Govt reinforces the amendment of provisions of the Exporter Importer Code – The Hindu BusinessLine

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An IEC holder has to ensure that the details in its IEC are updated electronically every year April-June period

The Centre has reinforced the amendment of the provisions of the Exporter Importer Code (IEC) wherein a company or an individual needs to update IEC details in the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) portal every year. Originally, this code was a one-time affair like a PAN card. Without the IEC, a company or an individual cannot import or export goods.

A notice by the DGFT said that an IEC holder has to ensure that the details in its IEC are updated electronically every year April-June period. In case, where there is no change in IEC details, the same also needs to be confirmed online.

Further, an IEC shall be de-activated, if it is not updated within the prescribed time. An IEC so de-activated may be activated, on its successful update. An IEC may be also flagged for scrutiny. The IEC holder is required to ensure that any risks flagged by the system are timely addressed, failing which the IEC shall be de-activated, the notice said.

Also read: Govt proposes FTP benefits, dedicated zones to boost e-commerce exports

While a section of the trade welcomed the amendment stating it would help in better tracking of genuine importers and exporters, another section felt that it would put pressure on the IEC holder to update it every year.

A source said that IEC is a mandated document for any import/export or importer/exporter to process their exim cargo through Customs. This is required for monitoring, statutory, and statistical purposes by the issuing authority – the DGFT under the Ministry of Commerce.

It used to be a one-time/lifetime certificate assigned by DGFT and post introduction of GST, there was a requirement for all IEC holders to revalidate their IEC aligning with the GST Number.

Also read: How to check GST registration status?

Many trade facilitation measures extended to exporters and importers are linked online to IEC, which automatically triggers facilitation with some checks and balances.

In a notification issued in August 2021, the DGFT mandated that all IEC holders ensure that information in their IEC is updated electronically every year during April and June. This has been reinforced by the DGFT as it is an initiative to prune out inactive/incorrect IEC and to have a better monitoring system.

Though such yearly updation is online and cost-free, there are some concerns if by oversight the updation is missed out by some IEC holders. There is also an opinion that there is nothing wrong as serious players would in any case follow such requirements, the source said.

Another source said that if inadvertently not updated, the system will automatically block any export or import filing.


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