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An IEC is necessary for import/export of goods from one country to another. The first requirement before you start an import/ export business in India is to obtain an IEC.  IEC Code is unique 10 digit code issued by DGFT – Director General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce, Government of India. IEC stands for Import Export Code or Importer Exporter Code which is represented by a 10 digit number issued by DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade), Department of Commerce, Government of India. Obtaining this code is mandatory for bonafide companies or individuals who want to start a business of import and export in Indian territory. For example, if you are exporting handloom from India to the United States, you won’t be able to do so without an IEC license.

However, IEC is not required under following circumstances:

1. Import/export of goods for personal use, which is not connected with trade, manufacture or agriculture.

2. Import/export by government ministries and departments, and certain notified charitable organizations.

Documents for IEC:

  1. A canceled cheque which states the candidate’s printed name or bank certificate.
  2. Proof of address. You can include any of the following as proof of address:
    • Sale Deed
    • Rent agreement
    • Lease Deed
    • Electricity bill
    • Telephone Landline bill
    • Mobile Postpaid bill
    • MOU Partnership Deed
    • Aadhar Card | Passport | Voter Id

[In case the address proof is not in the name of the applicant firm, a No Objection Certificate(NOC) by the firm premises owner in favor of the firm along with the address proof is to be submitted as a single PDF document]

Advantages of IE Registration

1. It is the primary proof for a firm as an Importer/ Exporter in India.

2. It is submitted to various government authorities to obtain benefits in respect of their export and import from customs, DGFT, Export Promotion Council etc.

3. It acts as a license for Importing and Exporting of goods.

4. Through IEC number, Goods are cleared from the custom authorities.

5. It provides dealer code details along with the details of the port from which goods are being imported and export.

6. IEC reduces the transport of illegal goods.

7. IEC number shall be valid for all the divisions / units and factories indicated on the IEC number


1.Can Export/Import be made without IEC?

No. IEC forms a primary document for recognition by Govt. of India as an
Exporter/ Importer

2.What are the benefits of IEC?

On the basis of IEC, companies can obtain various benefits on their exports/ imports from DGFT, Customs, and Export Promotion Council etc.

3.Is PAN Number/PAN card essential / What are the alternatives?

Yes, PAN is mandatory. Self Certified Photocopy of PAN card has to be submitted
along with the application.

4.Do I have to show PAN Card for verification?

No. But where PAN card details are not shown on INCOME TAX website. May be requested to show original PAN card for verification.

5.Whether more than one IEC can be issued against one PAN?

* Only one IEC would be issued against a single PAN number. Any proprietor can have only one IEC number and in case there are more than one IECs allotted to a proprietor, the same may be surrendered to the Regional Office for cancellation.
**In case of more than one proprietorship firm belonging to one proprietor, they will
be indicated as branch offices of the first firm .

6.How much time does it takes to get an IEC?

Normally two working days for processing.
For cancellation of IEC 15 working days

7.Can IEC be hand delivered/Over the counter?

No, IEC issued are dispatched by Speed Post to the address mentioned on the self addressed envelope enclosed with the application. Only Deficiency Letters along with
Application form/Document will be delivered at the IEC counter to the authorized
person/Applicant having the acknowledgement receipt. If Deficiency Letter is not
collected within 5 days then it will be sent by post to the applicant.

8.How may days are required to send the data to customs?

The data is automatically transmitted electronically on the day of issue of IEC

9.Is IEC used by Custom department?