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Import: Registration Requirements

Importers must register with the proper authorities in order to import goods to India. Customs will not allow clearance of goods unless the importer has obtained an Import Export Code (IEC) from the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). No person can import or export goods without obtaining an IEC along with a Business Identification Number (BIN) from the Regional Licensing Authority (DGFT). However, no registration is necessary for the following entities:

  • All ministries/departments of the central government and agencies wholly or partially owned by them
  • All ministries/departments of state government and agencies wholly or partially owned by them.
  • Diplomatic personnel, counselor officers in India, and the officials of the United Nations and its specialized agencies.
  • Persons, institutions, or hospitals importing or exporting goods for their personal use not connected with trade or manufacture or agriculture
  • Persons importing goods from Nepal to India, provided the cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) value of a single consignment does not exceed 25,000 (25,000 Indian rupees)
  • Persons importing goods from Myanmar through the Indo-Myanmar border area provided the CIF value of a single consignment does not exceed 25,000)
  • The Ford Foundation
  • Importers importing goods for display or use at fairs/exhibitions or similar events under the provision of ATA Carnet
  • The Director of the National Blood Group Reference Laboratory, Bombay, or their authorized offices.

Individual/charitable institutions/registered non-governmental organizations (NGOs) importing goods that have been exempted from customs duty under the notification issued by the Ministry of Finance for bona fide use by the victims affected by natural calamity.

Application for IEC Number

An application for grant of an IEC Code Number should be made in the prescribed manner. The application duly signed by the applicant should be supported by the following documents:

  • Duplicate bank receipt/Indian demand draft for payment of the fee of 1,000
  • Certificate from the banker of the applicant firm as per Annexure 1 to the form.
  • Two passport-size photographs of the applicant duly attested by the banker of the applicant.
  • A copy of a Permanent Account Number (PAN) issued by income tax authorities; if PAN has not been allotted, a copy of the letter of legal authority may be furnished
  • Declaration by the applicant that the proprietors/partners/directors of the applicant firm/company, as the case may be, are not associated as proprietor/partners/directors with any other firm/company. The IEC Number is allotted with a condition that the exporter can export only with the prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

Note: The above information is subject to change. Importers and exporters are advised to obtain the most current information from a customs broker, freight forwarder, logistics professionals, or local customs authorities.

Source: Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs