IEC Code, which stands for Importer Exporter Code, is a key business identification number that is mandatory for export from and import to India. It is a 10-digit code issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India. IEC Code is PAN based, meaning it is issued against a single PAN number. No entity can have more than one IEC Code. The IEC Code must be quoted in various documents, such as customs clearance documents, shipping documents, and bank remittance forms, involved in the import/export process.
Before beginning the application process, gather all necessary documents. Typically, these include:
Access the DGFT’s official website. This is where the application process for IEC registration is initiated.
If you are a first-time user, you will need to create an account on the DGFT portal. This will require filling in basic details like your email ID, mobile number, and PAN number.
Once logged in, select the option for ‘Apply for IEC’ or ‘IEC Modification’ if you already have an IEC and need to update details. The application form ANF 2A needs to be filled out accurately.
Upload the scanned copies of the required documents. Ensure that the documents are clear and as per the specifications mentioned on the DGFT website.
There is a nominal fee for IEC registration. The payment can be made online through electronic fund transfer from designated banks.
After filling in the form and uploading documents, review your application for any errors and submit it.
The DGFT office will process your application. They may conduct verification, if necessary. Once verified and found satisfactory, the IEC will be granted.
Upon approval, the IEC Code will be generated and sent to you via email. It can also be downloaded from the DGFT portal.
If there are any changes in the information provided, such as address or bank details, ensure that your IEC is updated by applying for modification through the DGFT portal.
IEC registration is a prerequisite for companies looking to expand their business into the international market. It legally allows them to import and export goods.
One of the major advantages of the IEC is that it comes with lifetime validity. Unlike many other business licenses, it does not require any renewal, making it hassle-free once obtained.
Companies with an IEC registration can avail themselves of benefits from the Export Promotion Council, Customs, and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC). They become eligible for various export schemes and incentives provided by the Government of India.
Whether importing or exporting, businesses with an IEC find it easier to clear their shipments at customs. It facilitates a smoother, more efficient process for clearing agents.
For transactions involving international trade, having an IEC simplifies various banking procedures. Banks often require the IEC for processing transactions related to foreign exchange.
With IEC, businesses can explore and expand into different markets globally, which can lead to increased brand recognition and business growth.
Obtaining an IEC ensures compliance with all the laws and regulations governing the import and export of goods and services in India. This legal compliance can prevent any potential legal issues and penalties.
Having an IEC adds to the credibility of a business, as it signifies that the company is registered with the DGFT. This can build trust among foreign partners and customers.
Exports: Exporters must present their IEC code at customs ports during the export process for clearance of shipments.
Availing benefits: Exporters seeking to claim export subsidies must disclose their IEC code to the relevant export promotion council.
The IEC code serves as a unique identification number for import and export entities in India.
It’s crucial to accurately provide your IEC code in these scenarios to ensure compliance with regulations and facilitate smooth transactions.
Typically 15-20 days after submitting a complete application.
Lifetime validity, but needs to be updated if business details change.
Yes, track the status online on the DGFT website.
Yes, apply for amendments online through the DGFT website.
Fines, penalties, and even imprisonment in severe cases.
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