Import Export Code is a 10 digit number comprising alphabets and numbers. IEC is a mandatory prerequisite to commencing an import/export business of goods in India. However, when it comes to the requirement of IEC in the case of service and technology sectors, it is deemed to be mandatory in specific areas of these sectors only. Such ‘specified services’ or ‘specified technologies’ include import/export of automatic guns, nuclear weapons, etc. as international trading in such services or technologies can be a threat to national security. Hence, it is compulsory to obtain an IEC for trading in such sectors. An IEC is given by the regional office of the DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade), Department of Commerce, Government of India.
In order to obtain an IEC, an application is required to be filed in the Aayaat Niryaat Form 2A (ANF 2A) format to the regional authority of DGFT where the company’s registered office is situated. The form can be filed online as well. It usually takes two days for disposing of an application complete in all respects.
Basic details of the business and its proprietors, bank account details, partners or directors and a bank certificate that mentions the period for which the business holds an account with the bank are required for Form ANF 2A.It is important to note that PAN is pre-requisite for obtaining an IEC and only one IEC is issued per PAN. If the importer/exporter has multiple branches or factories, single IEC issued is valid for all the branches or factories.
The export of SCOMET i.e. Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment and Technologies as enumerated in Appendix- 3, Schedule 2 of the ITC(HS) except in the case of exports by category(ii) above, is NOT exempted from obtaining IEC number. In other words, it is mandatory to obtain IEC in the case of export of SCOMET.