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Introduction: This article discusses in detail about application for Import Export code(IEC) application under GST regime.

Query: We applied for IEC in the month of July 2017 & paid the fee but we didn't submit documents. Before submitting document, a notification came saying that now PAN will be IEC. So do we still need to submit documents? If yes, how to submit documents?

Ans. The Government of India has taken another step for ease of doing business.

Now, no IEC code shall be required for Import/Export, as decided by the government via notification.

This notification is available on the below link:

As a result, the importer/exporters need NOT apply for separate IEC code for import/Export in India. As per the latest trade circular by the DGFT, the PAN shall be construed as new IEC code for the purpose of import and export and the DGFT department shall also issue the new IEC code as your PAN number only.

Let us read and understand the trade notice in detail: 

1. IEC code means Import Export Code. As per the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) in India, every importer and exporter is required to get IEC code to start Import export from India. Without IEC code, no importer and exporter are authorized to do import export business.

2. As per the trade circular, there are two kinds of categories to be dealt with:

  1. Person registered under GST
  2. Person not registered under GST

IEC Code for Person Registered under GST

As per the Trade circular, if you are registered for GST, then GSTIN number may be used for the purpose of import and export in India. However, to maintain uniformity, the department has agreed that PAN should be used as a IEC number and not the GSTIN number. Also, for new applicants, the application shall be sent to DGFT department and the department shall issue the IEC number as your PAN number only.

Further, the existing IEC holder, the department is making required changes to the system so that the PAN number can be accepted as the IEC code.

IEC Code for Person not registered under GST

For persons who are not required to register under GST, the PAN number shall work as a IEC code. Further, for all new applicants who are not required to register under GST, the application shall be made to DGFT and applicant’s PAN will be authorised as IEC.

Status of Existing IEC holder

The DGFT is taking the responsibility to make necessary changes in the system so that the PAN of existing IEC holder will become their new IEC code.

So in reply to subject query, application for allotment IEC code has to be made to DGFT even if IEC will  be same as PAN only.

Application shall be made online & the relevant shall be uploaded after logging in to the website

The author is a practicing CA based in Delhi and is registered Insolvency Professional. He can also be reached at

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are strictly personal. The content of this document are solely for informational purpose. It doesn’t constitute professional advice or recommendation. The Author does not accept any liabilities for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of information in this article and for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


Published by

CA Vinod Kumar Chaurasia
Category GST   Report

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