An Importer-Exporter Code (IEC) is a vital business identification number. The IEC is mandatory to carry on exports or imports in India. Any person who wishes to export or import from/in India needs to obtain IEC. Without IEC, there can be no export or import unless specifically exempted. IEC is not necessary for service exports. However, it is required for service exports if the service provider is taking benefits under the Foreign Trade Policy. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) issues IEC upon application. After the GST introduction, the IEC issued is the same as that of the PAN of the individual, but the DGFT will issue it.
Prerequisites for Applying for IEC
Any individual or firm can obtain an IEC from DGFT. A firm includes a Proprietorship, Limited Liability Partnership, Partnership, Limited Company, HUF, Trust, or Society. An individual or firm must have a PAN, bank account in the individual/firm’s name and a valid address while applying for IEC. The DGFT may verify the address during the issuance of IEC.
Process in IEC
- Application for IEC
For obtaining IEC, an application needs to be submitted on the DGFT website. An individual/firm needs to have valid digital signatures, PAN, mobile number, email ID, address details of the branch office, bank account and Aadhaar card matching the details with PAN at the time of applying for IEC.
- Linking old IEC Profile to the new system
Before the introduction of GST, the DGFT issued IEC, a 10-digit unique code. But, after the GST introduction, the DGFT issues IEC same as PAN. Any individual/firm having the old IEC can link this IEC with his/its user profile. The digital signature is required for linking the old IEC to the new IEC system.
- IEC Profile
The Import-Exporter profile contains significant details of the importing or exporting individual/firm. The primary part of the profile is the IEC. It also includes the Registration-cum-Membership Certificate (RCMC), status holder details, industrial registration details, past export performance, etc.
- Printing IEC
The users who have obtained IEC can print the IEC Certificate from the DGFT website. The IEC contains the firm name, IEC number, date of issue, address and branch details. The new IEC Certificates contain a unique QR code through which the certificate can be used to verify online.
- Modification of IEC
The modification of details of IEC is very easy. The user needs to login to the DGFT website and validates his profile through DSC. After validation, the user can modify the IEC details and submit the request for auto-approved modification.
- Surrender of IEC
A user can request for the surrender of his IEC online. Once, this request is approved, IEC will be suspended for any future transactions. If the user wants to revoke the suspension, he will need to revoke it by filing the revocation of suspension on the DGFT website.
- Revocation of Suspension of IEC
In case the IEC of a user is suspended or surrendered, the user can raise a request to revoke IEC’s suspension on the DGFT website.
- Linking Users to IEC
The user who has an IEC can add more than one user to his IEC. The users can be added to IEC as a primary or secondary user. Permissions can be added to a given user for accessing each of the respective schemes under DGFT.
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