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What is Online Import Export Code (IEC) Registration and who needs it?


Last Updated on March 14, 2024 by Kanakkupillai

If a business is your goal and entrepreneurship is your dream, then you have come across the right landing page. Starting a company might be a natural process in this digital age, but engaging it across the country is a hard job, it needs many documents to get your product or service in the form of export or import. The Indian government has formulated a set of laws to function in this way, with a unique code-named “Import and export code.” This code is mandatory for every business to take forward the export and import goals.

Import and export code is a ten-digit unique identification issued by the Ministry of Commerce, Director General of Foreign Trade (Government of India) to each Indian company. In a simple term, the Import Export Code (IEC) code is required by importers and exporters to function in the import or export business. Hence, the IEC is a mandatory document, and no company or entity can import or export anything in their business process without the IEC number. Further, in this blog, you will learn the documents required, eligibility and means to obtain this Import Export Code.

Eligibility for obtaining the IEC number

The Foreign Trade Regulation Rules (provisions of 1993) govern the complete functioning of import and export in India. So, the IEC also functions under the same statute. In case the import or export is of technology or services, the IEC is required in only a few circumstances, during the import or export is in specified technologies or specified services or the services or technologies via which the Government of India abandons international trading as they have consequences to national security like dealing in nuclear or heavy weapons, automatic firing guns, etc. 
under the following circumstances, the IEC is not needed:

  • Import or export of goods related to personal use, which is not connected with manufacture/trade/agriculture.
  • Import or export by government departments and ministries and some verified charitable organizations.

Steps To Follow In Online To Receive The IEC Code:

STEP 1: Go to the DGFT website (Directorate General of Foreign Trade). On the left side, under the option ‘Quick Links’, you can see ‘Online IEC Application’. You have to just click it.

STEP 2: Now, the ‘LOGIN FOR IEC ONLINE’ page appears on the screen. You should enter the Permanent Account Number (PAN).
Now, you have to click ‘Next’ by providing the PAN. Then, the E-mail ID and mobile number associated with the PAN appear on the screen. After completing the ‘Captcha’ process, you should click on Token Generation. You will receive separate One-Time Passwords (OTPs) in the registered mobile number and email. Now, you must type the OTPs, re-enter the current “Captcha,” and press the “Submit” option. 
Before starting the process, we remind everyone that after we login, if the page is not active for 10- 15 minutes, you will be automatically logged out. To log in again, the same steps must be followed.

STEP 3: The next step is to update the “Master Data”.All the required information is provided in detail on that landing page. It is to be noted that a Digital Signature and a Photo are mandatory to send. Now you must add Address Proof and a Cancelled Cheque/Bank Certificate.

A new green option will pop out on the right end of the same page, where you should fill out all the necessary data for the entity, such as the Name, Address, City, State, District, and PIN Code. Always enter your name as mentioned on the PAN Card.

Then, the concern type is filled in automatically. Enter the preferred activity (From the options below, you can select any one of the options for the preferred activity). Bank information is filled in automatically. To enter the Director’s details, the individual’s PAN, father’s name, and Date of birth are to be entered necessarily. You must update the Branch details, too. When all the data are filled precisely, click on the ‘Update’ option.

STEP 4: Attach Scan Copies of Required Documents
To upload your documents, select the document category and type. Note—The cancelled Cheque and PAN card must be in either PDF or GIF format. You must select the drop-down option to click “Document Category and Type.” Choose the files from your location and select upload. Now, on the left end of the screen, you can view a notification stating the documents have been uploaded successfully.

STEP 5: Payment.
You must click on the payment link which will redirect you to a screen named Payment Initiation, here the details are auto-filled like DGFT ID, and fee. You must press on pay, and other windows will open. Now, you have to select from various options like debit cards, credit cards, and net banking. You should pay Indian rupees of 500.00 for the fee. After paying, you will get a receipt, and also you can click on the tab “Verify Payment” on the main page.

STEP 6: Preview
In this, you have the option to preview the application form and make any necessary changes. You also have the option to “print” for your convenience. 

STEP 7: Submit
You have to submit the IEC application & should be very careful while submitting it. Choosing the correct “Jurisdictional DGFT” as per your location is mandatory for your benefits. As soon you submit the file, you can get the certificate via a new window. Before that, it will be sent to the registered mail id. Now, you can get it at once using the revised method. So, getting IEC registration to be done is an amazingly effortless process, and it hardly takes 30 minutes.

Some of the Benefits of the Import and Export Business are:

For Import Business

Several businesses in India tend to produce the goods and services for the European and American market. This is because of the size in the market and purchases power belonging to the population over there. But when a new product/service is introduced to these couple of markets, it will for sure take a year or more before the product/service is introduced in other smaller markets.

Becoming a Leader in the International Market

The key benefit of importing a product or service is the opportunity to stomp a heavy market value for the brand as a market leader. This is due to the fact that manufacturing new and improved products is a never-ending process; several businesses worldwide utilize the chance to import new, unique products before their competitors do. As the first to import a new product, you have a high probability of becoming a global import and export industry leader.

Reducing Cost

Another large-scale benefit of importing is the reduction in the manufacturing costs of the service/product. Many businesses in current days find to be importing their products like parts of bikes, cars, computers, smartphones or any resources that are more affordable and cheaper than producing them geographically in the host country.

For Export Business

Increase in the sales profit: In the process of importing products, you can help the businesses reduce costs; exporting products can also ensure an increase in sales and sales potential in a big margin. Businesses that focus more on exporting trends have the status of expanding their vision and markets within their location,  internationally or globally. Not just earning money by selling the product/service offerings on the local market, the businesses are focused on inventing many new opportunities to represent the work overseas (in other countries) to make more profits.

Other Features:

  • Achieve worldwide markets
  •  Can easily claim the refund of various taxes paid while exporting the goods.
  • The IEC code-getting process is completely online.
  • The documentation process is easy.
  • No renewal is required (Permanent registration).
  • Nil compliance for IEC registration
  • Nil fee for annual maintenance.


Kanakkupillai is your reliable partner for every step of your business journey in India. We offer reasonable and expert assistance to ensure legal compliance, covering business registration, tax compliance, accounting and bookkeeping, and intellectual property protection. Let us help you navigate the complex legal and regulatory requirements so you can focus on growing your business. Contact us today to learn more.