Understanding AD Code for exports from India

AD code is an important step for an Indian exporter before he starts his journey of global business expansion. In this blog, learn how to apply for an AD code for export and understand the process to register with customs.
AD code for export
Whether you’re an existing exporter, aspiring entrepreneur or a locally recognized seller, expanding your brand and making it a global business is a dream that every seller is driven by. With the ease of doing business through ecommerce exports, thousands of sellers are exporting from India and reaching new international customers. The first step to starting an export business from India is obtaining a few key documents and meeting compliance requirements. One such crucial document required for customs clearance is an AD Code (Authorised Dealer Code).

What is an AD code?

An AD Code is a 14-digit code, which is given by the bank where the exporter maintains a business current account. This code, printed with the bank letterhead, can be obtained after the exporter has registered for an Import Export Code (IEC) by the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). It has lifetime validity. Here’s why an AD code is necessary in an export process:

• A shipping bill is required for export customs clearance at the port. Without an AD code registration, a shipping bill cannot be generated.
• An AD code registration also offers benefits like exemptions that are directly credited to the current account.

How do you apply for an AD Code?

AD code can be received from the bank where you maintain the current bank account of your export business. Follow the below-mentioned steps to obtain an AD code1:

• Write a letter requesting for an AD code to the bank branch manager in the format given by the bank.
• The bank will process your application and give you the AD code document with its letterhead in the format prescribed by DGFT.
• Once you’ve received it, you can register your AD code at the port from where your consignment will be shipped by submitting your documents to the Customs House Agents (CHA).
• You have to register your AD code at every port from where you want to clear customs and export your products. For instance, if your shipping consignment is from Vishakhapatnam and Mumbai, you have to register at both the ports.

To register an AD code with CHA, some of the documents required are:
• AD code on bank letterhead
• Copy of IEC
• Copy of PAN card
• GST registration certificate

Steps to register an AD code

You can also register your AD code with customs on their website, Icegate. The process is now completely online2.

1) Log into Icegate website using your ID and password.
2) Click on Bank Account Management on the left panel.
3) The Export Promotion Bank Account Management page opens up where you have to click on AD Code Registration.
4) Select the Authorized Dealer Code Registration and click on submit to view the dashboard for AD Code Bank Account Registration. If you have not registered your locations earlier, you can click 'Add Account option' at the bottom of the dashboard.
5) Then, fill the required details including localtion, bank name and AD code. Upload the necessary document as mentioned on the website.
5) Once you’ve uploaded your documents successfully, an image reference number (IRN) and document reference number (DRN) are generated.
6) After you user enter all valid inputs, click on Save Change. A six-digit OTP is sent to your email
id and mobile number.
7) Once the OTP is verified, request for bank account modification is submitted to ICEGATE. When the bank account add request is approved by ICEGATE, the bank account details will start reflecting on Authorized Dealer or AD Code dashboard3.

Amazon's Exports Compliance Dashboard assists you in obtaining export documents and licenses like AD code and IEC.

How to export from India?

Now that you have obtained your AD code and other documents like IEC, you can export from India with ease. Expanding across the globe has become easier than ever, thanks to ecommerce export programs like Amazon Global Selling. You can start an export business anywhere, anytime. A seller who was earlier catering to a limited customer base in his region or even nationally can now set sight on the global market. Hemant Khatri, founder of Kavita Prints, is one such seller who expanded the reach of his home textile business from Jaipur to the world.
Before joining Amazon Global Selling, I used to supply to exporters in India. But now, with ecommerce exports, I have been successfully selling in the global markets directly.
Hemant KhatriKavita Prints
For aspiring entrepreneurs and growing businesses, e-commerce exports is an easy and beneficial model to adapt for global expansion and higher chances of increased revenue. With the right understanding and information, the process can be easy and simple. With over 300 million customers across the globe, businesses can reach international customers in 200+ countries and territories in 18 marketplaces like Amazon USA, UK, UAE, Australia and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we register an AD Code online?
It is possible to register an AD Code online. You can log into ICEGATE, which allows you to make their registration or modification request online of you AD code.
How do I find my bank AD code?
An exporter can obtain an AD code from the bank where he maintains the business current account.
Can we export without AD code?
An AD code is mandatory for exports from India.
Is AD code different for each branch?
AD code is different for each branch of a bank. It is assigned by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to each authorised branch of various banks.
Published on December 30, 2021.


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*Map not to scale. The map has been used for design and representational purpose only, it does not depict the geographical boundaries of the country. These do not conform to the external boundaries of India recognized by the Survey of India.