Import and Export Code

The Import and Export Code is a code issued by the DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade) which is a mandatory document required for importing or exporting goods outside the country. IEC is a 10-digit code that has lifetime validity. Predominantly, importers and merchants cannot import goods without the Import Export Code and similarly, the exporter merchant cannot avail of benefits from DGFT for the export scheme, etc. without IEC.

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The Importer -Exporter Code (IEC) is an identification number which is mandatory for all who are doing imports or exports activity. No person can make any import or export without IEC Number granted by the DGFT. IEC is not mandatory for service provide but if the service provider wants to take benefits under the Foreign Trade Policy or is dealing with specified services.

The nature of the firm obtaining an IEC may be any of the follows- "Proprietorship, Partnership, HUF, Limited Company, LLP, Trust, and Society." After introduction of GST, IEC number will be same as the PAN of the entity but the IEC would be separately issued by DGFT.


  • The IEC registration helps business to expand their business in the global market. IEC registration is must for import and export of any goods or services.
  • Businesses can avail the benefits of government schemes like merchandise export from India scheme (MEIS) and service export from India scheme (SEIS).

List of Documents Required

  • PAN Card of the Business entity
  • PAN and Adhaar Card copy of Proprietor/Partners/Directors
  • Business registration certificate
  • Business address proof (Electricity bill with NOC and rent agreement, if rented)
  • Copy of cancelled cheque


What is IEC?
IEC or Importer Exporter Code is a unique 10-digit alphanumeric code issued based on the PAN of an entity.
Why is IEC required?
To import or export in India, IEC Code is mandatory. No person or entity shall make any Import or Export without an IEC Code Number unless specifically exempted.
Who can get IEC?
An individual or a company who wants to do international business can get an IEC. Individuals can use either the name of their company or their name directly to apply for IEC.
How to apply for new IEC application?
  • Logon to DGFT website via link
  • Proceed with registration process by clicking on Login > Register > Register as Importer/Exporter
  • After registration, Go to My Dashboard > Importer Exporter Code (IEC) > Apply for IEC.
What is bank details validation?
Bank Details will be validated through PFMS and result will be made available the next day.
  • User will be issued the IEC Immediately. And the Risk shall be marked in RMS.
  • On Successful Validation- RMS Flag shall be removed.
  • On Failure - RMS Flag will retain for RA to verify the supporting document uploaded by the user.
How many documents do I have to attach in IEC Application?
Scanned Documents for Upload in the System (PDF Only and Max file size of 5 MB).
  • Proof of establishment/incorporation/registration.
    • Partnership
    • Registered Society
    • Trust iv. HUF
    • Others
  • Proof of Address can be any one of the following documents:
    • Sale Deed, Rent agreement, lease deed, electricity bill, telephone land line bill, mobile, postpaid bill, MoU, Partnership deed
    • Other acceptable documents (for proprietorship only):Aadhar card, passport, voter id
    • In case the address proof is not in the name of the applicant firm, a no objection certificate (NOC) by the firm premises owner in favor of the firm along with the address proof is to be submitted as a single PDF document.
  • Proof of Firm's Bank Account
    • Cancelled Cheque
    • Bank certificate
Who issues IEC?
IEC is issued in electronic form (e-IEC) by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) which is under the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India.
Is IEC required by Service Exporters?
IEC shall not be necessary except when the service provider is taking benefits under the Foreign Trade Policy.
What happens if the IEC is not annually updated?
In case of non-updation of IEC within the prescribed time, it will be de-activated. An IEC so de-activated may be activated, on its successful updation. This would however be without prejudice to any other action taken for violation of any other provisions of the FTP.
If one of the directors is Foreign National and not have Permanent Account Number (PAN), how can the details be added in Import Export Code (IEC) - Director details section?
The applicant shall check the Check Box - "Is the Director a Foreign National?". Applicant shall then be able to enter the details without providing mandatory PAN details

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