A Comprehensive Guide to Import Export Code: Everything You Need to Know


Welcome to our comprehensive guide to Import Export Code (IEC), where we will cover everything you need to know about this crucial aspect of international trade. Whether you are a business owner looking to expand your horizons or an individual interested in the import-export industry, understanding IEC is essential for a smooth and successful experience.

What is Import Export Code?

Import Export Code, also known as IEC, is a 10-digit identification number issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. It is mandatory for any individual or business entity engaged in the import or export of goods and services from India.

Why is IEC Important?

Having an IEC is crucial for several reasons:

  • Legal Requirement: IEC is a legal requirement for anyone involved in import-export activities in India. Without it, you cannot undertake international trade.
  • Global Recognition: It provides global recognition to your business and establishes credibility in the international market.
  • Access to Benefits: IEC is required to avail various benefits such as exemption schemes, subsidies, and customs clearance.

How to Apply for IEC?

The process of obtaining an IEC is relatively straightforward. Here are the steps involved:

  1. Register on the DGFT website and obtain a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC).
  2. Complete the online application form and submit the required documents, such as PAN card, identity proof, and address proof.
  3. Pay the requisite fee and obtain the IEC certificate.

Key Documents Required for IEC Application

While the exact document requirements may vary depending on the type of entity, here are the key documents usually required for an IEC application:

  • PAN card of the applicant
  • Identity proof, such as Aadhaar card, passport, or voter ID
  • Address proof, such as electricity bill, telephone bill, or lease agreement
  • Bank certificate or cancelled cheque

Benefits of Obtaining IEC

Obtaining an IEC offers several benefits for businesses and individuals involved in import-export activities:

  • Easy Integration into Global Market: IEC enables businesses to integrate seamlessly into the global market by facilitating international trade.
  • Access to Government Benefits: It allows businesses to avail various government benefits and schemes offered for import-export, such as export subsidies and duty drawback.
  • Expanding Business Opportunities: With an IEC, businesses can explore new markets, expand their customer base, and diversify their product range.


Import Export Code (IEC) is a crucial requirement for anyone involved in import-export activities in India. It not only fulfills the legal obligation but also opens doors to global opportunities and benefits. By understanding the process of obtaining an IEC and its significance, you can pave the way for a successful international trade journey.