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What is the Digital Signature Certificate for DGFT and How to Get it?

HomeInsightsWhat is the Digital Signature Certificate for DGFT and How to Get...

Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) serve as the electronic counterpart to tangible or paper-based credentials. Numerous sectors such as government bodies, healthcare, manufacturing, and finance are increasingly incorporating these digital credentials, leading to their mandatory integration in various processes.

With a DSC, individuals can validate their identity when accessing online information and services or when signing documents in a digital format.

What exactly is a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?

Provided by the Certificate Authority (CA), this document holds the public key needed for a digital signature and lists all associated identifiers with that key, encompassing the organization’s name.

Moreover, it offers an enhanced security layer for online activities, ensuring the confidentiality of data exchanged through a Digital Signature Certificate.

Advantages of Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) within DGFT

The DGFT platform leverages DSCs for seamless import-export operations.

  • Digital Signature Certificates serve as an electronic verification of one’s identity.
  • They enhance the security of transactions, ensuring the confidentiality of the data shared via the certificate.
  • DSCs allow for data encryption, ensuring that only the intended receiver can decipher the content.
  • It’s possible to digitally endorse data with DSC, confirming your identity to the recipient and ensuring the integrity of the message.

In addition, DSCs find their application in online forms, e-tax submissions, digital tender documentation, income tax return filings, and certain exclusive online platforms.

Furthermore, DGFT provides a range of certificates, including IEC and other essential licenses, for MSMEs eager to export from India. Securing these export-related documents and adhering to the associated regulations is a foundational step in the export journey.

In the present digital age, with the rise of internet access and technological progression, a growing number of Indian traders and exporters are exploring global markets via e-commerce export initiatives.

Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) for DGFT

Organizations can bolster their defenses against deceptive practices by submitting bills of entry through a Digital Signature Certificate. A Tier 3 Digital Signature Certificate is a prerequisite for businesses aiming for an import or export permit, recorded under an appointed delegate of the firm. These submissions are presented either by the designated individual or by the authorized signatory on behalf of their associated entities.

Each Export-Import (EXIM) entity and enterprise needs to possess a Digital Signature Certificate for operations about the DGFT platform, such as IEC, and additional advantages. The DGFT online portal acknowledges the accredited DSCs, equating all DSC-authenticated documents to their manually signed counterparts.

Documents Required for Obtaining DSC

  • Aadhar identification
  • Taxpayer Identification Number (PAN)
  • Proof of residence
  • Portrait
  • IEC duplicate
  • Business registration duplicate
  • Three-month bank transaction history
  • Partnership agreement copy with partner details/Authorization Note (for partnerships)
  • Enterprise establishment documentation copy

Procedure for Enrolling a Digital Signature Certificate on DGFT

  1. Navigate to the DGFT online portal and sign in with your details.
  2. In the primary navigation bar, select ‘My Dashboard’, then proceed to ‘View and Enroll Digital Signature Token’.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the instructions provided and for initial setup, download the necessary drivers from the USB device and eMudhra tools from the eMudhra site.
  4. Choose the ‘Enroll New DSC’ option, which will prompt a digital signature dialogue.
  5. Pick from the provider roster, and certificate roster, and input the certificate passphrase. Proceed by clicking ‘Enroll’.
  6. The platform will verify the token using available information. Once authenticated, the details will be showcased.

Categories of DSC

The nature of the individual or entity seeking the Digital Signature Certificate, along with the intended use of the certificate, determines the specific DSC category required. Certifying authorities issue three distinct Digital Signature Certificate categories.

Class 1 Certificates: Aimed at individual or private subscribers, these certificates validate the subscriber’s name and email information, ensuring it matches the data held by the certifying authority.

Class 2 Certificates: Designated for the directorial or signatory roles within corporations, these certificates facilitate e-filing processes with the Registrar of Companies (ROC). While Class 2 certificates used to be essential for those manually signing documents during ROC returns submission, a directive from the Controller of Certifying Authority as of 01.01.2021 has halted their issuance. Instead, Class 3 Certificates have been designated as their replacements.

Class 3 Certificates: These are essential for those engaging in online e-auctions or e-tender processes across India. Vendors eager to partake in online tendering procedures are mandated to possess a Class 3 digital signature certificate.

Documents Required for Submitting a DSC Application

  • Submission of a DSC duly filled application form by the applicant
  • Photo ID proof
  • Address proof


In the digital age, ensuring the authenticity and integrity of electronic documents is paramount. The Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) for DGFT serves as a testament to the commitment of modern businesses to uphold the highest standards of digital security, particularly in the realm of foreign trade in India.

In addition to this, businesses can go for the Advance Authorisation Scheme which allows duty-free imports and exports of goods and services.

Obtaining a DSC for DGFT not only streamlines the electronic documentation process but also fortifies the trustworthiness of the transactions. By understanding its significance and the steps to acquire it, businesses can position themselves at the forefront of secure and efficient international trade practices.

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pearls of wisdom
Ayush Raj
Ayush Raj
An undergraduate writer adeptly covers export-import dynamics, DGFT policies, and related financial intricacies with astute insights.


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