IEC(Import Export Code) is a mandatory identification document for carrying out any import/export activity in the Country. A business cannot make any import/export supply until and unless IEC has been obtained except under expressly provided exemptions.
Earlier after making an application for IEC, a separate identification number used to be issued by the department. But after the introduction of GST, the PAN of an individual or a business entity acts as his IEC number after making an application with DGFT(Directorate General of Foreign Trade). The application is approved on a self-certification basis using the authorised representative’s digital signature or using aadhar based KYC.
An IEC application must be filed online by a business entity on the DGFT portal. Some of the documents required for the IEC application are:
1. PAN of the individual or business entity
2. Valid Address Proof.
3. Bank account in the name of the business entity.
IEC registration, once taken, is valid for a lifetime. However, DGFT, vide its notification number 58/2015-2020 dated 12th February 2021, has amended the IEC-related provisions under chapter 1 & chapter 2 of the Foreign Trade Policy. As per the notification, an IEC holder has to update its IEC electronically every year from April to June. If there is no change in the IEC particulars, then also updation and confirmation are required from the IEC holder. For the FY 2021-22, 30th June is the last date to update or modify your IEC particulars.
If an IEC holder fails to update his IEC in the specified period, his IEC will become inactive and will only be activated after updation. It is essential to provide correct particulars at the time of registration/updation of IEC to save from any scrutiny proceedings.