Import Export Code (IEC) Registration

Import Export Code Registration
(Price Start at $ 30 /-)

In today’s age of cut-throat competition and globalization, every business aspires to grow and expand beyond the limits of its domestic market. While diving into the overseas market may look promising, there are certain regulations and compliances that one needs to be aware of, starting with acquiring an Import Export Code (IEC) license.

The Importer-Exporter Code, popularly known as an IEC number, is a business identification number issued by the Director General of Foreign Trade (‘DGFT’), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, now a days, the PAN number of the applicant is treated as the IEC, however, application for registration is mandatory in nature, to get oneself enrolled on the DGFT portal. Unless specifically exempted, no person can make any export or import of goods & services without obtaining an IEC. An IEC registration certificate is thus mandatory for individuals and businesses looking to get involved in the import/export business. If an importer does not have both GST Registration and an IEC code, the goods sought to be imported may get stuck at the port and start incurring demurrage charges or can even be destroyed. IEC enables importers to clear customs and shipment and allows them to transfer money to foreign banks. Conversely, exporters require an IEC to send shipments and receive money from foreign banks. The code is hence essential for clearing customs, facilitating international transactions, and complying with various trade regulations.

Unlike most other government licenses, the IEC license remains valid for a lifetime and does not need to be renewed on a regular basis, nor does it require the filing of any annual returns. However, mandatory KYC is required every year, in case of change or else. Seedling specializes in navigating the complexities of IEC acquisition, offers comprehensive solutions to the challenges businesses face while obtaining the IEC license, and seamlessly guides them through the process. Our firm is committed to supporting local entities in establishing their global presence and in taking advantage of the opportunities presented by international trade. Our team of knowledgeable experts provides professional and comprehensive service to clients, ensuring a seamless compliance journey.

What are the benefits of IEC registration in India?

  1. Global Market Access: The IEC license helps businesses expand and grow by acting as a gateway to the international market and permitting the transportation of goods to and from the global arena.
  2. Access to Government benefits:IEC registration is immensely beneficial for importers and exporters. Apart from gaining access to various government scheme benefits, license holders can enjoy subsidies from the Customs and Export Promotion Council. Exporters are able to export goods without paying tax by submitting a Goods and Services Tax (‘GST’) Letter of Undertaking (LUT) and are entitled to refunds in case tax was deducted.
  3. Quick customs clearance:Obtaining the Import-Export Code makes the customs clearance process quick and simple, and prevents delays in the transportation of imported/exported goods or services.
  4. Enhanced credibility:Having an IEC improves the credibility of businesses, builds trust with international partners, and makes cross-border transactions easy and legal.
  5. Online registration:Online registration:
  6. Perpetual validity:The code boasts of a lifetime validity and remains effective as long as the entity exists or the registration is not surrendered or revoked. This eliminates concerns regarding the code’s renewals.
  7. Simplified compliance:In contrast to other tax registrations, the entity engaged in the import and export activities is not burdened with compliance obligations such as mandatory annual fling or filing of returns.
  8. Curb illegal goods:The primary criteria for securing the IEC code is that applicants need to provide authentic and accurate information. This requirement acts as a deterrent against the transportation of illicit items and preserves trade integrity.

What are the Eligibility criteria for IEC registration in India?

  1. An IEC certificate can be obtained by or on behalf of a firm that is a proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, Limited Company, Trust, Hindu Undivided Family (‘HUF’), or Society.
  2. The entity must have an active Permanent Account Number (‘PAN’) issued by the Income Tax Department of India specifying its name and place of birth/incorporation.
  3. The business, in case of a Company, must be registered under the Registrar of Companies (‘ROC’), Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
  4. The entity should have a current bank account in the name of the concerned entity.
  5. The firm must have a valid registered office address before applying for the license.

What are the Eligibility criteria for IEC registration in India?

The list of scanned documents necessary for applying for IEC Registration is as follows:

  1. A copy of the business’ PAN card
  2. Proof of establishment, incorporation or registration of the entity
  3. Address proof – this can be done by submitting the office location’s sale deed, rent agreement lease deed, partnership deed, memorandum of understanding, or utility bills (electricity, telephone, or mobile bill). Individual proprietors may provide their Aadhar card, passport, or Voter ID card.
  4. Proof of the individual’s or firm’s bank account through copies of cancelled cheques or a bank certificate of the current account

What is the Procedure to register Import Export Code in India?

To obtain an import-export license online, applicants must follow the following steps:

  1. Visit the official DGFT website. Navigate to the 'Services' tab featured on the homepage and opt for 'IEC Profile Management' from the drop-down menu provided.
  2. On the new page, choose 'Apply for IEC.'
  3. New users can create an account by clicking on the ‘Register’ option and furnishing basic details such as their name, email address, and phone number. Click on the ‘Send OTP’ button. Enter the received OTP number and finish the registration by pressing ‘Register.’
  4. Upon successful validation of the OTP, the applicant will be provided a temporary password that can be changed later. Log in to the DGFT website using the registered email ID and password.
  5. Select “Apply for IEC” on the Dashboard. Users can either “Start Fresh Application” or choose the “Proceed with Existing Application” option if they have a draft application saved.
  6. Fill out the application form (ANF 2A format) with the required details (firm name, type of firm, PAN, contact details, office address, bank details, etc) and upload the necessary documents.
  7. Acknowledge the terms and conditions by checking the box located under the declaration.
  8. Review the Application Summary and affix your signature to the application using a digital signature certificate or Aadhar. Real-time verification of details will be conducted from the CBDT database.
  9. Confirm and pay the code application fee through internet banking, debit card, or credit card. Download the receipt for future reference.
  10. Monitor the application status online. Upon approval, the IEC certificate will be dispatched to your registered email ID. Download the certificate by accessing the DGFT website and selecting 'Print IEC' under 'IEC Profile Management.

How much Time is required to register for IEC in India?

Acquiring an IEC number from the DGFT is quite straightforward and generally takes 3 working days from the date of submission of the application. No proof of export or import is required to obtain this code.

How can Seedling help you with IEC registration in India?

At Seedling, we offer a dedicated team of professionals equipped with comprehensive knowledge and experience in IEC registration. Our commitment extends beyond procedural assistance; we act as strategic partners, ensuring businesses not only navigate the complexities of registration effortlessly but also capitalize on the global opportunities the IEC unlocks. From document preparation to liaising with authorities, we are your trusted legal ally in the realm of international trade. With a track record of successful registrations, we provide end-to-end assistance, ensuring a smooth and timely process. Securing your IEC with Seedling is the first step towards unlocking a seamless global trade experience.

Most common question about our services

Are there any cases where the Import-Export Code is not mandatory?

Acquiring the code is mandatory for import to India or export from India unless done for personal, non-commercial purposes. Exports and imports done by the Departments and Ministries of the Government of India and Notified Charitable Institutions are not required to get an IEC number. The code is also not necessary for service exports, except when the service provider is taking benefits under the Foreign Trade Policy.

Should the IEC profile be updated annually?

Yes. Although the IEC has permanent validity, after the amendment of certain provisions under Chapters 1 and 2 of the Foreign Trade Policy on February 12, 2021, the code is required to be updated every year between April to June to avoid deactivation without the payment of any update fees. A deactivated IEC can be reactivated upon successful updating. Please note that reactivation is subject to the condition that the action does not prejudice any other steps taken to prevent the violation of any provisions of the Foreign Trade Policy.

Can the IEC be modified or surrendered later?

Yes. Users need to raise a request with the DGFT and produce the requisite documents in order to make the changes. Government fees may be charged for the same. To cancel the code, inform the issuing authority of your decision. The code will be immediately cancelled after being electronically transmitted to the DGFT, who will then forward it to the Customs and Regional Authorities.

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