IEC: Meaning and process of obtaining,modifying and surrendering



The main purpose of the IEC is to regulate the import and export of goods and to ensure that all the necessary documents are in place. The IEC also helps the government to keep track of all the imports and exports and to monitor the trade balance between India and other countries.

It is mandatory for all importers and exporters in India to have an IEC number.

This number can be obtained from the DGFT by submitting the required documents, such as the PAN card, GST No., and other documents. The IEC is valid for one year and needs to be renewed every year.

Apart from the IEC, importers, and exporters also need to obtain a separate registration certificate from the DGFT, depending on the type of goods they are importing or exporting. For example, some items require prior permission from the DGFT, while some items can be imported without any prior permission.

As per the Law IEC is defined as;


The Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992 says “Importer-exporter Code Number” means the Code Number granted under section 7 Section-7 Importer-exporter Code Number. – No person shall make any import or export except under an Importer-exporter Code Number granted by the Director General or the officer authorized by the Director General in this behalf, in accordance with the procedure specified in this behalf by the Director General.”

Benefits of IEC Registration:


a. No Filing of returns

IEC doesn’t require the filing of any tax returns. Once the IEC is allocated, there’s not any obligation to follow any procedure to ensure the validity of the certificate. Even when it comes to exports There is no requirement to file any tax returns to DGFT.

b. Easy Processing

It’s quite simple to get IEC codes from DGFT within 10 to 15 days following making the application. There’s no requirement to show proof of an export or import to get an IEC code

c.Expansion of Business

IEC assists you in bringing your product or service to the world market and further expanding your business.

d.Availing Several Benefits

The companies could benefit from the advantages of their imports and exports through Customs, the DGFT, Export Promotion Council, Customs, etc. Based on the IEC registration.


1. Visit the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) website-

2. Click on the “Apply for IEC” button.

3. Fill out the online form with the required details.

4. Upload the necessary documents.

5. Pay the application fee online.

6. Submit the application form.

7. Once the application is approved, the Importer-Exporter Code (IEC) will be generated.




Update / Modification request are auto-approved except for the cases where the Importer/Exporter have done:

a) Change of PAN of the Firm for numeric IECs or

b) Change in Nature of Concern for the firm or

c) Change in Partner/Signatory Details where the nature of the concern is Partnership, LLP, HUF, Trust or Society

d)Kindly upload supporting documents in the respective sections for faster processing of your application.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has made the process of modification of Importer and Exporter Code (IEC) easier through its online portal.

The procedure to modify IEC code is as follows:

  • Login to the DGFT portal.
  • Click on the “Services” tab and choose the “Update/Modification IEC” option.
  • You will be directed to a new page, where you will be required to enter basic details, firm address details, branch details, proprietor/partner/directors/ Managing trustee details, Bank Information, other details.
  • Pay the application fee online Pay the application fee online.
  • Once the details have been entered, click on the “Submit” button.
  • The modified IEC code will then be generated and sent to the email address provided.



To cancel an Importer Exporter Code (IEC), you will need to apply for cancellation of IEC at Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) portal.

You can apply for cancellation of IEC by following the steps given below:

a. Go to the DGFT portal and login.

b. My dashboard > IEC > View and manage IEC

c. Click on the “Surrender IEC” option.

d. Reason for Surrendering IEC

e. Attach the necessary documents.

f. Submit the application.

g. Once the application is submitted, your IEC will be canceled and you will be issued a confirmation email.




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