Update IEC before it is deactivated

Import Export Code

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Update IEC before it is deactivated

Import Export Code| IEC | e-IEC

If you intend to import in India or export from India you have to mandatory obtain the Import Export Code (more commonly known as IEC). You cannot transact any business of import or export unless an IEC is granted by DGFT.

IEC is a  10-digit alphanumeric identification number issued in electronic form by the Director-General of Foreign Trade, Department of Commerce, and Government of India.

After the GST rolled out in 2017, the new IEC codes issued were the same as PAN but earlier it used to be a different 10-digit identification number.

Import Export Code issued once possesses a lifetime validity. Only updation on DGFT portal needs to be done for each financial year seperately.

An application to obtain/update for Import Export Code can be made on https://www.dgft.gov.in

IECs which were not updated up to 31st Jan 2022 were deactivated w.e.f 1st Feb 2022. 

List of IECs which are in the list of defaulters

Amendments in the provisions relating to IEC

The Director-General of Foreign Trade has amended the provisions relating to the exporters and importers which requires them to update/confirm/validate the details of the Import Export Code once every financial year.

Click here to download >> Notification no. 58 dated 12th February 2021

  • An IEC holder will have to update the details of the IEC electronically in the first quarter of the financial year i.e April-June.
  • If the importer or exports fails to update the details of IEC up to 30th June of the financial year then it will be deactivated which will result in disruption of business for exporters and importers.
  • Exporters and importers will be permitted to activate the IEC which is deactivated upon following the prescribed guidelines issued by Foreign Trade Policy.
  • DGFT may raise queries and IEC may be flagged for scrutiny. IEC holders are requested to address/reply within the prescribed time. Failure to address the query raised may also result in the deactivation of IEC.

When is IEC required? | What is the purpose of IEC?

For the following transactions, the details of IEC will be mandatory

  • When the importer has to clear the goods from the Customs Port.
  • When the exporter has to send the goods from the Customs Port.
  • Banks ask for details of IEC when the importer wants to send money outside India.
  • Banks ask for details of IEC when the exporter receives money in a foreign currency.

Trade Notices for deactivation of IEC

Intimation to deactivate the IEC if not updated within the prescribed due date was given by the following

Click here to read >> Apply for a fresh Letter of Undertaking for the financial year 2021-22


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About CA Ankita Khetan 188 Articles
Ankita is a Chartered Accountant in practice and holds a Diploma in IFRS (from ACCA, UK). She is also a Commerce PG and Certified Independent Director (from IICA). She holds a certification in Forex and Treasury Management. Her area of expertise is GST and Income tax. She is passionate about reading, writing, and sharing knowledge on areas related to finance and taxation.


  1. Can I let it get deactivated if I don’t want to use my IEC (dropped my business idea)? Is there much difference between surrendering from my side and deactivation by DGFT?

    • For now, there is no clarity on any difference between voluntary surrendering it or deactivation by DGFT. In order to prevent it from being misused or any query from DGFT, it is advisable to surrender, it is a quick online process.

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