Exploring the Features and Importance of IEC in Export: Full Form Revealed

If you are an online seller keen on exporting products from India, you need to know everything about IEC. A customary Google search will reveal that ‘IEC full form in export’ is one of the top search queries in the realm of Indian exports. IEC stands for Importer Exporter Code. This is a unique 10-digit code issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade or DGFT. To carry out any import or export activities from India, applying for and obtaining your IEC code is compulsory.

IEC Full Form in Export: Understanding its Significance and Attributes

Before prepping and applying for it, avid Indian exporters should know about the features and importance of the Importer Exporter Code. 

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  • Firstly, the IEC allotted to you is the key identifier of your import-export business. No products can be imported to or exported from India without a valid IEC.
  • To make/receive payments or apply for any financial incentives or tax relief from the government as an exporter, you need to quote your Importer Exporter Code.
  • For the export of services, you are required to apply for IEC only when you are taking benefits under the Foreign Trade Policy. During online seller registration with any reputed international eCommerce platform, you will be familiarized with the clauses in detail.
  • Since the IEC is allotted based on your PAN (Permanent Account Number), the code is unique and cannot be duplicated.
  • You need to register and apply for IEC only once. However, you need to update/renew it every year between April to June. During this process, you can update any necessary changes or simply renew by conforming to the status quo. This is a simple online procedure and takes about five minutes.
  • If you don’t renew as per procedure, your code will get deactivated and you will have to unnecessarily apply for reactivation.
  • The entire process of IEC application and allotment is conducted online. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) ensures that the process is swift, transparent, and doesn’t involve any unnecessary paperwork or bureaucratic hassles. 

How to Apply for IEC?

With the popularization of global eCommerce platforms like eBay, the hustle for online seller registration has skyrocketed. But before registering with eBay and starting selling to international buyers, Indian sellers should acquire their IEC code. The following steps will guide you through the IEC online application process:-

  1. Log on to the DGFT website (www.dgft.gov.in). From the main menu, go to the ‘Services’ tab.
  2. Click on the dropdown list and select ‘IEC profile management’.
  3. Now select the ‘Apply for IEC’ option.
  4. Enter your PAN number and click on the tab to send an OTP to your registered mobile number.
  5. Key in the OTP and you will be directed to the IEC application form.
  6. Take your time to carefully fill out the form and upload the required documents.
  7. Pay the one-time, non-refundable application fees. The amount is INR 500 for individual applicants and INR 1000 for companies.
  8. After payment, submit the application form by clicking on the tab.
  9. Within 15 working days, your IEC code will be issued. It will be mailed to you by the DGFT on your registered email address.
  10. As mentioned above, make sure you update/renew your IEC code on the DGFT website every year between April and June to keep it active. 


Exporting products/services from India via online marketplaces like eBay is an excellent opportunity for online sellers to amass incredible profits, scale their business, and build a world-class brand. eBay’s seller hub has excellent writeups and video tutorials to guide registered sellers at every juncture. To commence your global eCommerce journey, always begin with applying for your IEC code. IEC is the primary document of recognition by the government for importers and exporters in India. Allocating this code enables Indian authorities to track and regulate import/export activities, thereby preventing illegal trading. Entities with a valid IEC can easily apply for relevant governmental schemes and subsidies like duty exemptions, financial assistance, and infrastructural support.

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