Import Export Code (IEC)

Understanding the Importer and Exporter Code (IEC)
Hailing from a nation that’s piling doctors and engineers upon one another in an almost treacherous fashion, the understanding and appreciation of entrepreneurship is slowly fading away- you just don’t hear youngsters these days call themselves businessmen. The value of import and export of goods between countries is attributed not only to the economic well being of the nations involved but also in playing an important role in forging important international relations. Here’s to achieving that and bringing about a much needed boost to the business sector in our country-one step at a time.
This is a trade enabling code that as the name suggests, facilitates the international import and export of goods on a commercial basis. This can be issued to an individual or a company depending on the nature of the business under the Foreign Trade Act of 1992. It comprises of 10 digits, each IEC being unique to those it is being issued for and is compulsory for anyone wishing to carrying out a commercial import or export internationally in India. This applies to goods as well as services as enlisted by the government. IEC is not a necessary factor when one sends or receives products on a personal, non commercial basis or if the transaction is domestic. It is issued to only those who have a bank account. All of these phrases that are more commonly used are in fact describing the IEC- the Import Export License, Import License, Export License, Import Number, Export Number, etc.
The IEC is issued on the basis of the Permanent Account Number which is a unique identification provided to taxpayers to authenticate the process. Hence the IEC does not need any renewal, can be cancelled when needed and is applicable to multiple branches of a company. The IEC does not require any filing or returns.
If applied for online (e-IEC), digital copies are constantly available to be downloaded and printed as necessary on the IEC portal -however, those who have applied for this physically have to apply again digitally and obtain the certification again in the electronic format. The modifications on the IEC is a rather tedious process, that can only be done online. All the required documentation are submitted again with the changes indicated as required.

Benefits of Import Export Code

Unlocking International Markets

Issued by DGFT in India, this IEC is a 10-digit number that is very important and a mandatory requirement for trade relations with international traders. This code allows you to get registered on popular international marketplaces like Alibaba, Amazon and Ebay.

Lifetime Validity?

IEC is issued for the validity of the firm and no renewal is necessary whatsoever. So, once a firm is issued an IE code it can carry out export and import transactions without any hassles.


Once applied there is no worry of renewal of the certification- modifications can be made when required upon shifting locations of the company or in case of a change in the directors or partners of the company.

Claim the refund of various taxes?

As an exporter, you are entitled to claim the refund of various taxes that you end up paying while exporting. With an IEC in your hand, you can easily get the refund for the taxes paid. In some cases, the Govt even waives off the import duty levied on your goods, provided you export the same goods in a set time frame.

Incentives on Exports

Owing to the importance of the export of goods to boost up the economic status of our country as it makes way for the extremely valuable Foreign Exchange, the government encourages exports of goods worldwide. Multiple Schemes have been put forward to provide incentives which allow the exporters a refund of up to 5 percent of the value invoiced.

Increased Opportunities

While a company might’ve not started out planning on international exporting of their goods and services, the issuing of an IEC is a straight go- pass for such firms who upon being presented with the opportunity of a foreign trade need not pass out on the benefits it brings along owing to delayed application procedures.

No filing of Returns?

IEC does not mandate the filing of any return. Once an IEC is issued, there are no further procedures to maintain the validity of the IEC. No filings to the DGFT are required even if import and export transactions take place.

Individuals too can have IE code?

Even individuals who are proprietors of a business can be an IE code in their name. It is not absolutely necessary to register as a business entity only, to obtain an IE code.

Necessary Basic Documents for IEC registration

PAN Card

Permanent Account Number (PAN) Card of the applying individual or company.


A cancelled cheque of an active Savings Account or Current Account.

Aadhar Card and Residence Proof

Aadhar Cards of all the directors and partners of the company and Relevant address proofs.

Digital Signature

Digital Signature- Class 2 or Class 3

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  •   Free Consultancy
  •   Application Drafting
  •   Application Filing
  •   Import Export Code Certificate

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FAQ's on IEC Registration

Yes, an Individual also can have IEC certificate.

IEC certification is mandatory for anybody who is doing any commercial activity with foreign countries.

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