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IEC Registration

Any form of business that carries out the process of import and exports would require a business transaction number. This number is known as the import export code (IEC). The Import Export Code is a ten digit identification number which has to be quoted by the business during every transaction of import and export. Every individual or business requires obtaining an IEC Certification. The process of obtaining the Import Export Code Certification is straightforward. However, it would be beneficial to utilise services from a third-party for import export code Certification.

Package inclusions:
  • Process of applying for the Import Export Code Certification.
  • Liaising with the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) for IEC certification.
  • Securing the DGFT IEC certification.
  • Application for Online IEC.
  • Filing Documents for Registration.
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IEC Certification- An Overview

After liberalisation in 1991, the Indian Markets were open to foreign investment. Along with such opportunities, Indian businesses were also allowed to invest in other countries.

Apart from securing investment, businesses in India were allowed to carry out the process of import and export. The Government of India, Ministry of Commerce and Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) made it easier for businesses by introducing the Import Export Code Certification.

By registering under this system, any business can utilize the benefits provided by the government of India. Apart from this, diversification of opportunities is possible by complying with the requirements of the IEC certification.

Before going international, it is compulsory to take the IEC certification. There are different advantages which are secured from seeking this form of registration.

Meaning of Import Export Code

IEC is an abbreviation for Import Export Code. Any institution or business requires this certification to improve their avenues. Any individual, partnership or business requires this certification for carrying out the activities related to import and export in India.

This certification is issued by the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). It is a ten digit number which provides proof that the business can engage in imports and exports. The applicant requires to register for the IEC code.

However there is lifetime validity for this code. Hence the applicant would not require going for the process of renewal of this certification. It would usually take about a month to secure this code.  Any business not fulfilling the requirement of the import export code would not be allowed to carry out any process.

Regulatory Authority/ Body for Import Export Code Registration

The primary regulatory authority or body for IEC registration is the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). The Government of India, Ministry of Commerce and the DGFT are the main authorities for the IEC. Applications have to be made independently to the DGFT for any IEC registration. This system can be carried out online through the DGFT website.

Benefits of Import Export Code

Benefits of Import Export Code

  • Diversification of Business

One of the main benefits of applying for IEC is to expand business opportunities. This can be achieved not only through exports, but also imports into India. Any entrepreneur or company can have seamless experience without any compliance burden.

  • Government Benefits

Registering under the IEC system would automatically provide the business with benefits. Any form of compliance related provisions can be adhered by the business. Apart from this, there would be certain schemes which would provide benefits to businesses.

  • No Requirement to File Returns

No returns are required to be filed under this system. Hence one the code is assigned there is no requirement to prove the certification’s legitimacy by filing of returns.

  • Only One Time Registration

As per the requirement of the business, this compliance for registration has to be carried out only once. Though a business cannot carry out any activities related to export and import without this license. However, when a business or proprietor takes this license, there is no requirement to renew this license.

  • Seamless Processing

The system related to IEC registration is completely online. Hence, processing time would be quick when compared to the offline procedure. Under this system the applicant is provided an OTP number when an initial application for registration is made. Hence through this system, seamless processing times can be achieved.

  • Authorised by Government

When carrying out exports from India, products which are shipped would be certified as per the requirements of the DGFT. Hence through this process, increased reputation can be achieved.

Which Businesses require Import Export Code?

require Import Export Code

  • Proprietorship Firm

An individual carrying out the process of imports and exports would require to secure the IEC certification.

  • Partnership Firm

A firm of partners would also require taking this certification, if they are exporting and importing products.

  • Limited Liability Partnership

Any partnership formed under the limited liability partnership act, 2008 (LLP Act, 2008) would require to take this certification in the business of trading outside India.

  • Private Limited Company

Any company which is established under the companies act, 2013 or previous company law would also require this certification, if the company is engaged in sending products outside India.

  • Trust

Any form of entity engaged in carrying out the activities for the beneficiary also has to comply with the requirement of securing the Import Export Code.

  • Hindu Undivided Family

Any Hindu Undivided Family where the individuals comprise of a Karta and Sole members would also require this form of certification for carrying out imports and exports.

  • Society

Any society which is formed under the Co-operative society or the societies registration act would require this license to carry out imports to India and exports outside India.

When is Import Export Code Registration Required?

IEC registration is required for the following circumstances:

  • For Clearing Shipments of the importer from customs authorities.
  • When remitting money abroad through authorised banks, banks require this code.
  • Exporting Shipments abroad.
  • When the exporter receives inward remittance, then this code is required by the bank.
  •  For Food Licensing and FSSAI registration this code is required.
  • For APEDA registration this code is required.
  • Any form of subsidy availed by the exporter then this code would be required.

Characteristics of the Import Export Code

Characteristics of the Import Export Code

  • Mandatory Requirement

All business entities have to compulsory take the IEC registration. Without this registration, the business is not permitted to carry out any activities related to export and import.

  • Legal Testament and Evidence

The IEC certification acts as a legal testament and evidence, that the business has complied with the requirement of the DGFT. Through this certification, import and export activities can be carried out seamlessly.

  • Lifetime Validity

This form of certification requires only one time registration. It goes by the principle that once a business entity is registered, it is always registered. Hence, the applicant would not have to spend extra time for renewal of certificate of registration.

  • IEC Registration is required to comply with law

Businesses opt for this form of registration, as it is a mandatory requirement. Apart from this, there is limited compliance one the business user has taken a registration under this system.

  • Required for Foreign Bank Transfers

Whenever a business makes a foreign bank transfer, then quoting the Import Export Code is mandatory.

  • All Entities can use this Code

All business entities can utilize this code for carrying out different forms of imports and exports processes.

Process of Registering for IEC

The following steps have to be considered by the applicant for registering the IEC:

applicant for registering the IEC

  • Preparation for Application

The process of applying for the IEC code is conducted online on the DGFT website. To start the application process, the applicant has to visit online the website to proceed with the application process.  The applicant would have to go to the services tab of the DGFT website (https://www.dgft.gov.in/CP/) and click on IEC profile management. Through this system, the applicant would get a separate ID and password which can be utilised for correspondence. Login information would be required to be provided at this step. After personal information is added to this, then an OTP (One Time Password) would be generated. When providing information, all the personal information for identification must be provided. If the applicant is registering a business then information pertaining the business must be provided. With the above, even the registered email id must be provided.

  • Processing the Application

Once the application is prepared online, the applicant must check whether all information corresponds to the requirements. With this, the applicant would also have to accept a declaration that the information provided by him is true and correct. After this the applicant would have to submit the form online. This can be achieved through two methods: either the Aadhaar OTP or the Digital Signature Certificate Method. Under the digital signature certificate method, there is Class 2 and Class 3 token for entities. The applicant has to ensure the driver related to the DSC is operating properly.

  • Payment of IEC fees

After the above process is carried out for Import export code, the payment must be made through the portal. A payment of Rs. 500/- is required for the IEC registration process. Once the payment is made, the applicant will be redirected to another portal by the name of BharatKosh.

  • Issuing Code

After this process, the application status can be tracked and monitored online. Usually the IEC certificate would be provided after few days to the applicant.

GST under IEC Code

Under the Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 indirect tax would be levied on the goods that are imported into the country. This will also apply to interstate ways of making trade.

For record, the GSTIN number is required to be quoted when products are imported into the country. This method has to be carried out regularly for every transaction.

Apart from this, the Permanent Account Number (PAN) is utilised for IEC number.

GSTIN would be quoted on transactions which represent the inflow of imports.  This will be used to calculate the interstate trade. For any other form of refund or rebate which is applicable, the GSTIN number should also be quoted.

Any Government Institution carrying out the processes and procedures related to import and export would not require any import export code.

Are any Businesses or individuals exempted from registering under the Import Export Code?

  • If the purpose of export or import is only personal, then such is exempted from IEC registration.
  • Individuals who want to export or import products to or from Myanmar and Nepal through China and Indo-Myanmar fringe zones  by way of one transfer that does not exceeds the value of Rs. 25,000 in Indian cash do not require to take IEC registration.
  • IEC registration would not be required for specific Chemicals such as SCOMET (Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment and Technologies) as provided in Appendix - 3, Schedule 2 of the ITC (HS).

Documents for Import Export Code Registration

Sole Proprietorship

  • (3*3) Digital Photos of the Applicant
  • PAN details of proprietor
  • Unique Identification, Voter ID, Passport and Driving License of the applicant
  • If the business is owned, then respective sale deed must be provided
  • Copy of Lease Agreement, if the premises is let out

Partnership

  • Nine Digital Photos of the Applicant
  • Partnership Deed Copy
  • PAN Card
  • Unique Identification, Voter ID, Passport and Driving License of the applicant
  • If the business is owned, then respective sale deed must be provided
  • Copy of Lease Agreement, if the premises is lent out
  • Bank Certificate in the form of ANF 2A

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) and Private Company

  • (3*3) Digital Photos of the Applicant
  • PAN Card Copy
  • Unique Identification, Voter ID, Passport and Driving License of the applicant
  • If the business is owned, then respective sale deed must be provided
  • Copy of Lease Agreement, if the premises is lent out
  • Bank Certificate in the form of ANF 2A 

Trust

  • Certificate of Registration of the Trust
  • Copy of the Trust Deed
  • (3*3) Digital Photos of the Applicant (Managing Trustee)
  • PAN Card Copy
  • Unique Identification, Voter ID, Passport and Driving License of the applicant
  • If the business is owned, then respective sale deed must be provided
  • Copy of Lease Agreement, if the premises is lent out
  • Bank Certificate in the form of ANF 2A

Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)

  • (3*3) Digital Photos of the Applicant i.e the Karta of the HUF
  • PAN Card of the Karta
  • Unique Identification, Voter ID, Passport and Driving License of the applicant (Karta)
  • If the business is owned, then respective sale deed must be provided
  • Copy of Lease Agreement, if the premises is lent out
  • Bank Certificate in the form of ANF 2A

Hence any applicant would have to submit the above documents for Import Export Code Certification process.

How to reach Enterslice for Import Export Code Registration?

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes it is possible to utilise electronic signature for the IEC. E- Signature can be used for Aadhaar virtual ID by sole proprietors and any other entity other than a sole proprietor. Under this system, validation is also possible.

Yes it is possible to modify an existing IEC application. Under registration of services, the applicant should go to the manage services tab. After this go to validate tab where the information related to the DSC will be present. Here the applicant can click to modify.

Yes after the introduction of the GST the name number would be considered for the IEC.

The following are the consequences for not taking IEC:

• No Export and Import Activities can be conducted

• No Remittance can be conducted

• Foreign banks cannot receive any form of remittance.

Yes once the IEC number is granted, the applicant can link the number. This process must be carried out online through the DGFT website.

Yes an individual can make an application for the import export code. However, this application has to be made as a sole proprietor business.

Yes an IEC code can be got even without a DSC.

An individual or entity can only receive one IEC. However, if the activities are carried out by different entities then different IECs have to be made separately for each respective entity.

No one the IEC is applied for there is no other compliance required under the authority.

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