Import Export Code is a ten-digit unique code that is issued by DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade) to every person or company involved in importing or exporting goods in India.
If you are selling any goods or services then sometimes you might have thought of selling them outside your locality.
Most of the businesses operate within their state or within India only. But sometimes, you might think of expanding the business to other countries as well.
Whenever any goods or services are supplied outside India, it is considered an export. And when it is provided to India from any other country, it is regarded as an import.
So to expand the business beyond our country, that is to start an import or export business, you need to have necessary licenses as described by the Indian government. One such license is Import Export Code.
A person or company has to mandatory apply for the IEC code before conducting any business involving import or export of goods or services.
Table of Content
- What Is Import Export Code?
- When Is Import Export Code Required?
- How To Apply For Import Export Code?
- Benefits Of IEC Code
- Validity Of IEC Code
- Exemptions In IEC Code
- RCMC Registration
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Import Export Code?
Import Export Code is also known as IEC is a ten-digit code issued by DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade), Government of India.
Any person or company involved in importing or exporting any goods or services from the country has to particularly apply for an IEC code.
IEC is considered to be one of the necessary documents required while doing import and export. The IEC code can be applied either on the name of any person itself or in the name of a firm or a company.
When Is Import Export Code Required?
Now let us know when the import export code is required during importing or exporting of goods or services. The IEC code is required in the following scenarios –
- For clearing the shipments from the custom department when goods are supplied outside India, also known as an import.
- For clearing the shipments from the custom department when goods are brought into India, also known as export.
- To transfer the money outside India from any Indian bank account during import.
- To receive the money from any other country in any Indian bank account during export.
- Export of services as defined specifically by DGFT.
How To Apply For Import Export Code?
Documents required for import export code registration are –
- PAN card of individual or business entity (firm or company)
- Cancelled cheque bearing pre-printed name of the individual or the business entity (firm or company)
- Address proof of place of business such as –
- Sale deed
- Notarized rent/lease agreement
- Electricity bill
- Landline/telephone/mobile bill
- NOC from the owner with an electricity bill
- Partnership deed in case of partnership or LLP
- Mobile number and email id of the authorized person
- Preferred activity such as –
- Manufacturer Exporter
- Merchant Exporter (Trader)
- Manufacturer cum Merchant Exporter (Trader)
- Service Provider
- Additional documents required in case of company/partnership/LLP/OPC –
- Aadhaar and pan card of all directors/partners/members
- Mobile number and email id of all directors/partners/members
- In the case of sole proprietor, the residential address of the proprietor
The import export code registration can be done online on the DGFT website. The following steps are involved in the registration process –
- Application Preparation – Firstly fill the complete application form ANF No.2 on the DGFT website.
- Uploading Documents – Then upload the required documents along in the prescribed format along with the filled form.
- Fee Payment – Pay the required fees of the application by electronic fund transfer or any other payment method.
- Submission – Finally submit the application using OTP verification.
- Certificate Issuance – Once the successful submission is done, the department will verify all the documents and information provided. When the successful verification is done, the application is approved and the soft copy of the registration certificate if mailed on the registered mail id.
Once the registration certificate is issued, the person or the company can start the business.
Benefits Of IEC Code
There are several benefits of getting an IEC code such as –
- A person or company can expand the business at a global level by importing or exporting their goods or services.
- DGFT offers various schemes and benefits for those who have the registration code.
- The registration is valid for a lifetime, so there is no need to renew it.
- Unlike GST, there is no return filing or compliances to be done in the IEC code after its issuance.
- The IEC code can be easily obtained also in the case of an individual. There is no such registration required in the case of individuals.
Validity Of IEC Code
The import export code is valid for a lifetime. Once it is issued, there is no such renewal of it. The code is valid until the business is running or till it is surrendered voluntarily by the person or the company.
So every business should apply for it after incorporation. Once it is issued, no compliance has to be maintained by the importer or exporter.
Exemptions In IEC Code
There are some instances in which registration is not required such as –
- If a person or a company is registered under GST, then any separate IEC is not required. Then the PAN of the person or company is considered as the import export code.
- If the import or export is done by any ministry or department of the government of India, then the IEC is not required.
- If the goods are imported or exported for personal use only and are not used for any commercial use, then the IEC code is not required.
- Export of specific services as defined specifically by DGFT, do not require the IEC code.
The Export Promotion Council of India issues RCMC, also known as Registration Cum Membership Certificate to the exporters.
It is valid until five years and is proof that an exporter is registered with the council. It is specifically used by the exporters to avail the various benefits under the Foreign Trade Policy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now let us discuss some frequently asked questions on IEC code.
Any person or company importing or exporting goods or services from or to India is required to obtain an IEC code.
IEC or import export code number is a ten-digit unique number allotted by DGFT to anyone doing import or export business.
IEC code can be obtained through an online application on the DGFT website (www.dgft.gov.in).
IEC is required for only certain services as declared under Section 7 of Foreign Trade. Any other service does not require IEC.
No, the IEC code is not required after GST. The PAN number itself is considered as an IEC.
It can be checked on the ICE Gate Portal in the Check IEC Code option.
The fee for the online application of the code is Rs.250 only.
A person or company can have only one import export code. If multiple codes are issued, then the person or the company has to surrender the remaining IEC.
Yes, the code can be cancelled by informing the concerned authority or to DGFT.
IEC code can be obtained within 1-2 days by applying online on the DGFT website.
It can be modified by filing a modification application on the DGFT website and submitting the required documents.
No returns are to be filed after getting the code.
ICE Gate is also known as Indian Customs Electronic Gateway is an online portal of Indian Custom Department providing various e-filing services to the cargo carriers.
Yes, an individual can apply for the code on his name or the firm’s name.
No, the code is not item based. The importer or exporter can deal with any item using this IEC code.
Yes, the IEC code can be surrendered if the person or the company has no longer use of it. It can be surrendered by filing an application with the DGFT and paying the liabilities/dues if any.