Understanding The Import Export Code (IEC): Importance, Application Process, And Benefits | Semantic Taxgen Pvt Ltd


Understanding the Import Export Code (IEC): Importance, Application Process, and Benefits

June 22, 2024
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What is Import Export Code (IEC)?

The term Import Export Code (IEC) is a short form used globally to refer to a number of different licenses, permits, registrations, and certificates that are required for international business. The Import Export Code or IEC is a ten-digit number which is a special identification number that is very important while exporting or importing goods or services from or to India. Appears in or is issued by The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), which is part and partially of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries of the Government of India.

Importance of IEC:

√Business Identification: It is useful for putting a number to businesses that conduct international commerce.

√Legal Requirement: IEC is required if one is involved in exporting or importing good or service.

√Bank Facilitation: Banks need an IEC for the following involvement in the cross-border trade transactions.

√Customs Clearance: Required for processing imports before they are released and for exports before the goods are shipped.

√Availing Benefits: It also helps the businessmen to avail different export incentives and scheme launched by the government.

Functions of IEC:

√Trade Facilitation: Reduces the rigidity pertaining to import and export procedures.

√Compliance: Maintains that businesses operate within the set rules with regard to international trading activity.

√Verification: Helps in the verification of the authenticity of the trade entity.

√Documentation: Reduces the paper works at one or the other stage of trade between two or more nations.

Application Process for IEC:

√Online Application: IEC application should be filed electronically through the Integrated Design and Facilitation for Trade website of DGFT.

√Fill Form ANF 2A: Comprehend the requirements and complete the application form ANF 2A.

√Upload Documents: ½ Scan documents to submit (optional but sometimes mandatory, for instance, PAN, bank certificate, address proof).

√Fee Payment: Paying online is convenient and easy so go ahead and pay the application fee.

√Submission: Fine, complete the application for the next step to be made on it.

√Issue of IEC: However, upon verification, an IEC will be issued electronically.

Eligibility Criteria:

Any form of business that falls under proprietorship, partnership, LLP or limited company also qualify for the participation.

Step-by-Step Guide to Apply for IEC:


   – It is critically important to have a valid PAN card on you for the purposes of I-T department.

   – Sweep the account that is current in the name of the business.

   – Collect the identities like PAN, bank certificate and address proof if required.

√Online Registration:

   – Go to the DGFT website: Some of these include : <Learning use & advocacy> [DGFT Website] [■].

   – You need to click on the button ‘Apply for IEC’ located in the section ‘Services’.

   – Click on New User then enter PAN and mobile number or email if available.

√Fill Application Form (ANF 2A):

   – Fill Application Form (ANF 2A):

   – You will also need to append further particulars in the online form ANF 2A.

   – In order to scan documents, one could upload the scanned copies of relevant documents if need be.

√Payment of Fees:

   – The application fee could also be paid the same way via online banking channel, debit card or credit card.


   – Read more concerning its features and complete the application.

   – Many times the application reference number is provided which should also be noted for further future use.

√Verification and Approval:

   – Upon submission, the DGFT will scrutinize the application and the documents it comes with.

   – Once the verification is successful, the IEC will then be obtained electronically.

√IEC Issuance:

   – The IEC certificate is once issued can be downloaded from the DGFT website.

When applying these and possible measures and when ensuring that you meet the required documents and accurate information then, you are able to update your IEC with the DGFT.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Incorrect Details: Check all the details provided and ensure that you validate all that you have provided.
  • Document Mismatch: It is also important to ensure that the documents uploaded correspond to the information provided herein.
  • Inactive DSC: Always ensure that your certificate is active and properly registered.
  • Incomplete Information: Be certain that all the fields needed and all the PDFs are filled out properly and uploaded appropriately.

FAQs: (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. What is an Import Export Code (IEC)?

   – Answer: IEC code is a diversified 10 digit code that is provided by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to the traders who are indulged in import/export of goods & services.

  1. Which individuals must find the importer an IEC?

   – Answer: As mentioned earlier, import export code or IEC is mandatory for any business venture or entity intending to import or export goods in India.

  1. Where can I get detailed information about IEC and how can I apply for it?

   – Answer: For instance, Form ANF 2A enables one to apply for an IEC online through the DGFT website in the following manner; submitting the application form, attachments, and requisite fee.

  1. What are the documents that are required when applying for an IEC?

   – Answer: The documents which are necessary include PAN card or bank certificate/cancelled cheque, proof of identity and proof of address and a passport size photograph.

  1. Some people have been asking whether there is the need to pay to acquire an IEC?

   – Answer: Indeed, they are free of charge, though there is a nominal fee that the applicant is required to pay online.

  1. How long does it take to get an IEC?

   – Answer: Once the application and the documents are also sent in successfully and or accepted or verified, the IEC is normally processed within probably a few days.

  1. Is it possible to change an IEC after it has been generated?

   – Answer: Certainly, you can edit or change the IEC details using the registered login at the DGFT website and provide the changes as required.

  1. Is an IEC required for service exports?

   – Answer: Yes, it is mandatory for service exports but if the service provider is availing any benefit under the Foreign Trade Policy then he has to obtain IEC.

  1. Do I need to renew my IEC periodically?

   – Answer: No, you do not need to renew it periodically, However, IEC is issued for lifetime and does not mandate renewal like medical or nursing licenses do for doctors or nurses respectively. That being said, the details related to business should be recent.

  1. What happens if I don’t have an IEC?

   – Answer: Without an IEC, you cannot legally import or export goods or services, and banks will not process international trade transactions for your business.

  1. Can one get a lost IEC replaced?

   – Answer: To see your IEC, you can visit the official website of the DGFT, where you need to enter your username and password to access your account. If for some reason, it was deleted you can get it back from the section of your profile where you selected those applications will show up.

  1. Can one IEC be utilized for a number of business premises and can IEC be utilized for the premises not owned by the business?

   – Answer: Yes, it is legal for one IEC to have the approval for many business premises/breaks of the same company or enterprise.

  1. I need to update my bank details on this platform; how do I achieve that?

   – Answer: This is done by first accessing the DGFT site, going to the part where one can modify the IEC, getting to the part where you update the bank details and then submitting the required documents.

  1. How long is the shelf-life or validity of an IEC?

   – Answer: It tells that an IEC is adequate for the life cycle of the business and does not need to be renewed.

  1. Is IEC compulsory while exporting products through online selling channels?

   – Answer: Even in the case of exports via the Internet through sales platforms, it is required to obtain an IEC.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and is based on the latest guidelines and regulations. While we strive to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information, it may not reflect the most current legal or regulatory changes. Taxpayers are advised to consult with a qualified tax professional or you may contact to our tax advisor team through call +91-9871990777 or info@semantictaxgen.in the appropriate government authority to verify the accuracy of the information and to obtain advice on their specific tax situations.

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