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Heading towards international market? Know requirements here!

Shrijay Sheth , Last updated: 19 February 2018  

The fully grown business enterprises in India requires to footstep into international market to reap out greater financial benefits from the business. Majority of countries assist the business entities in one or the other way in order to increase the export oriented businesses after sufficing the requirements of the country itself. Thousands of businesses in every country wholly or partially depend on the export of goods to cater their financial needs and rewards. Also in order to suffice basic as well as luxurious requirement of the country, import of goods is necessary activity undertaken either for dealing or further procedures.

A database containing information of all the entities engaged in cross boarder business activities is required for the centralized administration and records. Such entities that undertake cross boarder business at any during the existence shall require making an online Import Export Code application for their registration with the Authority of Central Government known as Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). DGFT provides for import export (IE) code registration through its online portal http://dgft.gov.in/.

What is Importer - Exporter Code?

Importer - Exporter Code, commonly referred as IEC is a unique code of 10 digits granted by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to the applicants for their businesses of import or export goods across the boundaries of India. No business entity can import or export goods unless IEC is issued. The registration acts as certificate to transport the goods bring goods within India or outside the boundaries of India.

What is need of Import - Export Code Registration?

The need of importer - exporter code lies to administer the transportation of restricted and prohibited or illegal goods and regulation of all transactions undertaken interstate. The registered business entities would be able to avail benefits in form of subsidies or otherwise declared by the Customs, Export Promotion Council or other authorities.

Import Export code registration online:

The application to obtain import export code registration is online and to be applied through common portal allotted and referred above. Before indulging into activities of import or export of goods for any purpose that is related to or connected with the business objective, the entity shall first apply for IE Code online. However, the need of for application for allotment of IEC does not arise in following circumstances:

  1. When goods are imported or exported for the personal use and will not be used for any business or related purpose; or
  2. Import or export by government ministries and departments, and certain notified charitable organizations.

Process of online IEC Registration:

Procedure to apply import export code registration is made online. The application shall be made to regional office of DGFT nearest to the head office or registered office of the entity. Since only one Import - Export Code will be granted against one Permanent Account Number, there is no need for making a separate application for registration in case the entity has more than one offices or branch office. In given case, the address of the additional place of business or branch office will be added in the original online application for IE Code registration. Where the proprietor carries on business under more than one name or different businesses, details of other business will be considered as branch for this purpose.

Steps of application:

  1. Procurement of Digital Signature Certificate is mandatory to make an online application for import export code registration.
  2. An online application shall be made on portal allotted to grant the IE Code, which shall accompany the prescribed documents (listed at later part).
  3. On receipt of application, the competent officer will review and verify the application along with documents provided.
  4. Where the officer does not find the application or documents satisfactory, he may ask the applicant to further clarify the facts or to furnish additional documents.
  5. If the officer if satisfied with the application and facts disclosed, he shall issue the certificate indicating the Importer - Exporter Code of granted.

The procedure takes nearly 10 days to be completed including 7 to 8 days on department's end for the review.

List of Documents:

To make sure about the issuance of IE Code, applicant shall ensure following documents to accompany with an application of import export code registration on online portal:

Sr. No.


Documents required


Proof of identity

a) In case of proprietary firm

Self-attested copy of PAN Card

No. of IEC's held ,along with their details

b) In case of partnership firm

Notarized partnership deed showing

Date of its formation

No objection certificate from other


Self-attested copy of PAN

c) In case of Companies

Extract of Board of Resolution

MOA with form 32 and details of present directors, in case of change in Directors

Self-attested copy of Incorporation Certificate

Self-attested copy of PAN


Proof of address

Property Tax Paid Receipt

Electricity Bill

Shop Act License

Index II (in case of self-owned )

Rent agreement (in case of rented premises)


Proof of Business

Self-attested copy of Shop Act License



2 Photographs of the applicant


Bank Details

Bank certificate on the Bank letter head as per

the Proforma or cancelled cheque

The officer may ask for submission of additional documents, if required on review of online application of import export code registration.

Post Registration aspects:

On completion of the registration procedure and grant of the importer - exporter licence, the registered proprietor can now initiate to undertake the transactions of across the international borders of the India from customs port of India by disclosing the 10 digit code granted. In order to undertake any transaction, the entity shall make all the international transactions only by mentioning this code granted.

The Importer - Exporter Code once granted is permanently valid. The registrants usually bother for compliance part after issuance of IEC, however, no compliance or return filing is required after allotment of the IEC code for this purpose.

Goods and Service Tax Act requires separation registration in of the exporters or the entities. The fact of export business is to be disclosed in the registration application made. In addition to this, GST returns are also required to be filed by the exporters disclosing all necessary information regarding the import or export of goods or services. GST Law provides specific category of provisions including deemed import or deemed export.

Surrender of the code granted is also possible in specified circumstances including closure of whole business or cessation of transactions involving international market. A specific application is to be made in this regards by furnishing the grounds of application along with furnishing documents required.


The need of international trade no more requires the reasoning as far as it is concerned with businesses in India. Stepping into import export business from India requires something more than this registration and compliances in terms of planning and funding of the operations. The expansion of horizon even outside boundaries of India requires the firm commitment from the promoters and owners of the business. However, to conclude with, Import Export code registration under online mode is sometimes a tedious task for business owners due to technical issues or need of guidance. Here, the role of practitioners or experts is made important to make your business free from procedural hassles and let you concern about the important matters of the business. You may reach us at our toll - free number 1800 313 4151 or drop an e-mail at support@legalwiz.in to make an import export code registration online at affordable prices with free consultation.

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Published by

Shrijay Sheth
Category Corporate Law   Report

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