Acquiring IEC code is mandatory for export and import of all kinds of goods. However, there is certain services and specific category of people that are exempted from obtaining IEC.
The import-export code is a ten digit number that is required by an exporter or the importer. Further, it is mandatory to have Import Export Code to avail the benefit of Merchandise Export from Indian Scheme (MEIS) or Service Export from India Scheme (SEIS.)
However foreign trade policy of India exempts the following category of people from acquiring the IE number-
1. Ministries / Departments of Central or State Government.
2. The person undertaking export or import of goods for personal use that is not connected with trade or manufacture or agriculture.
3. Importers covered by clause 3(1) [except sub-clauses (e) and (l)] and exporters covered by clause 3(2) [except subclauses (i) and (k)] of Foreign Trade (Exemption from an application of Rules in certain cases) Order, 1993.
4. Persons importing-exporting goods from or to Nepal, Myanmar through Indo-Myanmar border areas and China (through Gunji, NamgayaShipkila and Nathula ports) provided CIF value of a single consignment does not exceed Indian Rs.25, 000.