IEC Code for Individuals

Can an Individual apply for Import Export Code (IEC Code)?

To expand product/service in the International Market, one needs to obtain an IEC. But what is IEC? An alpha numeric number which is same as a PAN number, is issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to carry out import/export in India is known as Import Export Code (IEC). IEC code for individuals is mandatory for those who want to import/export goods or services in India to obtain an IEC. Without IEC importers face restrictions for import of products and exporters cannot avail tax exemption benefit or any other benefit from DGFT for their export. So, to kick-start your business in import/export sector in Indian Territory you require an IEC.

[To get complete details on how to start an Import Export business, refer our blog How to start Import Export Business in India]

Exempted Categories from IEC

There are few categories of importers and exporters which are exempted from obtaining an IEC:

  • Ministries and Department of Central or State government and certain notified charitable organizations.
  • Import/Export of goods for personal use.

Benefits of having an IEC

There are various benefits you can avail if you get yourself registered under DGFT:

  • Explore and keep your foot forward in international markets.
  • IEC for individuals has lifetime validity and thus, no need to renew it annually.
  • A company can obtain certain benefits and incentives from DGFT and also from Customs and Export promotion council.
  • With the help of IEC, records of all the import and export transactions can be kept, reducing illegal goods transportation.

IEC code for individuals?

Now the question arises, whether an Individual can apply for IEC or not? So, any person who has a PAN card and wants to start the import/export business can apply IEC code for individuals. It is not necessary to own a company or have a registered company name to obtain IEC from DGFT.

Mandatory requirements

To justify your identity, there are some documents to be attached along with the IEC application:

  • Scanned copy of valid Permanent Account Number (PAN), consisting of both side of PAN.
  • A scanned photograph of the applicant.
  • Scanned copy of Bank Certificate in the prescribed format.
  • Current Bank Account details.
  • The exporter must have a Net banking account with one of the following designated banks
    • IDBI

[To get complete list of documents required for the registration of the IEC code, refer our blog Documents required for IEC Code in India]

Procedure to apply for IEC Number

One can submit an online application to DGFT for the grant of IEC Number. It is a simple procedure consisting of the following steps:

  • The application needs to be made in the Aayaat Niryaat Form 2A format to DGFT. You can submit an online application at DGFT website –
  • For submitting an online application to DGFT, you need to upload a scanned copy of all the necessary documents, i.e., PAN card, bank account details, photographs. To upload documents online, you need to keep in mind the following things
    • Photograph, PAN Card and Passport should be submitted in gif format.
    • Bank Certificate should be submitted in PDF format.
    • Canceled Cheque, Voter ID in either Gif/PDF format.
  • While applying online, you need to make an electronic payment for the fee through net banking of any designated bank account.
  • Before submitting an application, make sure that:
    • All the details are correct and matched with documents.
    • The requisite fee is paid
    • DGFT region is appropriately selected.

Once the documents submitted are verified by government authorities, DGFT will allocate you an eIEC number. You can start doing your business with the soft copy you have received on your email. No hard copy of IEC is issued by DGFT. 

[To get complete process for the registration of  an IEC number, refer our blog How to Apply for IEC Code Online – Step by Step Guide]


Always keep in mind that only one IEC can be granted against one PAN card. If there is more than one IEC issued against one PAN Card, it will be considered void and applicant must surrender it for cancellation.

Too worked up while setting up your import/export business? Let us be of some help! We can help you get your passport for import/export business, i.e., IEC number. You just need to send your documents over mail, and we will take care of the rest. If you want to obtain IEC number, just give us your documents and then stop worrying about anything. We will fill your application and submit it on your behalf and keep you updated about all the government proceedings. With us, get your IEC number within a few days and without any hassle.

If you want to apply an IEC code for an individual, Please fill below form to get in touch with us.

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