Unlocking the Secrets of IEC Code: A Comprehensive Guide

IEC code, short for Importer Exporter Code, is a ten digit number issued by DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade), Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India. It is one of the prerequisites when you are thinking of importing and exporting business from India.

Why is IEC Code Crucial for Your Import/Export Business?

Any Indian who wants to expand their business beyond the limits of the domestic market must comply with relevant laws and register their business license to obtain necessary license numbers. IEC is a mandatory requirement for anyone looking to start their import/export business in the country. This 10-digit code, issued by the DGFT, is permanent and has no expiry date. Importers cannot import goods without it, and exporters cannot benefit from DGFT export schemes without it.

The Nitty-Gritty of IEC Code Application

If you are engaged in commercial business by importing or exporting goods, obtaining an IEC code is a must to run your business legally. But how do you get it? Let’s dive into the details.

Preparing Your IEC Code Application

Before you can get your IEC code, there are certain documents you need to prepare for your online registration:

  • Copy of PAN Card
  • Passport size photograph
  • Copy of Aadhaar Card/Voter identity card
  • Authorization letter (In case of Partnership)
  • Authority from other Directors on letterhead (In case of a company)
  • Copy of Partnership deed (In case of Partnership)
  • Board Resolution/self-declaration (In case of a Company)
  • Telephone Bill in the name of the Individual (In case of an individual)
  • Canceled Cheque of the individual
  • Current bank account details
  • Online payment of fees (credit card or net banking facility) for the registration (approximately Rs. 500)
  • Digital signature for signing the application online

Getting Your IEC Code Online

To apply for your IEC code online, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the DGFT website.
  2. Find “IEC Online Application” and click on the option.
  3. Enter a valid PAN, and the IEC Main Menu will pop up.
  4. Create a new IEC code by clicking “File” and “Create.”
  5. Complete the form, upload the required documents, and proceed to the payment section.
  6. Pay the fee online using your chosen method.
  7. Verify your uploaded documents with a digital signature.

If you follow the regulations, your IEC code will be issued within 3-7 days.

The Benefits of IEC Code

IEC code comes with several benefits:

  • It is permanent with no need for renewal.
  • No return filing is required.
  • No proof of IEC code is needed for import or export.
  • It grants access to benefits from various government bodies.

Frequently Asked Questions About IEC Code

  1. What’s the use of Import Export Code?
    • It is the primary proof for a firm as an Importer/Exporter in India.
    • It is submitted to various government authorities to obtain benefits.
    • It acts as a license for importing and exporting goods.
  2. Is IEC (Import Export Code) required for an Indian company providing online services?
    • It depends on your business. If you are involved in international trade or service, you are required to obtain IEC to streamline your business.
  3. Can an individual apply for IEC code, and is a current account mandatory for IEC code?
    • An individual can apply for the code, and there is no restriction on Foreign Trade Rules. Regarding the current account, it is suggested to use it for commercial purposes.
  4. Is it necessary to get an IEC code after the GST?
    • Yes, it is necessary to get an IEC code even after GST because GST and Customs Act are different from each other.
  5. Is it possible to import/export multiple products with one company license and IEC code?
    • Yes, IEC is for all products, either imports or exports, except for certain restricted items.

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