Import Export Code (IEC) and Its Uses

With maximum global population using internet for online shopping, it is necessary for any online sellers to expand their brand overseas as well to capture the prospects in the foreign land. But cross-border shipping is not simple as domestic shipping. Import or export of goods or services is controlled by Central Government of India’s, foreign trade policy and certain documentation and registrations have to be done if you are sending packages to abroad as a commercial shipment from India. One such very important registration is, getting IEC i.e. Importer Exporter Code. If you are sending shipment for personal use then, IEC is not required. Let us understand more about IEC and the need to have it.

What is IEC?
In order to trade any product or services to overseas from India or vice versa, of value above Rs 25,000 as commercial shipment then, it is must to have IEC, irrespective of the magnitude of your business. Importer Exporter Code constitutes 10 digit number given by the Director General of Foreign Trade for businesses to carry out an International trade. Only one IEC number will be assigned to a single PAN number. It plays important role in clearing shipments from customs while importing/exporting the goods and also needed by the bank when the transaction is done in a bank account through foreign currency.

Advantages of having IEC:
1. It acts as a permit to expand your business in international market.
2. IEC is one-time code i.e. it does not expire; hence any kind of renewal is not necessary.
3. Once an IEC is assigned, it is not necessary to file returns.
4. Since all the information related to the goods being imported/ exported is given, the   movement of illegal goods is decreased.
5. The advantage of refund of certain taxes paid during export of goods.

Documents required for registration of IEC Number:
Some of the general documents required for IEC are:

1. PAN Card copy.
2. Copy of any of these - Passport /Voter ID card/ Driving License/ Aadhar card.
3. Passport size photographs.
4. Bank Certificate/ copy of canceled cheque of the applicant's current bank account.
5. Company’s Letterhead.
6. A self-addressed envelope with postal stamp pasted on it to send IEC certificate.
7. Sale deed/ Memorandum of understanding/partnership deed/ depending on the business and type of ownership.

How to apply for IEC Number?
You can apply for IEC through online or offline.

For offline registration, the applicant must download the application form ANF2A from DGFT website and enter the relevant details in the form and fill part A, B & D and sign each page of the application. Attach a Demand Draft of Rs 250 as a confirmation of payment of application fee along with the self-addressed envelope. Submit the hard copy of the application form with the documents to the Regional Director General of Foreign Trade office.

In order to apply online, the applicant has to log into DGFT website and enter your PAN number and create an application. Through online banking make payment of Rs 250 and fill in all the other required fields in the application forms along with the scanned copy of the documents (only GIF and PDF file formats) and once online application is filled, a printout of it can be taken.

IEC code will be issued once all the furnished documents are verified by DGFT. It will be sent in the post to the address given by the applicant. Once you have received the 10 digit IEC code, you can start your international trading.


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