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Are you planning to start Import-Export business? If yes, then Import Export Code (IEC) shall be first and foremost document which you will be requiring. Let’s understand what Import Export Code is, who is required to get this and FAQs on IEC.

What is Import Export Code (IEC)?

Import Export Code commonly known as IEC is unique 10 digit PAN based code issued by DGFT – Director General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce, Government of India. IEC is mandatory for companies and businesses which deal with import and export business in the Indian Territory. Import Export Code is also known as Import Export License.

Who is required to obtain Import Export Code (IEC)?

  • Everyone who wishes to engage in Import-Export activities require IEC Code. It is not possible to import or export without Import Export Code. However followings persons are required to obtain this code to import or export:
    1. Ministries/Departments of the Central or State Government.
    2. Persons importing or exporting goods for personal use not connected with trade or manufacture or agriculture.
    3. Persons importing/exporting goods from/to Nepal provided the CIF value of a single consignment does not exceed Indian Rs.25,000.
    4. Persons importing/exporting goods from/to Myanmar through Indo-Myanmar border areas provided the CIF value of a single consignment does not exceed Indian Rs.25,000.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is validity of Import Export Code (IEC)?

  • A. The Import Export Code once allotted is valid until it is surrendered or cancelled. It does not have expiry.
  • Q. Is there any return to be filed after obtaining Import Export Code?

  • A. There is no need to file any return after obtaining Import Export Code.
  • Q. Can I cancel my IEC?

  • A. Yes , you may cancel or surrender your Import Export Code at any time if you are no more liable for registration
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    Q. Is Import Export Code to be taken state wise?

  • A. Import Export Code is valid throughout the whole country. It is not state specific.


  • Q. Can I apply for Import Export Code (IEC) without PAN?

  • A. No, PAN is compulsory required for Obtaining Import Export Code (IEC). In fact IEC itself is same as the PAN of the applicant.