Director-General of Foreign Trade(DGFT), Ministry of Commerce, and the Government of India are solely responsible for issuing Importer Exporter Code(IEC). No person or entity in India is allowed to indulge in import-export in foreign code without it. It is a 10 digit number, once issued the code is valid for the entire business tenure and there is no requirement for renewal. To avail of the benefits of schemes like the Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MIES) and Service Export from India Scheme (SIES) under the Foreign Trade Policy (2015-202you must have had Importer Exporter Code.

The importers must quote the IEC at the time of clearing customs. Also, banks require the importer’s IE Code while sending money abroad. IE Code must be quoted while sending shipments for exporters. And banks require the exporter’s IE Code while receiving money from abroad. IE code has lifetime validity.

It is noteworthy to mention that in certain circumstances Importer Exporter Code is not required, which are as follows:

1. Government ministries and departments, involved in import/export and certain notified charitable organizations.

2. Good imported or exported with no connection to trade, manufacture, or agriculture, but for personal use.

Mandatory Requirements to Apply for Importer Exporter Code

  1. A Current Bank Account in Banks which are dealing with Foreign exchange
  2. Bankers Certificate
  3. PAN Number
  4. E-mail is not mandatory. If it is provided it will facilitate faster communication

Application Form ANF 2A (Aayaat Niryaat Form) is needed to be submitted which requires the following fields:

  1. Phone no., Email-Id, Fax No.
  2. Digital Photograph of the applicant
  3. Name of the Entity in whose name IEC is required
  4. Registered Office Address
  5. Address of branches, divisions factories located in India and abroad
  6. Bank Account details
  7. Preferred Activities- Merchant Exporter, Merchant-cum manufacturer exporter, Service provider, Manufacturer Exporter, Manufacturer cum Service Provider, Merchant cum Service Provider, Merchant cum Manufacturer cum Service Provider, or others.
  8. Different natures of businesses are required to fill in more details like Pan, Aadhar, Residential Addresses of key personnel, etc.
  9. Nature of the Entity- Proprietorship, Partnership, LLP, Private Limited, Public Limited, Government Undertaking, Section 8 company, Registered Society, Trust, or Hindu Undivided family.

After the above-mentioned form is successfully  submitted with the requisite documents,  an e-IEC i.e., Certificate of Electronic Importer Exporter Code is issued by the DGFT which contains:

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Name and Designation of the Signatory Applicant whose photograph has been uploaded
  4. IEC Number
  5. Address of the branch, division, unit, if any
  6. Date of Issue
  7. PAN
  8. Name and Designation of the Issuing Authority

Exempted Category

Exemption from obtaining Importer-Exporter Code (IEC) is provided to certain categories of importers or exporters:

  1. Ministries/Departments of the Central or State Government.
  2. Import or Export of goods from or to Nepal. It is important in this case that the CIF value of a single consignment does not exceed Indian Rs.25,000.
  3. Import/export for personal use.
  4. Import/export of goods from/to Myanmar through Indo-Myanmar border areas. It is noteworthy that a single consignment’s CIF value does not exceed Rs.25,000 INR.
  5. Clause 3(2) [except sub-clauses (i) and (k)] of the Foreign Trade (Exemption from application of Rules in certain cases) Order, 1993 covering Exporters and clause 3 (1) [except sub-clauses (e) and (l)] covering Importers.

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