Step-by-Step Guide: Exporting from India and IEC Code Documents

export from India

India, with its diverse range of products and a vast market, has emerged as a significant player in the global export arena. Businesses and entrepreneurs who wish to tap into this potential often wonder about the prerequisites for exporting goods and services in India. One of the primary essentials for international trade is the Importer Exporter Code (IEC). This blog will get you into the details of how to export from India and the necessary documents for obtaining the IEC code.

Understanding the Importance of Exporting from India

India’s rich heritage, resources, and manufacturing capabilities make it a lucrative hub for global markets. From handicrafts, textiles, and jewelry to software, pharmaceuticals, and agricultural products, the opportunities to export from India are vast and varied.

Beginning with the IEC Code

To start your export journey, the first and foremost step is to obtain an Importer Exporter Code (IEC). The IEC is a unique ten-digit code issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India. Without this code, one cannot engage in import or export activities.

Documents for IEC Code

Securing an IEC is not overly complex, but it does require some essential documentation. Here’s a rundown of the critical documents for IEC code:

PAN Card: The Permanent Account Number (PAN) card of the business entity or individual applying is mandatory.  

Bank Certificate or Cancelled Cheque: A pre-printed cancelled cheque bearing the entity’s name or a bank certificate is needed to validate the bank account details.

Photographs: Passport-sized photographs of the applicant are required.

Address Proof: This could be a rental agreement, sale deed, electricity bill, or any other valid proof showcasing the entity’s address.

Aadhaar Card: It’s advisable to have the Aadhaar card of the proprietors, partners, or directors (as applicable).

Digital Signature: A valid digital signature of the designated partner, director, or proprietor is required to ensure authenticity.

Once you gather these documents, submit them online on the DGFT platform. The process has been streamlined over the years, making it easier for businesses to obtain their IEC.

Charting the Export Process

With the IEC code in hand, one can begin the actual export process. Here’s a brief overview:

Product Selection: Identify the products you intend to export and ensure you meet the required quality standards and certifications, if any.

Market Research: Understand the potential markets, customer preferences, and specific demands of the country you aim to export to.

Finding Buyers: Utilise trade fairs, B2B portals, and export promotion councils to identify potential buyers.

Quotation: Once you have a potential buyer, offer a quotation detailing the product specifications, price, payment terms, and delivery conditions.

Receiving Purchase Order: Upon agreement with the buyer, obtain a purchase order, which acts as a legal document for the transaction.

Production and Quality Check: Start the production or procurement of goods, ensuring that they adhere to the quality parameters agreed upon.

Documentation: Apart from the commercial invoice and packing list, specific documents might be required depending on the product and destination country, such as a Certificate of Origin, Inspection Certificate, or Phytosanitary Certificate.

Customs Clearance: Goods meant for export are to be taken to the Customs-accredited clearing house, where they undergo checks and verifications.

Shipping and Payment: Once customs clearance is received, the goods can be shipped. Ensure a secure payment mechanism, either through a Letter of Credit, advance payment, or any other agreed-upon method.

Post-Export Procedures

Exporting products and services can be a crucial step for businesses to expand their reach and increase revenue. However, it’s not enough to export and hope for the best. To establish long-lasting business relationships, businesses should take the necessary measures to ensure customer satisfaction. This includes following up with importers promptly, actively seeking feedback, and addressing concerns. By doing so, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to quality and build a reputation for reliability, ultimately leading to increased success in the global market.


Exporting in India presents numerous opportunities. With the right strategy, understanding of the market, and adherence to the required protocols, businesses can achieve significant growth in the international arena. The IEC code, as a primary document, facilitates this process, ensuring that trade is conducted smoothly and within the legal framework. By keeping the necessary documents for IEC code ready and understanding the entire export process, businesses can position themselves favourably in the global market.

jim torr

jim torr

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