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Which Digital Signature do we require for the IEC Code?


Last Updated on March 26, 2024 by Kanakkupillai

The government is in the constant process of improving online platforms to make applications and transactions easier, simpler, and paperless. For this, it was vital that the government was able to develop a digital authorization system that would help them achieve this objective. For this, a system would allow the applicant or user to sign these applications and transactions using the digital signature certificate so that the same would be authorized and authenticated for use in the application process.

As a part of this, the IEC Applications also can now be done using the digital signature certificate using which they can now submit their applications for importing and exporting online. Here, IEC stands for the Importer-Exporter Code. The major point of discussion in this article is the digital signature certificate for IEC applications and how the same should be obtained.

Requirement for IEC Code Digital Signature Certificate

Export and import organizations can now use the DGFT website to apply for the required licenses online and submit the documents supporting such applications online. Now, to ensure the authenticity or also to authorize the documents submitted as a part of this application, the applicant can use the IEC Code Digital Signature Certificate. So, these applicants who would want to apply for licenses using the DGFT website must obtain the IEC Code Digital Signature Certificate, which will be used to validate the identity of the applicant and ensure the authenticity of the documents that are being submitted.

Certain Benefits of Obtaining an IEC Code Digital Signature Certificate

There are certain benefits that can be obtained by taking the IEC Code Digital Signature Certificate, and this will include the following:

  1. It will help the applicant save money and also time as there will be a simplification of the process allowed and also the process will be made faster.
  2. Using the IEC Code Digital Signature Certificate is one of the safest and also secure ways which can be used for authenticating one’s identity online.
  3. The person or the applicant who is submitting the application for a license need not ensure their physical presence to prove their identity with the concerned authority.
  4. The government and allied departments can digitize their records and thereby increase the efficiency of the system.
  5. The threats which arise from providing identity online and also the use of the same for any other illegal activities can be kept at bay as these are encrypted and highly secured.
  6. There is an addition of convenience, and it helps the applicant save money along with time and effort, as stipulated before.
  7. The DGFT website provides its applicant with a 50% discount on the license fee if the application for the same is submitted online.

Digital Signature Certificate to be Obtained for Submission of IEC Application

From the year 2018 onwards, the DGFT website made the usage of DSC by the applicant non-mandatory as it was considered to be mandatory until then. However, it is the most preferred way for submitting the application with the DGFT as the applicant, in case of not having a DSC, will have to send the documents physically after the submission of the same online.

The DGFT provides its own unique DSC to users, i.e., export and import organizations, which will have an IEC Code. When these users utilize this DSC, they are given a 50% discount on the license fees, which will also help them save on costs.

If the business is using a Custom House Agent, then a DSC must be sent to them for all the documents that are to be submitted. For taking an import or export license in India, the applicant should have Class 3 DSC, and this shall also be required if the applicant wishes to register the business or take the license as a single representative. The legal recognition held by DSC, the signing of documents using the same would give the par value to the documents as they were physically signed.

A Class 2 DSC can also be used by the applicant in the case of various IEC applications and processes. But it should be noted that Class 3 DSC is the most secure and safest one due to which the same is recommended to be taken by the applicants or users.

Reasons why IEC Code DSC should be Obtained for IEC Applications

The DSC usage will help identity authentication online and make the process and verification simple and easy. The applicant does not need to spend time physically signing the documents and then sending them to the DGFT. Along with this, it is also ensuring the highest level of safety and security to the applicant. Some of the reasons why it should be obtained would include:

  1. It encrypts all the information which can only be read by the person receiving the same.
  2. It will help in digitally signing the documents, ensuring that forgery or identity thefts are not carried out.
  3. It helps in making secure transactions through e-mail, online, and also other web transactions.
  4. It will help in proving the ownership of the domain name.
  5. It will help in easy filing of ITR, participating in e-tenders, signing of any webforms say with MCA (Ministry of Corporate Affairs), and carrying out of such other functions.

How to Obtain the IEC Code DSC

  1. Firstly, a form should be filled out by the applicant along with a pasting of his or her photograph.
  2. The application form should be filled in using only a blue ball pen and should be signed with care.

iii. The copies of address proof and identity proof should be attached, and they should be self-attested.

  1. Then, the documents should be scanned and saved as a single PDF file.
  2. It should then be sent to a designated certifying authority like e-mudra.
  3. Once the e-mudra or such other designated certifying authority receives the mails, verifies, and confirms the same, they would require payment of the prescribed processing fee. And on the successful remittance of the same, the authority will process the DSC and also perform verification through both voice and video prior to sending the same.


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