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Taking your product or services to the international market will expand your businesses. But visualizing an import/export operation itself can be difficult for an uninitiated person, and her job is made more difficult by the various commercial jargons and legal procedures that international trade has. In this present article we shall deal with a small part of import and export, called Importer Exporter Code.
What is Importer Exporter Code (IEC)
The first requirement before you start an import/ export business in India is to obtain an IEC. An IEC is necessary for import/export of goods. In case the import/export is of services or technology, IEC is required in only limited circumstances, when import/export is in 'specified services' or 'specified technologies', i.e. services or technologies in which international trade is restricted by the Government of India as they pertain to national security, such as dealing in nuclear weapons, automatic guns, etc.
IEC is not required under the following circumstances:
1. Import/export of goods for personal use, which is not connected with trade, manufacture or agriculture.
2. Import/export by government ministries and departments, and certain notified charitable organizations.
Procedure for obtaining IEC
1) An application must be made in the Aayaat Niryaat Form 2A (ANF 2A) format to the Regional Authority of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in the region where the registered office of the company is situated.
2) The DGFT has provided online filing facility for obtaining IEC and other authorizations. Form ANF 2A requires basic details of the business and its proprietors, partners or directors (as applicable), bank account details and a bank certificate (where the business has an account) stating the period for which the business has an account with the bank.
One thing to be kept in mind is that the Permanent Account Number (PAN) is pre-requisite for grant of an IEC. And only one IEC can be issued against a single PAN.
The IEC issued is valid for all the branches or factories of the importer/exporter, as the case may be. Applications winch are complete in all respects are normally disposed of within two days. For practical purposes, you can provide for a week's time (after factoring in the time required to make any changes in case your initial application is incomplete in some respect).