Importer-Exporter Code (IEC) is a unique 10-digit code issued by the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, to Indian companies, firms, exporters and importers, who want to engage in the business of exports-imports. Without IEC, an Indian entity cannot export or import. The code need to be furnished along with other documents at the time of dispatching or receiving an EXIM consignment and also while receiving and making payments from overseas buyers and sellers respectively.
Only one IEC is issued against one Permanent Account Number (PAN). In the case of proprietary business, IEC would be issued against the PAN of the proprietor. While in the case of partnership firms and companies, IEC is issued against the PAN of the legal entity i.e. firm or company.
Once an IEC is allotted to an entity, it can be used for the lifetime or for an infinite period by all its branches, units, divisions and offices (as indicated in IEC application form at the time of registration) across India for the purpose of exports and imports of goods and services.
An IEC can be amended/ modified for changes like name, address, constitution, ownership in proprietorship firms, change in nature of the firm e.g. from proprietorship to partnership. Change in the constitution, however, does not include a change in Directors of Public Ltd. Co.
The manual mode of applications for fresh IEC issuance or IEC modification has ceased to exist as of April 1, 2016. The DGFT now only accepts online applications for IEC issuance or modification in the prescribed format along with the necessary supporting documents. An IEC applicant needs to ensure that details filled in the application should match the details in the uploaded documents. Further, an online application for IEC can only be made using a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC; Class II & III).
In case you already have an IEC, you need to update it on a yearly basis. According to the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 [para 2.15 of Handbook of Procedure (2015-20)], an IEC Holder shall be responsible for updating his/her IEC as and when a change takes place in details like name, address, constitution, ownership in Proprietorship firms, change in nature of the firm e.g. from proprietorship to partnership etc. or in any case at least once in a year. Please click here to check if your IEC contains the latest information about you and your company.
Please note, if an IEC does not contain the latest or updated information (as required by the FTP 2015-20) about the IEC holder and his/her firm, the competent authority can cancel the said IEC. If an IEC is cancelled for a particular Permanent Account Number (PAN), that PAN can never apply for an IEC again.
You get a dedicated Account Manager who ensures that getting an IEC and Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is not a time-consuming process for you! From guiding you on the documentation and procedures, to getting documents collected from your doorstep, to keeping you informed of the status of your IEC and DSC applications, and more. Well, all you need to do is sit back and let your Account Manager walk the talk. The Dollar Business can help you obtain an IEC in 7 to 10 days and Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) in just two days from the date of submission of all valid documents. [Please note processing time is also subject to the response time taken by the DGFT]