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A Step by Step Guide on How to Register Import Export Code

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In the ever-expanding global market, international trade plays a vital role in economic growth. In order to partake in import export operations within India, acquiring an Import Export Code (IEC) is obligatory. The IEC functions as a distinct identification number that individuals or businesses engaged in international trade must possess. This all-inclusive manual aims to lead you through the registration process for an Import Export Code, guaranteeing seamless and efficient navigation of the procedure.

Understanding what is Import Export Code

Import Export Code (IEC) is a unique identification number issued by the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in India. It is a ten-digit alphanumeric code that serves as a prerequisite for individuals or businesses involved in cross-border trade. The IEC acts as a registration mechanism, enabling importers and exporters to conduct international trade legally and facilitating their interaction with customs authorities.

This code is mandatory for engaging in import export activities in India and is essential for customs clearance, availing government benefits, participating in international trade events, and accessing various export promotion schemes. The IEC plays a crucial role in identifying and tracking importers and exporters, ensuring transparency and compliance in cross-border trade operations.

Who Needs to Register for Import Export Code?

Registration for an Import Export Code (IEC) is required for individuals or entities engaging in import export activities in India. The following categories of individuals and businesses must register for an IEC:


Any individual or entity that intends to import goods into India from foreign countries needs to obtain an IEC. This includes businesses involved in the import of raw materials, finished products, machinery, equipment, or any other goods.


Individuals or businesses planning to export goods from India to other countries must register for an IEC. This includes manufacturers, traders, merchants, or any entity involved in exporting products or services.

Service Providers:

Service providers who offer services outside India and receive payment in foreign currency are also required to obtain an IEC. This includes professionals such as consultants, software developers, engineers, or any entity providing services internationally.

Individuals or Businesses Availing Government Benefits:

To avail benefits, concessions, or subsidies provided by the government for import export activities, registration for an IEC is necessary. These benefits could include duty drawbacks, export incentives, or any other schemes introduced by the government.

It’s important to note that even if an individual or entity does not engage in regular import export activities, but intends to undertake occasional transactions or participate in international trade events, they still need to obtain an IEC.

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Step-by-Step Guide for Import Export Code Registration

Now, let’s delve into the step-by-step process of registering for an Import Export Code:

Step 1: Acquire the Required Documents

In order to commence the registration process smoothly, it is important to have the essential documents at hand, which include proof of identity, proof of address, and bank account details. The specific documents needed may vary depending on the category of the applicant.

Step 2: Online Application Submission

The next step involves visiting the DGFT website and accessing the Import Export Code registration portal. Complete the application form diligently, ensuring the provision of precise details and the uploading of all necessary documents.

Step 3: Fee Payment

Once the application form has been filled out, the subsequent step entails making the payment of the prescribed fee through the online platform. The fee amount may vary, so make sure to check the current fee structure.

Step 4: Application Processing and Verification

After the successful submission of the application and fee payment, the DGFT will proceed with processing and verifying the information provided. In the event of any discrepancies or errors detected, the applicant may be requested to rectify them accordingly.

Step 5: Issuance of Import Export Code

Upon successful verification, the DGFT will issue the Import Export Code to the applicant. The IEC certificate can be downloaded from the DGFT website and is valid for a lifetime unless revoked or surrendered.

Step 6: Import Export Code Certificate Verification

After obtaining the IEC certificate, it is essential to verify its authenticity and validity. The IEC certificate can be verified online on the DGFT website by entering the IEC number.

Why Do You Need an Import Export Consultant?

Post-Registration Obligations and Benefits

Once you have acquired the Import Export Code, there are certain obligations and benefits to be aware of. It is crucial to comply with the regulations and guidelines imposed by various government agencies, such as Customs and Central Excise. Moreover, having an IEC opens doors to numerous opportunities, including access to global markets, availing export promotion schemes, and participating in international trade events.


Obtaining an Import Export Code is a crucial step for individuals and businesses aiming to engage in cross-border trade. By following this detailed guide, you have gained a thorough comprehension of the registration process, empowering you to navigate the procedure with ease and efficiency. It is important to remember to gather all the necessary documents, accurately submit the online application, complete the fee payment, and duly verify your IEC certificate. By adhering to the guidelines and regulations, you can unlock the immense potential of international trade and seize the opportunities that come with it.

Vaibhav Sharma

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