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Overview of IEC Registration

Engaging with export-import activities without IEC registration is not permissible in India and is henceforth deemed as a legal offence. IEC certificate acts as an immediate clearance for exporters and importers in India. IEC code affixes on various shipping Documents for custom clearances. Thus, obtaining IEC registration is an absolute mandate, and it should not be overlooked.

What is an Import Export Code?

Import Export Code, i.e. IEC is a ten-digit code conferred by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) against prescribed application and fees. IEC registration serves as mandatory legal consent for entities intending to start an export-import business in India. It is also mandatory for manufacturers cum exporters and establishments that continually import raw materials to manufacture goods.

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Who Needs IEC in India?

Directorate General of Foreign Trade mandates the following to obtain IEC registration in India.

  • Exporter and importer
  • Export houses
  • Manufacturer cum exporter
  • Production facilities importing raw material
  • Importer of goods seeking special authorisation from DGFT
  • Entities intending to engage with EXIM business

It should be noted that IEC is only available to the registered entities in India. Therefore, make sure to secure a business certificate in the first place before getting engaged with the IEC registration process.

Documents to be Uploaded for IEC Registration During Online Filing

Applicants seeking IEC registration are required to visit DGFT's portal and fill out the relevant e-form. During electronic filing, applicants are required to upload the following paper works:

  • Copy of business certificate such as incorporation certificate, partnership deed
  • Passport, PAN, Voter ID, DL of the managing partner
  • Tenancy proof of the business place
  • Bank certificate or cancelled cheque (in case of a partnership firm)

IEC Registration Process

Secure Class-2 Digital Signature From a Certified Agency

A digital signature is conferred by the Certification Authority and is signed with the private key of CA.

A digital signature usually entails the following details:

  • Owner's public key
  • Name of the owner
  • Public-key expiration date
  • Issuer's name
  • Serial number
  • Issuer's digital signature

Digital signatures leverage the PKI technology, i.e. Public Key Infrastructure technology.

File an Application Form with DGFT

Applicants can proceed to DGFT online portal to apply for IEC registration. To serve this purpose, they must create a legit account on the said portal before addressing the registration formalities.

Submit Requested Paper Works in Prescribed Format

During application filling, the applicant shall be prompted to furnish aforesaid paper works. Do the needful to submit the same in format as prompted by the application form

Submit Application Fees

Proceed to the payment section to submit the requested fees upon submitting the application form.

Application and Paper Works Inspection

After submitting the IEC registration application, the concerned authority shall initiate the inspection process to make some legal checks.

Grant of IEC Registration

Authority shall grant the IEC registration after successful vetting of application and paper works.

Validity and Cancellation of IEC Registration

IEC registration is non-renewal and comes with lifetime validity. As far as the cancellation of IEC registration is concerned, it may come to effect under the following scenario-

  • Export or import of prohibitive items
  • Misleading custom authority by fabricating information in the shipping Documents
  • Non-adherence to custom's directions
  • Breaching norms cited under Foreign Trade Policy

Frequently Asked Questions

IEC can be surrender by intimating the intention to the authority who earlier issued the license. Upon the receipt of an application for license surrender, issuing authority shall cancel the same after noting the reason thereof. Thereafter, DGFT is notified about the same who in return transmit it to custom, RBI or any such other authorities intimating about IEC becomes inoperative.

Following is the exception for IEC registration:

  • IEC is not an obligation for the traders registered under Goods & Service Tax (GST)
  • If there is export or import of any product merely for personal consumption and not for commercial purpose, there will be no need to obtain IEC Registration
  • There is no requirement to obtain IEC Registration in case the import or export is done on behalf of the Government of India by any department, ministry, or notified charitable institute

Import-Export code is not a tax registration; however, depending upon the product, the certain custom duty can be imposed.

No, any individual, company or sole proprietor engaged in the business of import-export needs to obtain an IEC license. It is the necessary recognition provided by the GovernmentGovernment to exporters and importer of goods or services. However, if the value of the good transacted is too low, the authority may permit first export after imposing nominal charges.

You can modify your application numerous times before it is submitted to the next department.

With the help of IEC Registration, you can obtain various benefits from the DGFT, Customs, export promotion council, etc.

Yes, it is mandatory to provide PAN Card. You need to furnish the self-attested copy of your PAN Card along with the application.

You would need to provide proof of address copy of ownership title, registered copy of lease deed, copy of telephone bill, electricity bill, registered copy of rent deed, etc. need to be provided to prove the genuineness of your firm.

You need to provide a copy of both sides of your PAN Card to identify the issuing authority's address.

No, the validity of IEC Registration is of a lifetime. Therefore there is no requirement to revalidate it.

Cancellation of the allotted IEC can be made by surrendering the same.

No, Import Export Code is a permanent Document and is not item based.

You need to check the status of your BIN or Business Identification Number on the official site.

The technical prerequisite for filing an IEC are Digital Signatures Token, PAN, Address Details of Branch Office, Bank Account in IEC Holder, Mobile Number and Email ID, Aadhar Card matching the details along with PAN Card.

Login to DGFT website > Proceed with registration process by clicking on Login > Register as user > Register as "Importer/Exporter", Go to My Dashboard after registration > Importer Exporter Code (IEC) > Apply for IEC.

It enables you to have your own user profile. It helps to Apply / Link IEC and View IEC Dashboard under a single window as well as Apply and track applications easily. It also enables you to receive notifications over the dashboard, mobile and email.

Kindly go through the context as mentioned above for your detailed understanding on this issue.

  • Bank Details will be validated through "PFMS" and its outcome will be made available the next day.
  • Risk shall be marked in RMS and User will be issued the IEC Immediately.
  • On the Successful bank details Validation "RMS" Flag will be removed.
  • On its Failure "RMS" Flag will be on hold.

The Normal time to receive is immediate from successfully submission of the IEC application.

The New IEC application or new portal is compatible with Chrome 70 + / Firefox 70 + / IE 11 + browsers.

No. For Foreign Directors the PAN details are not mandatory for the application.

You need to please check for the white spaces, if any, needs to be separate or remove to proceed. Moreover, the user needs to upload the supporting Document for the Bank Account in accurate manner.

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