Laws & Registration

All About Import Export Code Licence in India

Import Export Code Licence in India

While most of the goods can be freely imported, there are some items that are prohibited under India’s Exim Policy (2007), as well as items that are subject to conditional import. Such a situation also makes it imperative for the importer to obtain an import license from the issuing authorities.

Issuing Authority for Import Licenses

A foreign trade director grants import licenses in India. DGFT Delhi office is located at Udyog Bhawan, New Delhi 110011.

Import Export Code Licence Validity in India

For capital goods, import licenses are also valid for 24 months. For raw materials, components, consumables, and spares, licenses are valid for 18 months.

Applying for the Import Export Code Licence in India

There is a provision in paragraph 2.08 of the Handbook of Procedure that relates to applications for IE Code. According to Public Notice No. 27/2015-2020 dated 8th August 2018, this paragraph has gone through an amendment, and the revised provisions, as they relate to the application for IEC, are as follows:

  • Importers and exporters must file an online application in form ANF 2A.
  • In order to apply, the applicant must submit only two documents. The first is an address proof, and the second is a preprinted check or bank certificate.

Address Proof

  • The deed of sale if the office is owned by you; or
  • Agreements for renting or leasing the premises; or
  • Also, applicants must submit the latest electricity, landline, or mobile bill in their names.
  • Certificate of registration for GST;
  • A proprietorship needs to provide the following proof –
    • Aadhar card;
    • Voters ID;
    • Passport.

The above documents should be in the name of the firm, however, for proprietorships, the proof of address in the name of the proprietor is acceptable (Trade notice No. 39/2018-19 dated 12th December 2018).


  • By registering with the IEC, traders can access the global market, including e-commerce sites online.
  • Among other government schemes offered by customs and export promotion, businesses can apply for the Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS), the Service Export from India Scheme (SEIS), and others.
  • Pos registration entails no compliance requirements, resulting in relatively straightforward business maintenance
  • You can obtain IEC with tiny, basic documents and without a lot of hassle.

Registration for an IEC

You will need to complete the following steps to get your import export license online.

  1. The first step is to submit all the required documents, including bank details and DSC
  2. Moreover, file an online application for a trade concession with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)
  3. As soon as the entity’s documents and application have been verified, the import export code will be granted to the entity in electronic format.

Documents Required

IEC registration documents are relatively easy to obtain. The following documents are required.

  • A PAN card for the company (not applicable to the proprietor)
  • Also, the applicant’s PAN and Aadhaar card (driver’s license/Aadhaar/voter ID)
  • Certificate/Declaration of partnership
  • Proof of address (electricity bill/rent/sale deed)
  • Certified copy of the canceled cheque leaf/banker’s certificate of the company’s current account.


A business of any size can register for an import-export code, regardless of whether it is a sole proprietorship, partnership, private limited company, or charitable organization. The IEC is not required, however, for the import/export of goods for personal use, which is unrelated to trade, manufacture, or agriculture. There is no need to set up a business.

Situations in which Import Export Code Licence in India needed

  • Needed by the customs authorities when an importer clears his shipments at customs.
  • When an importer sends money abroad through a bank, the bank needs it.
  • Usually, the customs port also requires exporters to send their shipments.
  • The bank requires exporters to submit these forms if they receive foreign currency directly into their bank accounts.

Exemptions from Import Export Code Licence Requirements in India

The latest government circular states that IEC is not mandatory for all GST-registered traders. For purposes of import and export, the PAN of the trader shall construed as a new IEC code. In cases where the goods imported or exported for personal use only, the Import Export Code (IEC) is not required. The import or export of goods and services done by government departments and ministries, as well as by charities notified with the Government of India, does not require an import or export code.

Also Read: Everything about Sole Proprietorship Registration in India

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