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Obtain your IEC and start selling Globally today

The deep penetration of the internet has opened up new avenues of business. Shopping online is popular amongst young and old alike. With the growth of online ecommerce, a whole new gamut of shopping experience has opened up and shoppers can purchase across the spectrum with just a click, from the comfort of their homes. It is not just domestic ecommerce, but also international ecommerce that Indian sellers can benefit from. The internet has helped to shrink borders and today consumers can buy Chinese goods while sitting in India and shoppers from the US can purchase Indian goods on different marketplaces.

The process of selling cross border is, however, not all that simple because they are governed by our foreign trade policies and Government rules. As a result, when shipping goods abroad for business purposes, a seller needs to register for and acquire an IEC or Importer Exporter Code.

It is said that “….No person or entity shall make any Import or Export without IEC Number unless specifically exempted.”

Let us examine what exactly is an IEC. Basically, IEC is required for any commercial shipment of Rs 25000 and above for overseas trade. The code is a ten-digit alphanumeric number that is allotted by DG Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Commerce and only one IEC  number is assigned per PAN. The IEC helps a business to clear customs and also to make bank transactions in foreign currency.

Having an IEC is beneficial when shipping in international markets because

  • It acts as a permit
  • It has no expiry
  • With an IEC there is no need to file tax returns.
  • Illegal transactions decrease because of the transparency created by IEC
  • Certain taxes are refunded during exports

Next is the procedure of applying for IEC. Submitting the necessary documents online with a fee of Rs 250 will set in motion the processing of the IEC number.

Documents required for obtaining an IEC number.

  • PAN Number
  • Copy of Voter Id/ Aadhar/Passport/ Driving License
  • Covering letter on your company’s letterhead
  • Bankers Certificate / Cancelled cheque
  •  Current Bank Account
  • Two copies of passport size photographs of the applicant duly attested by the bank of the applicant.
  • Two copies of the application in the prescribed format
  • A self-addressed envelope with a postal stamp for delivery of IEC certificate by registered post
  • Sale deed/ Memorandum of understanding/partnership deed/ depending on the business and type of ownership
  • The documents may vary from state to state.

The IEC can be applied both online and offline. 

For Applying offline: A form called ANF2A can be downloaded from the Director-General of Foreign Trade website (DGFT)and filled up with your signature on each page A, B & D. After attaching the Demand Draft you can submit the hard copy along with the required documents mentioned above to the Regional office of the Director-General of Foreign Trade.

For Applying Online: An applicant must log on to the DGFT website, enter your Pan number to create the application. The fee can be easily remitted online as well as scanned copies of the required documents in GIF or PDF format along with the application form that can be filled online. It is advisable to keep a printed copy of the application with you or save it in whatever form is convenient or the website allows.

Once submitted the IEC should be delivered to you within 10 working days by post. It is also issued in electronic format as e-IEC. The documents are first verified by DGFT. Thereafter you can start selling internationally. You can also reach out to the helpful Support Team of Eunimart, who will point you in the right direction and help expedite your documentation.

FAQs

  • Where can I find the application to apply for IEC? :  Please visit www.dgft.gov.in
  • How can I modify my old IEC? : Go to Quick Links and select your preferred option and follow the instructions.
  • When do I need to renew the IEC? : It is not necessary to renew the IEC because it has no expiry date.
  • Is the IEC transferrable? : No it is non-transferable.
  • Who can apply for IEC? : Any individual or company can apply for IEC for the purpose of international trade.
  • Is GST mandatory for traders who have obtained IEC? : No it is not.
  • Is anyone exempted from the IEC? : Exempted entities include Ministries or Departments of Central or State Government, people importing or sending goods overseas for personal use and importing or exporting to Indo-Myanmar border, Nepal, or China provided the consignment is valued under Rs 25000. However, Specialty chemical sand equipment and technologies under “ Appendix 3 of Schedule 2 of ITC HS” is not exempted from IEC.
  • What does the Postal Bill of Exports mean to ecommerce exporters holding IEC? :  “Any exporter holding a valid Import-Export Code shall be permitted to export goods by filing a Postal Bill of Export (PBE) in the form prescribed under the “Export by Post Regulations 2018”.

 So, every individual seller in the Indian ecommerce world needs to get the IEC to sell globally. The Government offers ways to help sellers to sell internationally with ease but the important thing is to abide by the laws of the land without which no one can indulge in international ecommerce. This is where the leading ecommerce enabler Eunimart with its deep-tech capabilities and domain experts can help you navigate the International and region-specific laws and duties seamlessly. Eunimart also helps you to automate your business processes to save time and money on manpower, upskilling and errors. There is no better time to expand your business globally than now with Eunimart by your side!