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IEC Registration

IEC Registration is required to be obtained by anyone willing to start an import/export business in India. IEC is a 10-digit code issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) online.

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  • Application Drafting
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Overview of IEC Registration

Engaging with export-import activities without IEC registration is not permissible in India and is henceforth deemed as a legal offence. IEC certificate acts as an immediate clearance for exporters and importers in India. IEC code affixes on various shipping documents for custom clearances. Thus, obtaining IEC registration is an absolute mandate, and it should not be overlooked.

What is an Import Export Code?

 Import Export Code, i.e. IEC is a ten-digit code conferred by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) against prescribed application and fees. IEC registration serves as mandatory legal consent for entities intending to start an export-import business in India. It is also mandatory for manufacturers cum exporters and establishments that continually import raw materials to manufacture goods.

Who needs IEC in India?

Directorate General of Foreign Trade mandates the following to obtain IEC registration in India.

  • Exporter and importer
  • Export houses
  • Manufacturer cum exporter
  • Production facilities importing raw material
  • Importer of goods seeking special authorisation from DGFT
  • Entities intending to engage with EXIM business

It should be noted that IEC is only available to the registered entities in India. Therefore, make sure to secure a business certificate in the first place before getting engaged with the IEC registration process.

Documents to be uploaded for IEC registration during online filing

Applicants seeking IEC registration are required to visit DGFT's portal and fill out the relevant e-form. During electronic filing, applicants are required to upload the following documentation:

  • Copy of business certificate such as incorporation certificate, partnership deed
  • Passport, PAN, Voter ID, DL of the managing partner
  • Tenancy proof of the business place
  • Bank certificate or cancelled cheque (in case of a partnership firm)

IEC Registration process

Step 1: Secure class-2 Digital signature from a certified agency

A digital signature is conferred by the Certification Authority and is signed with the private key of CA.

A digital signature usually entails the following details:

  • Owner's public key
  • Name of the owner
  • public-key expiration date
  • Issuer's name
  • Serial number
  • Issuer's digital signature

Digital signatures leverage the PKI technology, i.e. Public Key Infrastructure technology.

Step 2: File an application form with DGFT

Applicants can proceed to DGFT online portal to apply for IEC registration. To serve this purpose, they must create a legit account on the said portal before addressing the registration formalities.

Step 3: Submit requested documentation in prescribed format

During application filling, the applicant shall be prompted to furnish aforesaid documentation. Do the needful to submit the same in format as prompted by the application form

Step 4: Submit application fees

Proceed to the payment section to submit the requested fees upon submitting the application form.

Step 5: Application and documentation inspection

After submitting the IEC registration application, the concerned authority shall initiate the inspection process to make some legal checks.

Step 6: Grant of IEC registration

Authority shall grant the IEC registration after successful vetting of application and documentation.

Validity and Cancellation of IEC registration

IEC registration is non-renewal and comes with lifetime validity. As far as the cancellation of IEC registration is concerned, it may come to effect under the following scenario

  • Export or import of prohibitive items
  • Misleading custom authority by fabricating information in the shipping documents
  • Non-adherence to custom's directions
  • Breaching norms cited under Foreign Trade Policy

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