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.
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.
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