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Importer Exporter Code (IEC Code) Registration Online

The Importer Exporter Code (IEC) is an essential business identification number required for both exporting from and importing to India. It is mandatory, and unless specifically exempted, individuals or entities must obtain an IEC to engage in export or import activities. Notably, for services exports, an IEC is not necessary unless the service provider seeks benefits under the Foreign Trade Policy. With the introduction of GST, the IEC issued is identical to the PAN of the firm. However, the IEC is still separately published by DGFT based on an application. This article delves into the detailed procedure for applying for an IE Code.

Import Export Code (IE Code)

Business entities engaged in importing or exporting goods into or from India are required to obtain the Import & Export Code, commonly known as the IEC number. Issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), the IEC is a ten-digit unique identifier. The IEC registration certificate is a mandatory requirement for businesses involved in import and export activities. Therefore, prior to commencing the import of goods into India, it is crucial for an importer to ensure that the business holds both GST registration and an IE code. Both these credentials are essential for the customs clearance process. Failure to possess both the IE code and GST registration can result in the goods being held at the port, accruing demurrage charges, or facing the risk of destruction. It underscores the importance of obtaining the necessary documentation to facilitate a smooth and compliant import process.

Importance of Import Export Code

Businesses exploring international markets through the import and export of products and services find the Importer Exporter Code (IEC) to be a crucial necessity, facilitating business growth and development. Here are several advantages associated with obtaining an Import Export Code:

  1. International Market Access:

    • The IE Code is a prerequisite for import and export activities, enabling businesses to reach global markets. It facilitates smoother entry for international Indian companies, paving the way for growth and expansion.
  2. Online Registration:

    • The process of obtaining the IE Code is entirely online, ensuring a hassle-free experience with minimal document submission requirements.
  3. Minimal Documentation:

    • Obtaining an IEC does not necessitate the submission of numerous documents, streamlining the application process.
  4. Lifetime Validity:

    • The IE Code comes with a lifetime registration validity, extending as long as the business exists. This eliminates concerns related to updating, filing, and renewing Import Export Code registration.
  5. Prevention of Illegal Goods Transportation:

    • Authentic information is a fundamental requirement for obtaining the Import-Export code, making it difficult to transport illegal goods without proper documentation.
  6. Several Benefits:

    • IE Code offers significant benefits to importers and exporters. Registered businesses can avail subsidies from Customs, Export Promotion Council, or other authorities. With Letter of Undertaking (LUT) filing under GST, exporters can conduct tax-free exports. Alternatively, if exports involve tax payment, exporters can claim refunds for the paid tax amount.
  7. Simplified Compliances:

    • Unlike other tax registrations, individuals engaged in import or export activities are not burdened with specific compliance requirements such as annual filings or return submissions.

Obtaining an IE Code thus not only fulfills a mandatory requirement for international trade but also brings about operational efficiency and various advantages for businesses venturing into the global market.

Validity of IE Code

As highlighted earlier, the Importer Exporter Code (IEC) registration is a permanent and lifelong certification. This permanency eliminates the need for frequent updates, filings, or renewals associated with the IEC registration. The validity of the IEC extends as long as the business entity exists or until the registration is voluntarily revoked or surrendered. In contrast to tax registrations such as GST or PF, individuals involved in import or export activities are exempt from the obligation of filing periodic returns or adhering to other compliance requirements like annual filing. Given the one-time nature of IE Code registration and its exemption from additional compliance burdens, it is strongly recommended for all exporters and importers to obtain the IE Code promptly after incorporation. This approach ensures a seamless and efficient process for businesses engaged in international trade without the recurring need for administrative updates or compliance filings.

Nature of the Firm obtaining an IEC

The nature of the Firm obtaining an IEC may be any of the follows:

Pre-Requisites for Applying for IEC

Note: These details will be validated with the Income Tax Department site.

Documents required for IEC Code registration

The list of scanned documents required for IEC Registration is listed as follows:

Note: If the address proof is not in the name of the applicant firm, it is required to submit a No Objection Certificate (NOC) issued by the firm premises owner in favor of the firm. This NOC, along with the address proof, should be compiled and submitted as a single PDF document.

Procedure to submit IE Code Application

Revised Procedure to Obtain Importer Exporter Code (IEC) Certificate:

Step 1: Begin by visiting the official DGFT website. Navigate to the ‘Services’ tab on the homepage and select ‘IEC Profile Management’ from the drop-down list.

Step 2: Upon selecting ‘IEC Profile Management,’ a new page will open. Click on the ‘Apply for IEC’ option displayed on the page.

Step 3: Next, click on the ‘Register’ option. Enter the required details and click on the ‘Send OTP’ button.

Step 4: Enter the OTP received and click on the ‘Register’ button.

Step 5: After successfully validating the OTP, the user will receive a notification containing a temporary password, which can be changed after logging into the DGFT website.

Step 6: Log in to the DGFT website using the provided username and the newly set password.

Step 7: Once logged in, navigate to the dashboard and click on “Apply for IEC.” Choose either the “Start Fresh Application” button or the “Proceed with Existing Application” button if there’s a saved draft application.

Step8: Fill out the application form (ANF 2A format), and Enter the details in the General Information Section:

Step 9: In the declaration section, signify acceptance of the terms and conditions by clicking on the checkbox.

Step 10: Review the Application Summary and proceed to sign the application. Use a digital signature certificate or Aadhaar for this process. Note that the details will be verified in real-time from the CBDT database.

Step 11: Confirm the details and proceed to make the payment for the application.

Step 12: After a successful payment, the page will redirect to the DGFT website. A receipt will be displayed, and the user has the option to download the receipt for their records.

Get Importer Exporter Code Certificate

The user will receive the IEC Certificate via the email used during the application process. Additionally, if needed, the user can download the IEC Certificate by logging into the DGFT platform and utilizing the "Print Certificate" feature under "Manage IEC." The IEC Certificate will be transmitted to the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), and the transmission status can be tracked by navigating to "My IEC" and checking the IEC Status bar for "CBIC Transmission Status." Recognized as a fundamental document for initiating import-export activities, the Import Export Code (IEC) holds pivotal importance. Whether engaging in the export or import of goods and services, obtaining the IE code is mandatory. Beyond its regulatory requirement, the IE code offers numerous advantages contributing to business growth. Given its significance, the necessity of IE code registration cannot be overlooked. For a streamlined application process, businesses can apply for an Import Export code through BmcsIndia, ensuring prompt issuance within 6 to 7 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

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To get started with BMCS India, simply reach out to us through our contact information on our website. We will be glad to schedule an initial consultation to understand your business requirements and discuss how our services can benefit you. From there, we will work together to develop a tailored plan to drive your business success.