Can I Import Product Samples Without Having an Import Export Code?

Samples are generally specimens of goods which may be imported by the traders or by the Representatives of Manufacturers living Abroad in India, to know the characteristics as well as usage and also to assess its marketability in India. Samples include consumer goods, consumer durables, prototypes of engineering goods, or even high-value equipment, machinery, and accessories. Moreover, goods that are being prohibited under the Foreign Trade Act, of 1992 are not allowed to be imported as samples for example wild animals, wild birds, ivory, arms as well as ammunition, Narcotic drugs.

Samples can be imported by the trade, industry, individuals, Companies, Research Institutes or Laboratories, Associations.

The Government of India has announced that no IEC Code shall be needed for the purpose of Import-export in India via notification. As a result, the importer/ exporter need not apply for a separate IEC Code for the purpose of import-export in India. According to the recent trade circular by the DGFT, the PAN must be regarded as a new IEC Code for the import-export purpose and the DGFT department should also issue the new IEC Code as the PAN number only.

With the introduction of GST, IEC Code is issued is the same as the PAN of the firm. The IEC Code is applied on behalf of a firm that may be a Partnership, LLP, Limited Company, Proprietorship, Trust, HUF. The firm should have a PAN, bank account in the name of the firm along with a valid address before getting applied.

For the applicants who are not needed to register themselves under GST, the PAN number shall work as an IEC Code. Moreover, for all the new applicants who are not needed to register themselves under GST, the application should be made to DGFT and the applicant’s PAN will be authorized as IEC.

Further, the DGFT is taking the responsibility to make necessary changes in the system so that the PAN of IEC holds that are existing will become their new IEC Code.

According to the recent trade circular, if the applicant is registered under GST, then their GSTIN number may be used for the purpose of both imports as well as export in India. To maintain uniformity, the department has agreed that PAN shall be used as an IEC number and not the GSTIN number.

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