Import Export Licence in India

What is Export and Import License?

The import and export in India is governed and regulated by the Foreign Trade Act of 1992 and India’s Export Import Policy. According to these, the export and import of goods are free in India, except for those regulated by the EXIM policy. For restricted or licensed goods, an exporter or importer needs to get a registration with a regional authority for licensing. This registration or license is prerequisite for the import and export of goods from or into India. The goods will not get clearance unless he has an IEC code from the given authority. However, in addition to the IEC code, goods which are restricted for import or import needs to obtain an additional import or export (whichever maybe the case) license from the relevant issuing authority.

The goods mentioned in the license must be disposed of in the way mentioned in the license. There would be a set of procedures and conditions mentioned in the license explicitly to enable the customs to complete the export/import of the mentioned goods. This license is valid for 24 months for the export/import of capital goods or raw materials and for 18 months in the case all other goods. However, the IEC code has lifetime validity and needs to be issued only once without any requirement for renewal.

The entire process of obtaining an IEC gets completed within 15-20 days and only one IEC can be registered under one PAN number.


Documents required:

The following documents are necessary to get an IEC license:


  • PAN card
  • Partner’s/Director’s name, personal details and address details
  • Details of company address, number of branches, registered office, head office and factory details located both in India and abroad (whichever applicable).
  • MOA or Partnership deed (Whichever is applicable, if applicable)
  • Current account details
  • Certificate from Bank
  • Letter head(s) of the company applying for IEC
  • No Objection Certificate from other partners of the company.
  • Registration or formation date of the company as per the government document (PAN card, Deed document or as per the Registrar, whichever applicable)

In case of loss of the original IEC document one needs to submit the following documents to procure a duplicate copy:

  • Copy of IEC number
  • FIR copy of the complaint made on the loss of document
  • Affidavit duly signed on a Rs. 20 stamp paper.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is IEC and can export and import happen without it?

Ans: IEC is the acronym for import and export license and it is a very important document recognized by Government of India which is required by a company to import or export goods within or without India. Export and import of goods especially the restricted or licensed ones are impossible without IEC.


Q2: Does it have any other benefits?

Ans: Yes. Companies can avail many benefits on their exports and imports from Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Customs department, Export and Import Promotion Council etc under schemes like SEIS and MEIS.


Q3: What is the charge for modifications in IEC?

Ans: In case of the modifications in the IEC being informed within 90 days, there is no charge levied. However, after 90 days, a fee of Rs. 1000 will be charged on any modifications on the IEC.


Q4: How many IECs can one hold at a time?

Ans: Only one IEC can be registered under one PAN number. Hence every business can have not more than 1 IEC and proprietor’s holding more than one IEC needs to surrendered for cancellation in the regional office.