Directorate General of Foreign Trade

Posted by Paras on August 16th, 2019


DGFT stands for Directorate General of Foreign Trade. It is an agency of the Ministry of commerce and industry of Government of India which is responsible for administering laws of foreign trade and foreign investment in India. DGFT plays a crucial role in the development of trade relations with various other nations. Thus it helps in improving the economic growth as well as provides certain impetus that is needed in the trade industry. DGFT promotes import and exports through their regional offices across the country.

DGFT is also responsible for the execution of various import and export Policies of India. DGFT was earlier known as CCI&E which stands for Chief Controller of Imports & Exports till 1991. Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is an attached office of the Department of Commerce and Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It’s headquartered in Udyog Bhavan, New Delhi. There are four Zonal Offices under its jurisdiction which are situated at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai headed by Zonal Joint Director General of Foreign Trade. There are 35 Regional Authorities for DGFT all over the country.


Procedure to apply online with DGFT offices

There are seven sequential steps for the online procedure which must be performed in a significant way. These steps are as follows:

Step1 - First step is to open the DGFT official site.

Step2 - Then you will have to search for the import export online application form, which you can get from the top menu>> ‘services column’>> IEC>> online IEC application. 

Step3 - After opening the import export licence application, you are supposed to enter your PAN details and click the ‘search’ button. Then DGFT will verify your PAN number to proceed further.

Step4 - Now the next screen will appear, on which you have to enter your mobile number and email id to ‘generate token’. Basically, a token is a one time password which you will receive separately - one on your mobile number and another on your email id. Then you have put these tokens in their respective fields to complete the verification process.

Step5 - In this step you have to click on the ‘submit’ button, which further gives you your electronic reference id for your application.

Step6 – Further processing will ask you to submit various documents, which you will have to upload one by one. These documents can be uploaded within the ‘image’ format or ‘PDF’ format. You must do this step with the most care because all the important documents have to be uploaded in this step. Also ensure that each document uploaded is legit and authentic.

Step7 - After uploading the documents accurately, next you will have to make the online payment for import export licence fees. For that you have to choose the ‘EFT’ option. Then you have to fill your bank details and make a payment of Rs 250. With this step, the application process of import export licence would be completed.

Lastly, you can print the iec application form for future reference.

Procedure to apply offline with DGFT offices

Following is the procedure to apply offline with DGFT offices:

Step1 - Firstly you have to find the ANF-2A form, which is also called as ‘Aayat Niryat form’. 

Step2 - After getting a hard copy of the application form you will have to fill the details in general and paste your photograph along with the form in the field given.

Step3 - Make sure that your signature is present on every page of the application form.   

Step4 - In this step you will have to attach the essential and relevant documents with the application form as per the need, to attain the import export licence. Also, a Demand Draft of Rs.250.00 has to be attached with the application form as the import export licence fees. 

Step5 - In the last step, you need to put all of it in an envelope and post it to your nearest DGFT office where your business is located. 

Functions and responsibilities of DGFT:

I. DGFT is entrusted government regulatory with the responsibility of implementing various trade policies regarding trade. For example: Foreign Trade Policy.

II. DGFT acts as the licensing authority for exporters, importers, and export and import business.

III. DGFT has the power to prohibit, restrict and regulate exports and imports.

IV.  DGFT performs an important role to issue Notifications, Public notices, Circulars, etc.

 V.  DGFT grant 10 digit IEC (Importer Exporter Code) basically a permit, which is a primary requirement for import export business.

VI. DGFT is responsible for introducing different schemes from time to time regarding trade benefits throughout the country.

VII.  DGFT is the one to introduce ITC (HS CODE) schedule-1 for import items in India and Schedule-2 for Export items from India.


Connect2India is a B2B portal that supports you as an importer and makes sure that you find sellers without taking unnecessary risks. Especially if you are a beginner, you may need support from initial phase to final shipment and expertise over this platform can help you out in the best way. Connect2India can also help you find the best type of product to import within a specific country. Even more than that, by joining this you can get in contact with trustworthy exporters, producers, and manufacturers that can become your long term partners for import export business. Connect2India guides you not only through the beginning of the import process but also through the late stages of it.