Resources for Small Business

Sell International! How to obtain an Import Export Code (IEC)

You might remember the blog post we wrote on FedEx International Shipping. In that, we had mentioned that the prerequisites for selling internationally includes an IE Code.  Now, to those of you who don’t know what an IEC is and how to obtain it, we give you a brief lesson on how to go truly international with your shipping.

What is an IEC?

IEC stands for Import Export Code. It is a mandatory 10-digit code required by all individuals and business entities who want to import or export goods in India.

Every logistics company requires an IE Code as a prerequisite to open an International Shipping Account.

How to Obtain an IEC?

To obtain an Import Export Code (IEC) you will need to fill the Aayaat Niryaat Form 2A(ANF-2A) issued by the Director General Foreign Trade (DGFT) and send it across to their nearest regional office.

The ANF 2A form is the application for a IE code. The IE Code remains with you for lifetime and requires no renewals.

Along with the ANF 2A form you will need a few supporting documents that should be provided to the DGFT when applying for IE Code.

The supporting documents required are:

  • Certificate from the Banker of the applicant firm in the prescribed format.
  • Self-certified copy of Permanent Account Number (PAN) issued by Income Tax Authorities.
  • Two copies of passport size photographs of the applicant.
  • A banker’s certificate with the photograph of the applicant in the form attested by the bank manager.
  • Part D declaration and understanding.
  • Self-addressed envelope with stamp of Rs.30.

Additionally, you will need a Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum and Articles of Association and a Board Resolution giving authority to a single director to apply for IEC in case of a private limited firm or a public limited firm.

If your business is a partnership firm, you will need the Partnership Deed, List of Partners and an Authority letter signed by all the partners giving authority to one partner to apply for IEC.

NOTE: The documents required for IEC vary from state to state. You might require more documents depending upon the rules followed by the regional office under whose jurisdiction your company falls.

Once you are done filling the application, send it across to the nearest regional office along with a demand draft of Rs250 (subject to change) in favour of DGFT.

You should get your Import Export Code within 10 working days delivered to your address.

NOTE: There are many clauses regarding exemptions of taxes depending upon the line of business and products sold which you will need to check accordingly to avail such benefits.

Once you have obtained your IE Code you can open your International shipping account and let your amazing products reach customers worldwide! Happy Selling 🙂


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Satat Mishra

Satat Mishra

  • Hi Rishma, PayPal is usually the preferred mode for payment for international customers. You may also go in for an international payment gateway. For shipping the products, courier companies provide you with international accounts to ship overseas. With respect to the legalities, you will need the IEC code and your VAT / TIN number.

  • Prashant

    Can I apply for an IEC for my proprietorship firm?

    • Hi Prashant,

      You can apply for an IEC even with a proprietorship firm. To begin with, you will need:
      1) PAN card of the Sole Proprietor
      2) Bank account in the name of the Business
      3) TAN, VAT, or CST registration as needed. Depending on the type of products, the states you are shipping from, etc.

  • Nishant Sharma

    If I want to sell cosmetics & jewellery both on same store under same brand name, then Do I need separate IE codes for each category of only one would do?

    Especially if later I want to convert my store to a online marketplace. Please advise

    • Hi Nishant,

      Thanks for writing in. You’ll need an IE Code for a registered company. You can sell multiple categories within that registered company.

      Also, in a marketplace model, if you are going to have multitude of sellers, each seller will need their own IE code.

      Hope this helps. Let us know if we can help you with anything more.

  • Thank you very much Tanvi. We will confirm and update the blog accordingly.

  • Hi Imran,

    There is no restriction on who can get an IEC Code. Anyone, from an individual to a company can get an IEC Code.

    For more information on how to get an IEC Code for your sole proprietorship business, you can check out this link:

    Hope this helps.

  • Imran Sheriff

    Hi, zepo!

    You people are doing a great job!

    When I am registered as sole Prop. , am I still eligible to apply for IEC or is it that only llc or pvt, limited can apply?

  • Aliasgar Babat

    I would recommend consulting an expert firm in import export business, such as Global4PL. It helps businesses in getting all necessary import/export licenses or permits, IEC code, trade compliance etc.

  • Thomas King

    Nice post. Import export is a vast subject. I would recommend availing services of Global4PL; experts in import export services, trade compliance, etc.