Import Export Code number

The Importer -Exporter Code (IEC) is a key business identification number which is mandatory for Exports or Imports. Import Export Code or Importer Exporter Code is a unique 10-digit alpha numeric code issued on the basis of PAN of an entity. No person shall make any import or export except under an IEC Number granted by the DGFT.  The nature of the firm obtaining an IEC may be any of the follows- "Proprietorship, Partnership, LLP, Limited Company, Trust, HUF and Society." Consequent upon introduction of GST, IEC number is the same as the PAN of the firm. The IEC would be separately issued by DGFT. The registration for IEC can be done through DGFT website.

Steps involved in IEC registration:

1. Application form: First, you need to prepare an application form in the specified format – Aayaat Niryaat Form (ANF-2A) which is an application form for the issue/modification of IEC and file it with the respective Regional office of DGFT. Click here for ANF 2A (

2. Documents: Secondly, you need to prepare the required documents with respect to your identity & legal entity and address proof with your bank details & the certificate in respect of ANF2A.

For IEC Code Registration following documents are required:

  • Individual’s or Firm’s or Company’s copy of PAN Card
  • Individual’s voter id or Aadhar card or passport copy
  • Individual’s or company’s or firm’s cancel cheque copy of current bank account
  • Copy of Rent Agreement or Electricity Bill Copy of the premise
  • Valid Digital Signatures Token
  • A self-addressed envelope for delivery of IEC certificate by registered post

3. Filing Application: Once your application is completed, you need to file with DGFT via DSC (Digital Signature Certificate) and pay the required fee for the IEC Registration that is Rs.500/.

  • After successful payment you will get the acknowledgement stating the successful submission of application for IEC with file number.
  • The application status can be tracked using ‘Track Status’ and receipt could again be printed.

4. IEC Code: Finally, once your application is approved then you would receive the IEC Code in a soft copy from the government.

Benefits of IEC Code:

1. Expansion of business: IEC assists you in taking your services or product to the global market and grow your businesses

2. Availing several benefits: The Companies could avail several benefits of their imports/ exports from the DGFT, Export Promotion Council, Customs, etc., on the basis of their IEC registration.

3. No filling of returns: IEC does not require the filing of any trade returns. Once allotted, there isn’t any requirement to follow any sort of processes for sustaining its validity. Even for export transactions, there isn’t any requirement for filing any returns with DGFT.

Earlier, traders were required to file their IEC trade returns once a year, giving details of their past performance. It included total volume of exports or imports, and the total value therein. This requirement is now replaced with an integrated Aayat Niryat form which can be filled online.

4. Easy processing: It is fairly easy to obtain IEC code from the DGFT within a period of 10 to 15 days after submitting the application. There isn’t any need to provide proof of any export or import for getting IEC code.

5. No need for renewal: IEC code is effective for the lifetime of an entity and requires no renewal. After it is obtained, it could be used by an entity against all export and import transactions. However, it is mandatory to update the IEC annually so that the IEC is not deactivated. If the IEC is updated between April-June period each year, no fee shall be charged for updating the IEC.

In case of non-updation of IEC within the prescribed time, it will be de-activated. An IEC which is de-activated may be activated, on its successful updation. 

IEC Number Exempted Categories

a) IEC is compulsory for import and exports. However, the following categories of importers or exporters are exempted from obtaining IEC.

Sr. No.

Categories Exempted from obtaining IEC


Ministries /Departments of Central or State Government


Person importing or exporting goods for personal use not connected with trade or manufacture or agriculture.


Persons importing/exporting goods from/to Nepal, Myanmar through Indo-Myanmar border areas and China (through Gunji, Namgaya Shipkila and Nathula ports), provided cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value of a single consignment does not exceed Indian Rs.25,000. In case of Nathula port, the applicable value ceiling will be Rs. 1,00,000/-

Further, exemption from obtaining IEC shall not be applicable for export of Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment’s and Technologies (SCOMET) as listed in Appendix - 3, Schedule 2 of ITC (HS) except in case of exports by category (1).

b) Following permanent IEC numbers shall be used by non – commercial public sector undertakings (PSUs) and categories or importers / exporters mentioned against them for import / export purposes:

Sr. No.

Permanent IEC

Categories of Importer / Exporter



All Ministries / Departments of Central Government and agencies wholly or partially owned by them.



All Ministries / Departments of any State Government and agencies wholly or partially owned by them.



Diplomatic personnel, Counsellor officers in India and officials of UNO.



Indians returning from or going abroad and claiming benefit under the Baggage Rules.



Persons or institutions or hospitals importing or exporting goods for personal use, not connected with trade, manufacture or agriculture.



Persons importing or exporting goods from or to Nepal



Persons importing or exporting goods from or to Myanmar through Indo-Myanmar border



Food foundation



Importers importing goods for display or use in fairs or exhibitions or similar events under provisions of ATA carnet or the passport for goods. This IEC number can also be used by importers importing for exhibitions or fairs.



Director, National Blood Group



Individuals or charitable institution or registered NGOs importing goods, which have been exempted from customs duty under the notification issued by Ministry of Finance for bonafide use by victims affected by natural calamity.



Persons importing or exporting permissible goods as notified from time to time, from or to China.



Non-commercial imports and exports by entities who have been authorized by Reserve Bank of India.


IEC Format:

An IEC will be issued in prescribed format (ANF 2(A) (II)). A copy of such IEC shall be endorsed to concerned banker (as per details given in ANF 2A). Such endorsement should ordinarily be done using emails.

Validity of IEC for EOUs / SEZs:

An IEC will remain valid irrespective of a firm’s status as a domestic tariff area (DTA) unit or an EOU or a SEZ/ EHTP/STP/BTP unit and the procedure to be followed in case a firm/unit is de-bonded and converted to DTA is as under:

A unit which is an EOU or in SEZ/EHTP/STP/BTP after de-bonding will not surrender the IEC obtained from its jurisdictional DC, SEZ.

  1. The jurisdictional DC, SEZ will send the original IEC file to concerned RA of DGFT after de-boding.
  2. Regional Authority becomes the custodian of such file and will allow de-bonded unit to make necessary modification in IEC.
  3. The de-bonded unit to be eligible for benefits from the RA as per FTP.

One PAN-One IEC:         

Only one IEC shall be issued against a single PAN. Multiple IECs against a single PAN stands deactivated voluntarily, after 31.03.2015.

Surrender of IEC:

If an IEC holder does not wish to operate allotted IEC, he may surrender the same to the issuing authority. On receipt, the issuing authority shall immediately cancel the IEC and electronically transmit it to DGFT and Customs authorities.

Modification of IEC:

  1. An application for modification shall be filed with the concerned jurisdictional RA from where IEC was originally issued.
  2. An application for modification may be made for change in details like name, address, constitution, ownership in Proprietorship firms, change in nature of the firm e.g. from proprietorship to partnership etc. Change in constitution however, does not include change in Directors of Public Limited Company.

Profile of Importer / Exporter:

  1. ANF-1 contains the profile of the importer/exporter. IEC Holder shall be responsible for updating the same as and when a change takes place immediately or in any case at least once in a year.
  2. Documents which are uploaded in the Importer-Exporter Profile are not required to be filed each time the importer/exporter applies for authorizations/scrips under different schemes of this FTP.

Issue of Authorization:

Validity period of Import / Export Authorizations from the date of issue shall be as follows, unless specified otherwise:

Sr. No.

Type of Authorization

Validity Period


Export Authorization for restricted (Non SCOMET) goods

12 months (However, EFC may decide to issue Export Authorization for a longer duration in case of R&D studies based on recommendation of technical authority)


Export Authorization for SCOMET items

24 months


Import Authorizations for restricted items and CCP

18 months


EPCG Authorization

18 months


Advance Authorizations (AA) for Deemed Export

Coterminous with contracted duration of project execution or 12 months, whichever is more.


AA {except (v) above}, DFIA, Replenishment Authorization for Gems & Jewellery as per Chapter 4 of FTP.

12 months from issue date

However, DGFT may decide to issue specific authorization/ class of authorizations for a longer/shorter validity period.

Click here for 

Note: - The fees & terms are subject to change as per notifications issued by DGFT from time to time. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. 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 IEC Code Number, unless specifically exempted.

Q2. 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.

Q3. Is IEC required by Service Exporters?
IEC shall be not be necessary except when the service provider is taking benefits under the Foreign Trade Policy.

Q4. What is the technical requirement for filing an IEC?

  • Valid Digital Signatures Token (Class II or III)
  • Valid PAN
  • Valid Mobile Number and Email ID.
  • Valid Address Details of Branch Office
  • Valid Bank Account in the name of IEC Holder
  • Valid Aadhar Card matching the details with PAN Card.

Q5. Is there any Application form for applying IEC?
Yes. Application has to filed online (ANF 2A format) for grant of IEC at DGFT portal. 

Q6. Where I can find application for applying IEC?

  • Visit the DGFT website and login.
  • After Linking to IEC or Application of IEC proceed with Register Digital signature details through navigating to My Dashboard >> View and Register Digital Signature Token
  • Read the information and ensure all pre-requisites for Digital signature are met and then click on “Register New DSC”.
  • Select and proceed with your digital signature details
    • Once Pre-requisites for Digital signature is done then user will be able to see list of ePass token on click of Provider List, Select the e-Pass token from the list.
    • Select Certificate for signing from Certificate list, Individual based DSC is only allowed for proprietorship type firms. Refer to the validations mentioned above.
    • Enter your DSC token PIN in the enter Password field.
  • After successful signing, success message is displayed.
  • Once user successfully register the Digital signature details then you can view the digital signature details under current digital signature details, and you can perform any action on IEC with the active Digital Signature.

Q7. What is the validity of IEC?
An IEC allotted to an applicant shall have permanent validity but it is mandatory to update the IEC annually so that the IEC is not deactivated. If the IEC is updated between April-June period each year, no fee shall be charged for updation of IEC.

Q8. 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.

Note: This Article is for information purpose only. The views expressed in this Article do not necessarily constitute the views of the right holder of the portal or its employees. The information contained in this article is sourced from empaneled external experts for the benefit of the readers and it does not constitute legal advice., its directors, employees and the contributors shall not be responsible or liable for any damage or loss resulting from or arising due to reliance on or use of any information contained herein.

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