How to apply for IEC (Import Export Code)

IEC – Import Export Code – Your Passport to International business

In the current times of a globalised market, availability of choices are diverse with regards to products and price. Every business wants to grow their customer base beyond domestic markets, but going global requires adherence to statutory procedures, registrations and licences in different geographies. To start international business from or into India the basic minimum requirement is an IEC (Import Export Code). IEC is a 10 digit code issued by Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) for Indian entities (Proprietorship, Private or Public limited companies) and has a lifetime validity.

Amidst growing global consensus on MSME’s (Micro, Small and Medium ) driving the next globalisation wave, Indian Government’s focus on Make In India and policy of export the goods not the taxes acts as export incentives. These incentives could range from claiming refunds on tax paid while exporting of goods to MEIS (Merchandise Export from India scheme)

Possessing IEC is the first and the foremost requirement to set yourself up for International trade.

As per section -7 of Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992 No person can make any exports or import without IEC granted by the Director General of Foreign Trade.

Advantages of having IEC

IEC is a one-time code, does not expire hence requires no renewal,

IEC is your passport to do business globally.

No Compliance requirement and makes your International trade legally clean

How to Obtain IEC?

Obtaining IEC online is very simple and involves the following steps.

1. Visit Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)’s official website –

2. From the top menu select online applications, from the drop-down click online IEC application. Shown below in the screenshot.

3. You will be redirected to the next page, If you find any error message try to remove https from the URL as shown below in the screenshots


4. The user will enter his PAN and press Search button after which the following screen will appear

5.Validate you PAN details by providing your name and DOB

After entering above given details the system will verify your Name, DOB/DOI from the CBDT PAN Web Server and then it will direct to DGFT- IEC application enabling you to file for fresh IEC application.

6. In the next screen enter your mobile number, email and click on generate the token, you will get verification codes to both mobile and email. Enter those token codes in Mobile Token and Email Token field.

7. The user will be redirected to the next page, on the left-hand side of the screen various options will appear. The user will have to modify in all the details for IEC Master/Branch/Director/Fee Payment and Attachments etc.

Once done with all the steps click on submit button, It normally takes 6 to 7 days to get your IEC (Import Export Code).


Now that your passport for international trade is ready, let’s go International.

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