The Importer/Exporter Code: The Key to Successful International Trade

by | Feb 22, 2024

In today’s global economy, international trade has become a vital component of many businesses. Whether you are an importer or an exporter, you need to be familiar with the unique codes that are used to identify your business and the goods you are trading. In this article, we will explore the importer/exporter code, also known as the IEC, and why it is important for businesses engaged in international trade.


Importer/Exporter Code: What Is It?


(DGFT) of India issues Importer/Exporter Codes (IEC), which are 10-digit codes. Businesses involved in international trade use this special identification number to let customs officials and other government organizations know who they are. All companies in Import or export business activities from India must have an IEC.


The IEC is a one-time registration, and once a business is registered, it is valid for all future imports and exports. The registration process is straightforward and can be done online through the DGFT’s website. Businesses are required to provide basic information about themselves, such as their legal name, address, and contact details, as well as information about their business activities.


The Importer/Exporter Code: Why Is It Important?


IEC certification is a crucial prerequisite for companies involved in international trade. Banks and other monetary institutions use it to handle foreign payments, while customs authorities use it to monitor the flow of commodities within and outside of the country. Businesses are unable to import or export products from India without an IEC.

The IEC is also essential for businesses that wish to take advantage of various government schemes and incentives. For example, businesses that are registered under the Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme are required to have a valid IEC.


How to Get an Importer/Exporter Code?

To obtain an IEC, businesses need to apply to the DGFT. The application can be submitted online, and the process is relatively simple. Businesses are required to provide basic information about themselves, such as their legal name, address, and contact details. Once the application is submitted, the DGFT will verify the information provided and issue the IEC within a few days.


Am I eligible to have IEC without having any GST number?

Yes, IEC can be applied even without a GST number.


Can a person obtain an IEC code?

Who may obtain IEC? An IEC can be obtained by a person or a firm that wants to conduct international business. Individuals may use either their or business names to apply for IEC.



For enterprises involved in international trade, it is a prerequisite to have this code. To monitor the movement of commodities within and outside of the country, customs officials and other governmental organizations utilize this special identifying number. All companies that ship or import goods from India must have an IEC; otherwise, they cannot conduct international commerce. You must secure a valid IEC to ensure efficient and trouble-free operations if you are involved in foreign trade.

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