Which Digital Signature do we Require for IEC Certificate? 

Last Updated at: Feb 15, 2021
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Digital Signature IEC certificate
The Bombay High Court has recently ruled that the Indirect Tax Department cannot block the Import Export Code (IEC). The court ruled that suspension and cancellation of IEC can only be done under FTDR Act (Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) by the DGFT or an officer of DGFT

 

In the digitised corporate world, there are several interlinked documentation requirements. One such document is the Digital Signature Certificate. In order to enhance accessibility to licenses such as the IEC certificate, the government integrates these into its platform. This also helps minimise overlap and the loss of time in increased documentation. Further, in this post, we delineate the process to use your digital signature certificate for getting an import-export code. 

What is a Digital Signature Certificate?

While incorporating a company and filling multiple compliance forms, you’d have come across the term Digital Signature Certificate or DSC. Additionally, the DSC contains an electronically encrypted signature that comes with a verifiable key. This protected form of signature is required for various e-filings. Put simply, it is a signature but with added security and reliability. Further, it is used for company filings, tax purposes, trademarks and a host of other business compliances. 

Which digital signature certificates are accepted by the DGFT?

The directorate general of foreign trade has allowed the digital signature certificate system to be used for IEC application. Additionally, the application supports genetic digital signature of class 2 and class 3 types. This digital signature certificate should be of class 2 or class 3 type only and issued by approved certifying agencies in India.

What does a Class 2 or Class 3 digital signature certificate mean?

There are two types of DSCs – You can avail one of the two types of DSC. These are:

Class 2

Here, the identity of a person is verified against a trusted, pre-verified database.

Class 3

This is the highest level where the person needs to present himself or herself in front of a Registration Authority (RA) and prove his/ her identity. Moreover, Class 3 DSC provides the highest level of security and comes with 1 year and 2-year validity. After this period, it needs to be renewed. 

For certain purposes such as trademarks, patents, a Class 3 certificate is made mandatory. However, for the purpose of filing an IEC application, the DGFT accepts both Class 2 and Class 3 certificates as valid. 

This can be issued by a valid certifying agency. Further, you can refer to http://www.cca.gov.in for a list of licensed DSC providers. Alternatively, you can also avail Vakilsearch’s expertise in obtaining a Digital Signature Certificate for this purpose. 

GET Import-export code

Allowed Tokens for IEC Application

  • Individual-Based Tokens for Proprietorship – For Proprietorship entities, the validation on the DGFT website would only be done if the Serial Number under the “Subject” in DSC matches that of the PAN (using HASH-256) on the proprietorship’s IEC Profile. 
  • Organisation Based Tokens for organisations other than proprietorship –  the validation on the DGFT website would only be done when the Organisation Name (O) in DSC matches the Name as per PAN database in the DGFT’s database. 
  • Additionally, users must verify that they have a valid token. This means that the DSC should not have expired. Further, if this is the case, you must immediately pay the renewal fees to your issuing agency and retry the DSC for obtaining IEC code. 
  • Entities can also use an IEC based token for validation on their profile. 

How to use the DSC Registration Process on the DGFT website

Step 1 – Log in to the DGFT’s official website at dgft.gov.in and choose the tab “My Dashboard” from the homepage. 

Step 2 – You would have to enter your login details with username and password and enter the captcha code. If you do not have an existing one, you can also create a new profile at this stage by filling in details such as your mobile number, pin code, district, state and city. You would also have to choose “Importer/Exporter” in the drop-down menu on the new user creation portal.

Step 3 – In the “My Dashboard” menu, click on the “View and Register Digital Signature Token”. At this stage, you would need valid drivers from USB token and the e-Mudhra utility (which can be downloaded from the eMudhra website) for the setup 

Step 4 – Further, click on the “Register New DSC Button” and a digital signature window will open 

Step 5 – From here, you will have to choose the valid credentials of your digital signature certificate. Select the name from the DSC Provider list, certificate list and enter your certificate password. 

Step 6 – After you click on “Register”, if the details match correctly, the system would authenticate the token and would be available for use. The registered details would be displayed and can then be used for IEC purpose.  

Which system and other requirements should you have to use digital signature code for IEC purposes?

The DGFT website supports the following – 

Desktop Browser: Internet Explorer 12+ / Google Chrome 70+ / Mozilla Firefox 70+

Valid class 2 or class 3 Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) obtained from a DSC provider (http://www.cca.gov.in)

Windows 32 / 64 bit, Linux, MacOS

Windows: Administrator Access to install the emSigner component accessible at – https://embridge.emudhra.com 

Valid Digital Signature Token

Mobile Number and Email ID

System Drivers required for IEC certificate application

Importer and Exporters will have two sets of system drivers to be installed on the computer. A DSC Token Driver and the EMUDHRA Application Driver. This application needs to be installed and be available on the machine in a running state.

 

Which Digital Signature do we Require for IEC Certificate? 

183
The Bombay High Court has recently ruled that the Indirect Tax Department cannot block the Import Export Code (IEC). The court ruled that suspension and cancellation of IEC can only be done under FTDR Act (Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) by the DGFT or an officer of DGFT

 

In the digitised corporate world, there are several interlinked documentation requirements. One such document is the Digital Signature Certificate. In order to enhance accessibility to licenses such as the IEC certificate, the government integrates these into its platform. This also helps minimise overlap and the loss of time in increased documentation. Further, in this post, we delineate the process to use your digital signature certificate for getting an import-export code. 

What is a Digital Signature Certificate?

While incorporating a company and filling multiple compliance forms, you’d have come across the term Digital Signature Certificate or DSC. Additionally, the DSC contains an electronically encrypted signature that comes with a verifiable key. This protected form of signature is required for various e-filings. Put simply, it is a signature but with added security and reliability. Further, it is used for company filings, tax purposes, trademarks and a host of other business compliances. 

Which digital signature certificates are accepted by the DGFT?

The directorate general of foreign trade has allowed the digital signature certificate system to be used for IEC application. Additionally, the application supports genetic digital signature of class 2 and class 3 types. This digital signature certificate should be of class 2 or class 3 type only and issued by approved certifying agencies in India.

What does a Class 2 or Class 3 digital signature certificate mean?

There are two types of DSCs – You can avail one of the two types of DSC. These are:

Class 2

Here, the identity of a person is verified against a trusted, pre-verified database.

Class 3

This is the highest level where the person needs to present himself or herself in front of a Registration Authority (RA) and prove his/ her identity. Moreover, Class 3 DSC provides the highest level of security and comes with 1 year and 2-year validity. After this period, it needs to be renewed. 

For certain purposes such as trademarks, patents, a Class 3 certificate is made mandatory. However, for the purpose of filing an IEC application, the DGFT accepts both Class 2 and Class 3 certificates as valid. 

This can be issued by a valid certifying agency. Further, you can refer to http://www.cca.gov.in for a list of licensed DSC providers. Alternatively, you can also avail Vakilsearch’s expertise in obtaining a Digital Signature Certificate for this purpose. 

GET Import-export code

Allowed Tokens for IEC Application

  • Individual-Based Tokens for Proprietorship – For Proprietorship entities, the validation on the DGFT website would only be done if the Serial Number under the “Subject” in DSC matches that of the PAN (using HASH-256) on the proprietorship’s IEC Profile. 
  • Organisation Based Tokens for organisations other than proprietorship –  the validation on the DGFT website would only be done when the Organisation Name (O) in DSC matches the Name as per PAN database in the DGFT’s database. 
  • Additionally, users must verify that they have a valid token. This means that the DSC should not have expired. Further, if this is the case, you must immediately pay the renewal fees to your issuing agency and retry the DSC for obtaining IEC code. 
  • Entities can also use an IEC based token for validation on their profile. 

How to use the DSC Registration Process on the DGFT website

Step 1 – Log in to the DGFT’s official website at dgft.gov.in and choose the tab “My Dashboard” from the homepage. 

Step 2 – You would have to enter your login details with username and password and enter the captcha code. If you do not have an existing one, you can also create a new profile at this stage by filling in details such as your mobile number, pin code, district, state and city. You would also have to choose “Importer/Exporter” in the drop-down menu on the new user creation portal.

Step 3 – In the “My Dashboard” menu, click on the “View and Register Digital Signature Token”. At this stage, you would need valid drivers from USB token and the e-Mudhra utility (which can be downloaded from the eMudhra website) for the setup 

Step 4 – Further, click on the “Register New DSC Button” and a digital signature window will open 

Step 5 – From here, you will have to choose the valid credentials of your digital signature certificate. Select the name from the DSC Provider list, certificate list and enter your certificate password. 

Step 6 – After you click on “Register”, if the details match correctly, the system would authenticate the token and would be available for use. The registered details would be displayed and can then be used for IEC purpose.  

Which system and other requirements should you have to use digital signature code for IEC purposes?

The DGFT website supports the following – 

Desktop Browser: Internet Explorer 12+ / Google Chrome 70+ / Mozilla Firefox 70+

Valid class 2 or class 3 Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) obtained from a DSC provider (http://www.cca.gov.in)

Windows 32 / 64 bit, Linux, MacOS

Windows: Administrator Access to install the emSigner component accessible at – https://embridge.emudhra.com 

Valid Digital Signature Token

Mobile Number and Email ID

System Drivers required for IEC certificate application

Importer and Exporters will have two sets of system drivers to be installed on the computer. A DSC Token Driver and the EMUDHRA Application Driver. This application needs to be installed and be available on the machine in a running state.

 


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