The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has started operationalising online filing of Importer Exporter Code (IEC) applications, online processing and issue of e-IECs in digital format.
''Now new entrepreneurs / exporters / importers can apply online for issue of new IEC from the comfort of their home / IT Kiosk with no more visits to the Regional Authority's office required, and upload the documents and pay the required fee through net banking,'' a DGFT release said.
Even the processing of such applications by regional offices of DGFT would be done online and the digitally signed e-IEC would be issued / emailed to the applicants within two working days. There will be no more IECs in physical form, according to the release.
In case the application is incomplete or otherwise ineligible, it will be rejected and an auto generated rejection letter / email (with reasons for rejection) would be sent to the applicant - within two working days only.
There would not be any 'deficiencies letters' now at the level of the regional offices, which would eliminate possible delays and corruption, the release noted.
DGFT said efforts are underway to enable payment of fee through debit/credit cards, which would further facilitate this process.
Once implemented the online system would be made mandatory. However, till such time payment through debit/credit cards is enabled, the existing offline / manual system has also been allowed side by side, in order to facilitate those applicants who do not have net banking facility.
Efforts are also underway for message exchange / integration of the ICE system with the income tax department and the ministry of corporate affairs for verification of PAN and DIN/CIN details, respectively.
Once implemented, this would further reduce the processing time of e-IEC applications at regional level, possibly one day only, DGFT said, adding that the initiative, which is part of DGFT's move towards `Digital India'.