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Import Export Code (IEC): Registration, Documentation and Latest Amendments

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Introduction

Import and Export in India

Foreign trade has been in existence since times immemorial and facilitates the process of exchange of goods and services across borders. Post Liberalization period in India has witnessed growth in terms of economy and foreign trade. International trade has facilitated businesses to increase their market size and share of profit. Prior to initiating import and export at a global level, an entity is required to obtain various licenses and permits and observe law procedures.

As per section 2(e) of The Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992 import and export have been defined in relation to goods and services or technology. 

What is IEC?

To be able to undertake any import and export activities in India, a mandatory alphanumeric number containing ten characters is issued by DGFT ( Directorate General of Foreign Trade) in order to maintain the unique identity of an entity i.e.  (Firm/company/LLP, etc.). The number is issued based on an application. It is granted in compliance with section 7 of the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992. This number is usually called as importer-exporter code

Unless specifically exempted, no person is allowed to import or export without obtaining this number.

Read Our Service: Import - Export Code (IEC)

Requirement of IEC in following Cases

  1. If the importer needs to clear his shipments from the customs, the customs authorities will require it. 
  2. In case an importer sends money through banks, abroad, then the bank needs it.
  3. If an exporter has to send shipments, then the customs port requires it.
  4. If an exporter collects money directly into his bank account in a foreign currency, then the bank needs it.

IEC Registration Benefits

  1. Business Expansion
  2. On basis of the IEC registration, companies can avail various benefits
  3. There exists no requirement of filing return with DGFT
  4. 4.    Smooth and easy processing of the IEC code
  5. EIC doesn’t require any renewal

IEC Application Process

  1. The application process for issuance of IEC and its updation is completely online. 
  2. The application form is called as "Aayaat Niryaat Form - ANF2A". 
  3. It is necessary to file this form with the respective DGFT Regional Office.
  4. The application has to be submitted with the required fees. 
  5. The application is generated after its approval

Documents Required for IEC registration

  1. Copy of the PAN Card of a person or firm or company
  2. Vote ID or Aadhar card or passport copy for individuals
  3. Cancel cheque copy of the current bank account of the entity
  4. Copy of the rent or electricity bill agreement of the premise

Additional Documents Required for IEC

  • Required compulsory documents for the export of goods from India:
  1. Bill of Lading/ Airway Bill/ Receipt of Lorry/ Receipt of Railway/Postal Receipt 
  2. Commercial Invoice cum List of Packing
  3. Shipping Bill/Export Bill/Export Postal Bill
  • Required compulsory documents for import of goods into India:
  1. Bill of Lading/Airway Bill/Lorry Receipt/ Railway Receipt/Postal Receipt in form CN-22 or CN 23
  2. Commercial Invoice cum Packing List
  3. Entry Bill
  • Additional documents may be required by the regulatory authority in cases where the goods are subject to restrictions or require a NOC
  • To ensure legal compliance the regulatory authority might require specific documents.

IEC No. Duplicate Copy

In case an IEC number is lost or misplaced, the issuing authority may, if accompanied by an affidavit, consider requests for the grant of a duplicate copy of the IEC number.

IEC No. Surrendering Process

If the IEC holder does not desire to operate on an allocated IEC number, it may, by informing the issuing authority, surrender the same. On receipt of such an intimation, the issuing authority shall immediately revoke and transmit it by electronic means to the DGFT.

Latest Amendments in Foreign Trade Policy

The Directorate general of foreign trade issued a notification dated 12 February 2021 that sought to amend the EIC (Importer-Exporter code) related provisions under chapter1 and chapter 2 of the foreign trade policy, 2015-2020. The amendments are as follows:

  • Para 1.11 stands amended and says that as detailed in paragraph 2.05 of this policy, the EIC is mandatory for export/import from/to India.
  1. Issuance of EIC by DGFT would be in electronic form.
  2. DGFT web portal can be accessed directly for applying for the issuance of e-IEC.
  • Para 2.05 stands amended and says that, application and process of updation in IEC can be done online, thereafter generation of it can be made by the applicant in accordance with the procedure given in the handbook of procedure.
  • Further certain sub paragraphs have been added under para 2.05 which are as follows:
  1. It must be noted that the holder of IEC is required to update its details electronically every year from April to June.
  2. Where there requires no change in IEC details, the confirmation still needs to be made online.
  3. If not updated within stipulated time, The IEC shall stand deactivated.
  4. Timely addressable of the risk flagged by the system to be ensured by the EIC holder.

Conclusion

The import and export business is experiencing a rise in recent times and inviting the interest of entrepreneurs to venture and explore new ways to expand their businesses.  Issuance of IEC makes the work of the business entities quiet easy and efficient while playing in the field of import and export. Considering the fact that essential commodities can be imported and exported lays the foundation stone for opportunities.

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Author
Tanya Arora
Tanya is Law professional ans she also provides legal consultancy on various areas of law with problem-solving and logical solutions for your case. She studied Law from the University of Delhi with a higher score in Company Law, she has also worked for highly renowned Law Firm and specialize in drafting commercial contracts/agreements, petitions and legal notices.