Requirement – Those who wish to import or export in India have to compulsorily obtain Import Export Code (IEC). Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce Government of India allots this number.

PAN based Code – Only one IEC would be issued against a single PAN. In case multiple IEC is allotted inadvertently or otherwise, the same may be surrendered to the Regional Office for cancellation.

Validity of IEC – The code once allotted is applicable to all the branches, divisions or units of a company/business enterprise. However, while applying one has to mention details of branches or divisions. In case any new additions to the branch are done, one can file correction form with DGFT for updating the information in IE Code. Once IEC is issued it is for life time.

Import or Export of Services or technology – in case of import or export of services or technology the Importer-exporter Code Number shall be necessary only when the service or technology provider is taking benefit under the foreign trade policy or is dealing with specified services or specified technologies (see the meaning in the next para). (As per the amendment to Section 7 of Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2010

Specified Services or specified technologies means the import or export of technology which are prohibited or restricted if it is associated with nuclear weapon programs. So, for other people like freelancer service providers and software companies who are not availing any benefit under foreign trade policy, IEC is not mandatory.

General Exemption of IEC –

  • Importer and export by central government or agencies or undertakings for defense purpose or other specified list under Foreign Trade (exemption from application of rules in certain cases) Order, 1993
  • Import or Export of Goods for personal use – Persons / Institutions / Hospitals importing or exporting goods for personal use, not connected with trade or manufacture or agriculture

How and where to apply:

There are two options available – Online Submission and offline submission of application

  • Online application form – The application can be download in PDF or Word format. This is called “AayaatNiryaat Form – ANF1 and ANF2A”
  • Demand draft for application fee
  • Every application shall be submitted to the concerned Regional Authority of Directorate General Foreign Trade in the territory

Documents required along with the application

  • Covering Letter on your company’s letter head for issue of IEC Code Number
  • Two copies of the application in prescribed format (Aayaat Niryaat Form ANF 2A) must be submitted to your regional Jt.DGFT Office
  • Each individual page of the application has to be signed by the applicant.
  • Certificate from the Banker of the applicant firm in the format given in Appendix 18A.
  • Self-certified copy of PAN issuing letter or PAN (Permanent Account Number) Card issued by Income Tax Authority.(Both Side pan Card)
  • Three copies of passport size photographs of the applicant duly attested by the Banker of the applicant
  • Evidence of payment of application fee in terms of Appendix 21B.
  • Self-addressed envelope with Rs.30/- postal stamp for delivery of IEC certificate by Registered post or Challan /DD of Rs. 100/- for speed post.

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