Import Export License




Directorate General of Foreign Trade has started operationalising online filing of Importer Exporter Code (IEC) applications, online processing and issue of e-IECs in digital format.

Now new entrepreneurs/exporters/importers can apply online for issue of new IEC from the comfort of their home/IT Kiosk with no more visits to the Regional Authority's office required, and upload the documents and pay the required fee through Net banking.


Even the processing of such applications by Regional Authority of DGFT would be done online (no paper work in the office; less storage space required and no misplaced documents) and the digitally signed e-IEC (no more IECs in physical form) would be issued/emailed to the applicants within two working days. In case the application is incomplete or otherwise ineligible, the same shall be rejected and an auto generated Rejection letter/email (with reasons for rejection) would be sent to the applicant - within two working days only. There would not be any 'Deficiencies letters' now (no more discretion at the level of RAs and consequent elimination of possible delays and corruption).


Efforts are underway to allow/enable payment of fee through Debit/Credit cards, which would further facilitate this process. Once implemented the Online system would be made mandatory. However, till such time payment through Debit/Credit cards is enabled, the existing offline/manual system has also been allowed side by side, in order to facilitate those applicants who do not have Net banking facility. Efforts are also underway for message exchange/integration of our system with Income Tax department and Ministry of Corporate Affair for verification of PAN and DIN/CIN details respectively. Once implemented, this would further reduce the processing time of e-IEC applications at RA level (possibly one day only).


This is an important and path breaking initiative by Department of Commerce/DGFT towards "Digital India" vision of Prime Minister of India and "Ease of Doing Business".

Any bona fide person/ company starting a venture for International trade of Export and Import. If any foreign transfer on account of business, IEC number is mandatory.


IEC forms a primary document for recognition by Govt. of India as Exporter / Importer. However, if value of goods is very low, the concerned customs officer may permit first export (only one time) by imposing penal charges.


Import Export Code number is the primary proof of a firm as an Exporter/Importer in India. IEC number can be submitted with government authorities as a proof of exporter/importer to obtain various benefits on their exports / imports from DGFT, customs, Export Promotion Council etc.


IEC number is issued by Directory General of Foreign Trade at each regional offices where the exporter/importer situates.