All businesses engaged in importing and exporting goods must have an Importer Exporter Code (IEC). Without one, you cannot import or export. You don't need to be a registered entity to apply for one; you can apply even as an individual. The IEC does not apply to technology and services. However, it does in certain cases in which international trade is restricted, such as nuclear weapons and automatic guns. The IEC is a 10-digit code with permanent validity issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

Features of Import Export Code Registration

  • It acts as the primary proof that a firm is an importer or exporter.
  • Import or export cannot be done without first obtaining an IEC.
  • A proprietor can also obtain an IEC, without registering his business.
  • Once issued, an IEC exists for a lifetime. This means that it does not need any renewal.
  • It is not compulsory for import or export of goods for personal or governmental purposes.
  • Quoting an IEC is compulsory when importing or exporting goods.
  • IEC is compulsory for making foreign bank transfers in relation to business.
  • It is valid for all branches of importer or exporter.