IMPORTER EXPORTER CODE (IEC)
An Importer -Exporter Code (IEC) is a key business identification number which mandatory for export from India or Import to India. No export or import shall be made by any person without obtaining an IEC unless specifically exempted. For services exports however, IEC shall be not be necessary except when the service provider is taking benefits under the Foreign Trade Policy.
An IEC is a 10-character alpha-numeric number allotted to a person that is mandatory for undertaking any export/import activities. With a view to maintain the unique identity of an entity (firm/company/LLP etc.), consequent upon introduction / implementation of GST, IEC will be equal to PAN and will be separately issued by DGFT based on an application.
Only one IEC shall be issued against a single PAN.
An IEC allotted to an applicant shall have permanent validity unless cancelled by the competent authority. The IEC will cover all branches / divisions / units / factories of the applicant.
An IEC will remain valid irrespective of a firm’s status as a DTA unit or an EOU or a SEZ/ EHTP/STP/BTP unit and the procedure to be followed in case a firm/unit is de-bonded and converted to DTA is as under:
a) An unit which is an EOU or in SEZ/EHTP/STP/BTP after de-bonding will not surrender the IEC obtained from its jurisdictional DC, SEZ.
b) The jurisdictional DC, SEZ will send the original IEC file to concerned RA of DGFT after de-bonding.
c) RA becomes the custodian of such file and will allow de-bonded unit to make necessary modification in IEC.
d) The de-bonded unit to be eligible for benefits from the RA as per FTP.
If an IEC holder does not wish to operate allotted IEC, he may surrender the same to the issuing authority. On receipt, the issuing authority shall immediately cancel the IEC and electronically transmit it to DGFT and Customs authorities.