All businesses engaged in importing and exporting goods must have an Importer and Exporter Code (IEC).
Without one, you cannot import or export. You don't need to be a registered entity to apply for one; you can apply even as an individual. The IEC does not apply to technology and services. However, it does in certain cases in which international trade is restricted, such as nuclear weapons and automatic guns.
The IEC is a 10-digit code with permanent validity issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.
All importers must mention their IE Code while clearing customs when their goods arrive in India. All exporters must mention their IE Code while exporting their goods from India. Additionally, now RBI requests person importing or exporting services to also mention IE Code in foreign remittances in bank account. Therefore, IE Code is required for anyone involved in import or export in India.
To learn about India's International Trade Policy click here
Import export code registration without digital signature certificate.
Import & export code registration with class 2 digital signature certificate.
Import & export code registration with class 3 digital signature certificate.