It can be seen that the balance of trade has by and far been positive in the agricultural sector providing the valuable foreign exchange required for imports of other capital goods. Commodities such as raw cotton, rice, fruits and vegetables, spices, tea and the marine products has shown a consistently rising export potential. India has a distinct advantage in all agricultural commodities except in sugarcane, groundnut, sunflower and pulses.

India also has a natural advantage due to varied agro-climatic conditions for producing a variety of seeds, crop, medicinal/aromatic plants, fruits and vegetables. As 40% of our agricultural products are grown without the use of chemicals, fertilisers and pesticides, they gain a competitive advantage in the world market. India’s factor endowment of relatively cheap labour should be used for high technology, agricultural export markets production which are labour intensive in nature so that our cost of production will be lower and we can offer products at highly competitive prices in the international markets.

Among the items, which could find export on a priority basis, are the rice, both bastmati and non-bastmati varieties. Fruits and vegetables also have a comparative advantage. Cotton is another important item of the exports. Efforts should however be concentrated on cotton yarn as against raw cotton as most of the developed countries will go out of spinning activity when the Multi Fibre Agreement comes into force. Export of non-traditional products like shrimp, fish and fish preparation, fruits, processed marine products, mushrooms etc. can therefore be planned for a larger share in the world exports.

Export promotion

Although the export of agricultural commodities from our country constitute 20% of the total export earnings, a proper identification and nurturing of the competitive strength in the area is absolutely essential. Agricultural production should also be more product development oriented wherein varieties having a good market abroad should be promoted and in case such varieties are not being cultivated, introduction of new varieties should also be undertaken. An intensive market promotion programme is also warranted for the popularization of our indigenous varieties abroad.

Importer-Exporter Code

No person is allowed to export or import goods without obtaining an Importer-Exporter Code Number from the regional licensing authority unless specifically exempted under any other provision of the Export and Import Policy. The following categories of importers or exporters are exempted from obtaining the Importer-Exporter Code (IEC) Number.

  • Importers covered by clause 3(1) [ Except sub-clause (e) and (1)] and exporters covered by clause 3(2) [except sub-clause (I) and (K)] of Foreign Trade [Exemption from application of Rules in certain cases] Order, 1993;
  • Ministries/Departments of the Central or a State Government.
  • Persons importing or exporting goods for their personal use not connected with trade or manufacture or agriculture;
  • Persons importing or exporting goods from/to Nepal provided the CIF value of a single consignment does not exceed Indian Rs.25, 000 (Rs. Twenty Five Thousands only).
  • Persons importing/exporting goods from/to Myanmar through Indo-Myanmar Border areas provided the CIF value of a single consignment does not exceed Indian Rs.25, 000 (Rs. Twenty Five Thousand only).

Application and supporting documents

An application for grant of an IEC Number should be made in duplicate, to the Regional Licensing Authority concerned by the Registered Office or Head Office or Branch Office of the company/firm in form given supported by following documents-

  • Demand draft for payment of the fee of Rs. 1000 or Bank Receipt evidencing deposit of payment of fees from the Central Bank of India:
  • Any one of the following documents-
  • Sale Tax Registration Certificate;
  • A copy of the passport in the case of an individual;
  • In case the application is signed by an authorized signatory, a copy of the legal authority letter issued by the firm/company.
  • Certificate from the banker of the firm (as per annexure to the form).

The Regional Licensing Authority concerned will grant an IEC Number to the applicant on merits.

Validity of IEC No.

An IEC number allotted to an applicant will be valid for all its branches/divisions/units/factories as indicated on the IEC Number.

An IEC Number allotted to the Registered Office or Head Office of a company/firm shall be valid for all its branches/divisions/units.

Identity cards

To facilitate collection of licences and other documents, identity cards are issued by the Licensing Authority to the proprietor/partners/directors and authorized employees of the importer/exporter not more than three.

IEC Licensing Authorities


Licensing Authorities

Telegraphic Address


1 Director General of Foreign Trade
Udyog Bhavan, New Delhi


Throughout India
2 The Joint Director General of Foreign Trade, 4, Esplanade East
Calcutta- 700 069.
West Bengal, Sikkim and
Union Territory of
Andaman and Nicobar.
3 The Joint Director General of Foreign Trade, Central Govt. Offices Building, S.E.Wing, New Marine Lines, Churchgate,
Mumbai-400 020.
Maharashtra excluding
the areas, which are
under the jurisdiction of,
joint Director General of
Foreign Trade, Pune
and Daman, Dadra and
 Nagar Haveli.
4 The Joint Director General of Foreign Trade, ‘C’ Block Commercial Building No. 2, Pune Municipal Transport Building, Swargate, Pune. CONIMPEXTRA
Fifteen districts of
Maharashtra viz. Pune,
Ahmed Nagar, Jalna,
Beed, Kolhapur, Latur,
Nanded, Osmanabad,
Satara,Solapur, Sindhu
Durg and Nasik.
5 The Joint Director General of Foreign Trade, C&E Wing, 6th Flr., Kendriya Sadan, 7th Main, II Block, Koranmangaler, Bangalore-560034. CONIMPEXTRA
6 The Joint Director General of Foreign Trade, H.No.36/862-A Chittoor Road, (Opp.to SRVLP School) Ernakulam,
Kerala and Union Territory of
7 The Joint Director General of Foreign Trade, Udyog Bhavan, Tilak Marg, Jaipur-302005. CONIMPEXTRA
8 The Deputy Director General of Foreign Trade,
R.B.Baruah Road,
Assam, Arunachal Pradesh,
Nagaland and Manipur.
9 The Jt.Director General of Foreign Trade, III Floor, Office Bldg., ‘A’, Guru Tej Bahadur Commercial Complex, T.T.Nagar, Bhopal-462003. CONIMPEXTRA
Madhya Pradesh
10 The Jt.Director General of Foreign Trade, Biscomaun Bhavan, Ground Floor, Patna-800001. CONIMPEXTRA
11 The Dy.Director General of Foreign Trade, Morollo Building, Shillong,
Meghalaya, Tripura
and Mizoram.
12 The Dy.Director General of Foreign Trade, The Mall, CBR Building
Amritsar District.
13 The Dy.Director General of Foreign Trade, Ashirwad Building, 18th June Road, Santa Inoz
Panjim-403001. (Goa)
14 The Dy.Director General of Foreign Trade, Maitri Vihar, Link Road,

For export and import, thorough knowledge of each and every factor, rules, conditions, and act should be required. And also changes occur regarding export import policies should be noticed time to time.