Import Export Code: Concept and Online Registration Process

20th Jan 2020
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Import Export Code (IEC) license is one such requirement if someone is thinking of importing and exporting from India. Earlier, one can apply for an IEC registration only by way of filing a physical application. But nowadays, one can apply online for IEC registration.

Import Export Code is needed by anyone who is looking to commence his import and export business in the country. The Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) grants IEC. Further, Import Export Code is a ten-digit code having lifetime validity.

Therefore, the IEC registration is fundamental when you are operating a business of import or export of the goods and services. Further, it is pertinent to mention that the Import Export License is obligatory when the import or export associated with the services.

The need for the import export code

  1. Whenever an importer wants to send money abroad through banks, then it is needed for the bank.
  2. Whenever an exporter receives money in any foreign currency directly into his bank account, and then IEC code is required by the bank.
  3. Whenever any exporter has to send his shipments to another country, then it is required by the customs port.
  4. Whenever any importer has to clear his shipments from the custom department, then IEC is required by the customs authorities.

Exemption from the import export code registration

Obtaining IEC registration is not mandatory for all the traders having GST registration. Following are the cases where exemption is provided from IEC registration.

  1. Import or export by the government ministries and departments and by certain notified charitable institutions.
  2. Any import or export did for personal use and not for commercial use.

Advantages of import export code registration

  1. No renewal - Import export code, once granted, has lifetime validity. There is no need to apply for any renewal.
  2. Handy processing – After the successful filing of an application, the applicant is required to wait for 15 to 20 days to get its IEC issued by the Director General of Foreign Trade. Furthermore, there is no need to provide any document or details regarding import and export.
  3. Hassle-free filing of return – Import export code does not require any filing of return.
  4. Several embedded benefits – Benefits attached to the IEC registration includes subsidies provided by the customs department, DGFT, and Export Promotion Council.
  5. Expansion of the business – IEC registration ensures the growth and advancement of the business by helping it to reach worldwide by providing its goods and services to the global level.

Characteristics of the import export code registration

  1. Government benefits
  2. Expansion and development of business
  3. Fare subsidies
  4. No need of filing return
  5. Lifetime legitimacy

Online process for import export code registration

  1. Firstly, check the eligibility for obtaining Import Export License.
  2. Fill an online application form with the DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade).
  3. Online registration process for IEC is started to decrease paperwork, human interface, transaction cost, and to provide the secure and faster filling. This feature is not yet made compulsory and the option of filling offline or physically is still available.
  4. All the documents required in filing online application are the same as physical filing.
  5. All the required documents shall be contained in a physical application and need to be filed with fifteen days of online submission of application.
  6. After, the approval of the e-IEC by the competent authority, Import Export Code is issued by the Director General of Foreign Trade. The applicant will be notified about the approval through e-mail that e-IEC is available on the DGFT website.

Physical procedure of import export code registration

  1. The first step for the applicant is to fill an online application in the Aayaat Niryaat Form 2A.
  2. File the same form, Form 2A to the regional office of the Director General of Foreign Trade of the concerned region.
  3. The applicant needs to sign each and every page of the application.
  4. Two copies of the application form are required to be submitted.
  5. The said application form can be submitted by the person, company or by the authorized employee of the firm.
  6. The application can be submitted either by sending it through courier/ post or by directly submitting at the office’s counter.
  7. After the successful submission of application, the applicant has been provided with a file number. File number can be used for future queries or references regarding the IEA application.
  8. The submitted application is then forwarded to the Import Export Code section for further processing.
  9. After the completion of the registration process, IEA is issued.
  10. In case of any shortcoming found, the authority can ask for additional documents and information.
  11. Import Export Code (IEC) allotment letter is sent through post at the registered office, mentioned in the application in Appendix 2B. But, in the case of any shortcoming, the said deficiency letter is sent by post at the address registered.

Required documents for the import export code registration

  1. Copy of the PAN card
  2. Copy of the Voter Id, Passport, or Aadhar Card
  3. One cancelled cheque of the current bank account.
  4. Copy of both electricity bill and rent agreement of the premises.

Impact of the import export code registration

  1. Only one IEC can be issued against one PAN Card. Any person cannot hold two IEC on one PAN Card.
  2. An allotted IEC number is valid for all the sections, divisions, factories or units as indicated on the IEC number.

Surrender of the import export code

  1. In case, anyone wants to surrender or cancel its Import Export Code registration. He can surrender the same by just informing the issuing authority.
  2. After the information received, the issuing body will cancel the said IEC registration.
  3. After cancellation, the issuing body will intimate the same to the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), for the further communication about the cancellation to the customs department along with other regional authorities like Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and licensing authority.

In case the import export code is misplaced or lost

  1. The applicant shall file a request letter on the letterhead for the issue of duplicate Import Export code.
  2. Application form in both appendix 2 and 3 should be in duplicate.
  3. Copy of either IEC no or IEC.
  4. Copy of the First Information Report (FIR).
  5. A duly notarized affidavit, on Rs 20/- stamp paper.
  6. Demand draft or Challan of Rs 200/- in favor of the DGFT.
  7. A Self-Addressed envelope needs to be affixed with a postal stamp of Rs 25/-.

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