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What is an IEC Code?

For any individual who wishes to carry out the business related to Import and Export have to apply for the Importer Exporter Code, which is a unique 10-digit code. The Director General of Foreign Trade or commonly known as the DGFT along with Ministry of Commerce issues the code. This code needs no renewal or filing. The purpose of IEC is for importers to clear the customs and shipments, and also to transfer the money to foreign banks. In case of the exporters, they need the code to send the shipment and receive money from the foreign banks. Therefore, it is quite clear that without the IEC no importer or exporter can carry out their business activity in India.

Why register for IEC? Benefits

There are four major benefits for registering an IEC:

  1. Not only the IEC registration gives the trader an opportunity to venture into global market but also helps them with the registration in online e-commerce operators. 
  2. There are a lot of Government Schemes such as the Merchandise Export from India Scheme or the MEIS, Service Export from India Scheme or the SEIS and various other schemes from Customs and Export Promotion that can be availed by the businesses only after the registration.
  3. The best part about obtaining the IEC is that it does not come with any compliances after the registration process is completed. The business can run smoothly.
  4. Only a few basic documents are required to obtain the IEC. The process is not at all tedious.

How to Register for IEC? – A detailed IEC Procedure

The procedure to get your IEC is quite simple. You simply need to follow the points laid down below:

STEP 1: The application form for the IEC is available both online as well as offline. In case you want to fill it online, you have to fill out the Aayaat Niryaat Form No. 2A with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade. In case of offline application, you can visit the regional office of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

STEP 2: then you will be required to submit all the necessary documents along with the DSC and the bank details.

STEP 3: thereafter, the Import Export code will be allotted and the application will be further processed.

STEP 4: once all the documents and application is verified by the concerned authorities, they will grant the Import Export License in the form of a soft copy to the company.

Documents required for Import Export Code registration

The number of documents that are required for the registration of the IEC are relatively less. Only a few basic documents are asked for, and we have listed them down for your ease:

  • PAN card of the individual or the company.
  • Copy of the entity’s government ID, it could be:
    • Driving license
    • Aadhar
    • Voter ID
  • Incorporation certificate or the Partnership deed
  • Personal or company’s latest current bank account statement
  • Address proof, it could be:
    • Electricity bill
    • rent agreement
    • sale deed of the office location
  • Copy of cancelled cheque of the current account.


There is no restriction as to the form of business that can apply for the IEC. Any type of the business, such as:

  • Private Limited Company
  • Partnership
  • Charitable Organisation
  • Sole Proprietorship
  • LLP, etc.

They simply need to be involved in the import and export of goods in order to apply for an IEC. The size of the firm does not have any affect. But, in case the import or export of goods is being carried out for the personal use of the individual, then he does not need to apply for the IEC. That is to say, if he is not involved in the manufacturing, trading or agricultural activities he need not apply. It is also not important to have a business set up.

Exemption of Import Export Code

The following people are not subjected to apply for IEC:

  • Those individuals who are importing or exporting a product for their own personal use need not apply for IEC. They should not be connected to manufacturing, trade or agricultural activities.
  • In case a person is importing or exporting the goods from Indo-Myanmar border and China through NamgayaShipkila, Gunji and Nathula ports. Apart from that the entities who are importing or exporting products from Nepal and Myanmar having a single consignment and the value is not exceeding Rs. 25000. 
  • In the ITC, Appendix – 3, Schedule 2, mentions that there will be no exemption applicable to those who are involved in the export of Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials and Equipment and Technologies (SCOMET).
  • The ministries or departments of the Central as well as State Government.

The permanent IEC numbers will be used by the Non-Commercial PSUs and the categories of the importer and exporter that are mentioned infront of them for the purpose of import and export.

The source for the following table is the DGFT.

S. NoCode NumberCategories of Importers and Exporters
1.0100000011    All Ministries / Departments of Central Government and agencies wholly or partially owned by them.
2.0100000029    All Ministries / Departments of any State Government and agencies wholly or partially owned by them.
3.0100000037    Diplomatic personnel, Counsellor officers in India and officials of UNO and its specialised agencies.
4.0100000045Indians returning from / going abroad and claiming benefit under Baggage Rules.
5.0100000053Persons / Institutions / Hospitals importing or exporting goods for personal use, not connected with trade or manufacture or agriculture.
6.0100000061Persons importing/exporting goods from/to Nepal
7.0100000070Persons importing/exporting goods from/to Myanmar through Indo-Myanmar border areas
8.0100000088    Ford Foundation
9.0100000096    Importers importing goods for display or use in fairs/exhibitions or similar events under provisions of ATA Carnet. This IEC number can also be used by importers importing for exhibitions/fairs as per Para 2.29 of HBPv1.
10.0100000100Director, National Blood Group Reference Laboratory, Bombay or their authorized offices.
11.0100000126Individuals / Charitable Institution / Registered NGOs importing goods, which have been exempted from Customs duty under Notification issued by Ministry of Finance for bonafide use by victims affected by natural calamity.



Persons importing/exporting permissible goods as notified from time to time, from/to China through Gunji, Namgaya Shipkila and Nathula ports, subject to value ceilings of single consignment as given in Para 2.8(iv) above.
13.0100000169Non-commercial imports and exports by entities who have been authorized by Reserve Bank of India.

The IEC number mentioned in the table above will only be used by the non-commercial PSUs. The Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) of commercial nature, who have already obtained their PAN will have to get their Import Export Code Number.

Validity of the Import Export Code

The validity of the Import Export Code id for the lifetime. After registration it becomes permanent. Meaning thereby, the code needs no update or renewal. Until the business comes to a seizure or the registration is handed over wilfully the IEC continues to exist. Apart from this, the business needs no monthly or annual filings like in the case of GST, PF, etc. 

RCMC Registration

The Registration cum Membership Certificate or commonly known as RCMC is issued by the Export Promotion Council Body. The purpose of RCMC is for those businesses who work with exporting restricted materials along with those who want some concession under the Foreign Trade Policy, for example, the duty withdrawal.


Not only do we offer the best price rate in the market but also our team of experts will assist you throughout the registration process of the Import Export Code. The entire process of registration takes approximately 10 days. Our team will help you get your license online. on!

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