documents, minimizing errors and delays.

Customized solutions: We tailor our services to your specific needs, whether you're a solopreneur or a multinational corporation.

Beyond just paperwork, EcFile is your partner in success. We provide:

  • Valuable insights: Get access to industry updates, trade tips, and expert advice to navigate the import-export landscape.
  • Ongoing support: We're here for you even after your IEC arrives, offering guidance and support along your business journey.
  • Peace of mind: Focus on your business goals while we handle the administrative burden of IEC registration.

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