CS Mohit Saluja
To import in India or export out of India, IEC Code i.e. Importer Exporter Code is mandatory. IEC Code is unique 10 digit code issued by DGFT – Director General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce, Government of India. No person or entity shall make any Import or Export without IEC Code Number.
Eligibility condition and Legal Provisions are given for IEC Code Number Application in Foreign Trade (Regulation) Rules, 1993 Ministry of Commerce, Notification No. GSR 791 (E), dated 30-12-1993. However, Directorate General of Foreign Trade(DGFT) issued a Policy Circular No.15 (RE-2006)/2004-2009 Date: 27th July, 2006) for New System for issuance of Importer-Exporter Code Number.
Eligibility and other provisions for applying IEC
1. No export or import shall be made by any person without an Importer-Exporter Code (IEC) Number unless specifically exempted. An Importer/Exporter Code (IEC) number shall be granted on application to the competent authority. Every application for grant of IEC number shall be made by the Registered/Head Office of the applicant, unless otherwise specified, shall be submitted to the Regional Authority of Directorate General Foreign Trade, as per the territorial jurisdiction of the Regional authorities and shall be accompanied by documents prescribed therein. In case of STPI/ EHTP/ BTP units, the Regional Offices of the DGFT having jurisdiction over the district in which the Registered/ Head Office of the STPI unit is located shall issue or amend the IECs.
2. The Licensing Authority concerned shall issue an IEC number in the format as given in Appendix 2B and will dispatch to the applicant’s address. IEC is dispatched through Speed Post to verify the address of the Firm/ Entity which intends to carry on the Business of Import Export Therefore not handed to the applicant over the counter. So it is mandatory for the entity to affix the Board indicating name and address of the Firm at the Business Place.
3. An IEC Number allotted to an applicant shall be valid for all its branches/divisions/units/factories as indicated on the IEC number.
4. Where an IEC Number is lost or misplaced, the issuing authority may consider requests for grant of a duplicate copy of IEC number, if accompanied by following documents:
5. If an IEC holder does not wish to operate the allotted IEC number, he may surrender the same by informing the issuing authority. On receipt of such intimation, the issuing authority shall immediately cancel the same and electronically transmit it to DGFT for onward transmission to the Customs and Regional Authorities to intimate that the said IEC number has become inoperative.
6. If there is any change in the name/address or constitution of IEC holder/licensee, the Actual User eligible for import without a license/recognised status holders, as the case may be, shall cease to be eligible to import or export against the license /IEC Number or any other facility permitted under the Policy and Handbook, after expiry of 60 days from the date of such change in his name or constitution.
Documents Required for Applying the IEC Code
Application can be submitted in person/by Authorised Employee of the Firm/ Company at the counter in person at the office or it can be sent through Post/Courier. An acknowledgement in form of a receipt having File Number is generated on receipt of application. The file number is used for any correspondence/query regarding the IEC application submitted to the office. The application is then sent to IEC section where it is processed. If the application is found complete in all aspects (as per requirements prescribed) an IEC is generated, or else a deficiency letter stating the nature of deficiency is prepared and sent to the applicant. Replies are awaited in cases where deficiency letter is issued and after due compliance by the applicant the IEC is allotted.
IEC allotment letter is sent through post at the registered office mentioned by the applicant in the application. Similarly deficiency letters are sent to applicant by post.
ONLINE APPLICATION FOR IEC CODE
Earlier the applications were submitted physically with the Regional Jt. Director General of Foreign Trade Office. But vide Policy Circular No. 10 (RE-2010)/ 2009-14 DATED 31ST December, 2010, facility for Online Application for IEC Code has been given to the applicants w.e.f. 01.01.2011 at the DGFT website (http:/ /dgft.gov.in)to reduce the Transaction cost and time for the applicant which will further ensure easy, flexible filing of application and reduce human interface and paper work in the process. But still under this policy circular, the option of online application is not mandatory rather the option to file the application physically is also given. Note: The Documents required under Online Application are same as that were used while Physical submission of documents which have been mentioned above.
You can now go to the site and apply for IEC with out any problem
Policy Circular No. 10 (RE-2010)/ 2009-14 DATED 31ST December, 2010 can be accessed at the following Link :-
(CS Mohit Saluja – Practicing Whole Time Company Secretary – 2nd Floor, Malhotra Complex, Sehdev Market, Jalandhar, Punjab-144001, Ph. No. 9914558709, Email id:firstname.lastname@example.org)