Credentials for IEC Licence in India

IEC Licence Registration - Features, Documents & Process

Online Legal India LogoBy Online Legal India Published On 03 Sep 2022 Updated On 06 Jan 2023 Category IEC

Everyone wants to grow their firm above the confines of the home market in this era of fierce competition. However, not everyone enjoys conducting business internationally. Before going global, you must adhere to a number of regulations and rules, get various registrations, and obtain licences. When considering importing or exporting from India, one of the requirements is an IEC (Import Export Code) licence. It also goes by the name Importer-Exporter Code.

What is an Import-Export Code?

Anyone wishing to begin their import or export business in the country must have an Import Export Code (IEC). The ICE certificate, which has a 10-digit code and a lifetime validity, is issued by the Director-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). Without a ten-digit IEC, neither importers nor exporters are eligible for any benefits.

Circumstances where IEC is required

  • The customs administrators require it when an importer has to clear his cargo via customs.
  • The bank requires the funds when an importer transfers money overseas through banks.
  • The customs port needs it when an exporter has to dispatch his cargo.
  • When an exporter gets foreign currency payments straight into his bank account, the bank demands it.

Essential Features of IEC Registration

Increase business

Business is expanded and grown by employing the import-export industry to sell goods and services outside of India, which will ultimately lead to the company's growth.

Government Programs Are Beneficial

The Indian government assists the business owner in exporting goods from India. 

Therefore, having an IEC code makes it simple for exporters to benefit from customs, DGFT export marketing programmes, export promotion council, etc.


Based on the IEC Code, a company that engages in import & export activities makes use of government-provided fare assistance.

Importance of Import and Export Code

International Market Unlocks: 

Because the IE Code is necessary for both import and export operations, it enables the items to be sold on the global market. The IE code facilitates an Indian company's entry into the global market and creates opportunities for development and expansion.

Online Registration: 

Finding the IE Code is a simple, hassle-free process that requires minimum paperwork submission.

Fewer Papers Required: 

In India, relatively few documents are needed in order to receive an IE Code. The list of the needed paperwork for acquiring an import-export code is available here.

  • The applicant's PAN
  • Cancelled Cheque 
  • Applicant's photo 
  • Applicant’s address proof

Lifetime Validity: 

The IE Code registration is good for as long as the company is in operation. As a result, updating, submitting, & renewing Import Export Code registration are all without problems. The IEC registration is valid as long as the business is active or as long as it isn't cancelled or given up.

Reduces Transportation of Illegal Goods: 

The import-export code's most fundamental provision is that you must give accurate information. 

It is impossible to receive an IE code without the required information. 

Transportation of unlawful products is prohibited under this criteria.

Advantages of Schemes: 

The IE code provides significant advantages for both exporters and importers. The registered business enterprises will be eligible to receive advantages from Customs, the Export Promotion Council, or other agencies in the form of subsidies. Exporters can perform exports without paying taxes by submitting LUT under GST. If exports are made after paying taxes, the exporter may request a return of the tax amount paid.


In contrast to other tax registrations, carrying out an export or import does not need to meet any particular compliance requirements, such as the yearly filing or return filings.

Documents Required for IEC Registration


  • Digital portrait of the proprietor.
  • A copy of the proprietor's PAN card.
  • Copy of voter's I-card, driver's licence, passport (first and final pages), and UID (Aadhar card)  
  • The most recent electricity or phone bill, a sale deed if the business location is self-owned, a rental or lease agreement if the office is rented or leased, or both.
  • Cancelled cheque with the applicant's name and account number preprinted, or bank certificate in accordance with ANF 2A(I).

Partnership Firm

  • Digital portrait of the managing partner.
  • A copy of the application entity's PAN card.
  • Copy of voter's I-Card, driving licence, passport (first and last pages), UID (Aadhar Card), or PAN of the managing partner signing the application.
  • Copies of partnership agreements
  • The most recent electricity or phone bill, a sale deed if the business location is self-owned, a rental or lease agreement if the office is rented or leased, or both.
  • Bank Certificate in accordance with ANF 2A (I) or a voided check with the applicant entity's name and account number preprinted on it.

Private Limited Company or LLP or Section 8 Company

  • The Designated Partner or Director of the Company must be shown in a digital photograph (3x3cms) signing the application.
  • A copy of the application entity's PAN card.
  • Copy of the voter's I-Card, driving licence, PAN (any one of these), voter's passport (first and last pages), or voter's UID (Aadhar card) of the managing partner or director signing the application.
  • The most recent power or phone bill, the rental/lease agreement, or the certificate of incorporation as issued by the RoC Sale deed, if the business location is self-owned.
  • A bank certificate in accordance with ANF 2 A(I)/a cancelled check with the firm name and account number preprinted.

Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)

  • 3x3 cm. digital image of the Karta.
  • A copy of Karta's PAN card.
  • Copy of Karta's driver's licence, voter ID card, passport (first and last pages), or UID (Aadhar card).
  • The most recent electricity or phone bill, a sale deed if the business location is self-owned, a rental or lease agreement if the office is rented, or both.
  • Cancelled cheque with the applicant's name and account number preprinted, or bank certificate in accordance with ANF 2A(I).

Society or Trust

  • A 3-by-3-cm. digital portrait of the signing applicant, secretary, or chief executive
  • A copy of the application entity's PAN card.
  • Copy of voter's I-Card, driver's licence, PAN, voter's passport (first and final pages), or voter's UID (Aadhar card) of the Secretary, Chief Executive, or Managing Trustee signing the application.
  • The most recent electricity or phone bill, a sale deed if the business location is self-owned, a rental or lease agreement if the office is rented or leased, or both.
  • Copies of the Trust Deed and the Society's Registration Certificate
  • Bank Certificate in accordance with ANF 2A(I)/Cancelled Cheque with the Account Number and the preprinted name of the Registered Society or Trust.

IEC Registration Process

  • Go to the official portal of the DGFT website.
  • The 'Services' tab will appear on the home page.
  • From the drop-down option, choose 'IEC Profile Management.
  • There will be a fresh page. On the page, choose the "Apply for IEC" option.
  • Select "Register" from the menu. 
  • Click the "Sent OTP" button after entering the necessary information. After entering the OTP, press the "Register" button.
  • You will receive a notice providing the temporary password when the OTP is successfully validated, which you may alter after you've logged into the DGFT website.
  • Enter your password and user name to access the DGFT website after registering there.
  • Select "Apply for IEC" from the drop-down menu on the DGFT website.
  • Select the Submit & Generate IEC Certificate option when you have completed the application form (in ANF 2A format), uploaded the necessary paperwork, and made the necessary payment.
  • The DGFT will produce the IEC code. Once the IEC code is created, you may print your certificate.

IEC Exemption

  • Individuals who import & export products for personal objectives unrelated to trade, agriculture, or manufacturing
  • Parties or individuals who import or export products to/from Nepal and Myanmar with a single consignment shall not exceed a value of 25,000 through Indo-Myanmar border areas & China (through NamgayaShipkila, Gunji, and Nathula ports).
  • According to appendix 3, schedule 2 of the ITC, exports of materials, organisms, special chemicals, equipment, and technology (SCOMET) by central and state government ministries and departments are not excluded from the requirement to get an IEC.

Cases where an IEC license is not needed

IEC is not needed for all GST-registered traders, according to the government's most recent circular. In each of these scenarios, the trader's PAN will be interpreted as a new IEC code for import and export purposes. If the products being imported or exported are just being utilised for personal, non-commercial purposes, Import Export Code (IEC) need not be used. Notified charitable organisations may export and import through the departments and ministries of the Government of India without needing an import export code.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Regardless of the size of the firm, every registrant dealing with the import or export of commodities should register with IEC. 
  • Importing or exporting goods for personal use is not subject to the IEC Registration Process since they are unrelated to commerce, manufacturing, or agriculture. 
  • Applying for IEC does not necessitate starting a business.

Validity of IEC Registration Process

The Import Export code is valid for a lifetime and has 10 digits. As a result, updating, renewing, or applying for IEC Registration is not difficult. The registration is valid so long as the business is still operating or until it is cancelled or given up. There is no IEC registration-related compliance obligation, such as an annual filing requirement.



Q1. Can I get my IEC registration done online?

Yes, you can get your IEC registration done online. There are many service providers like Online legal India for your requirements. 

Q2. What is an  IEC license?

A vital company identifying number required for exporting from or importing into India is an Importer-Exporter Code (IEC). Unless explicitly exempted, no person may export or import without first obtaining an IEC.

Q3. Can I start an import-export business without acquiring an IEC license?

It depends on the Government. An Import-Export Code license must be obtained by any person, firm, or single proprietor operating in the import-export industry. 

It is a crucial acknowledgment given by the government to both importers and exporters of products and services.

Q4. Is the validity of an IEC license for a lifetime?

Yes, the validity of an IEC license is for a lifetime.

Q5. Is the need for IEC registration product-based?

No, the need for IEC registration is not product-based. It is valid for a lifetime.



Anyone wishing to begin their import/export firm in the nation must get an IEC (Import Export Code). The Director General of Foreign Trade releases it. 

The 10-digit IEC code is valid at all times. Without the Import Export Code license, merchants who are primarily importers are unable to import products, while merchants who are primarily exporters are unable to receive advantages from DGFT for the export plan, etc. A corporate entity must have an import and export code, which is a 10-digit unique identifier provided by India's Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), in order to import and export goods. The Import and Export Code aids in the expansion of the company on a worldwide scale.



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Anjali Malhotra


Anjali Malhotra


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