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Surrender IEC License: All you need to know

Surrender IEC License: All you need to know

Out of all the different registrations required by a person while starting a business, IEC Registration is one of the essential registrations if one intends to import or export goods or services. There may be instances where you may no longer require the use of the IEC License any further, in such case, you can surrender IEC License with the issuing authority. In this article, we will discuss about IEC license surrender.

What is IEC License?

IEC stands for Import Export Code (also called IEC Code). It is a 10 digit number granted by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) under Ministry of Commerce & Industry to any Bonafide person/ company for carrying out import/export.

Importers cannot proceed without this code, and exporters cannot get benefit of exports from the DGFT, Customs, Export Promotion Council, if they do not have the code.

Meaning of IEC Surrender

There are cases where one starts an import/export business, fulfils all the necessary compliances and takes all the required registrations needed to start this business. However, during the course of business, it may happen that one may be required to close the business or wind up the company or may be required to close a particular division of such business due to various factors. In such cases, you can surrender your IEC License.

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If the IEC holder voluntarily revokes his rights to use the IEC for any reason, it is called IEC Surrender.

If the IEC License is not in use anymore or IEC holder does not intend to use the license, then one can surrender the license instead of renewing the same every year.

Circumstances where you would be required to surrender Import and Export Code

One may be required to surrender IEC License in case:

  • When one closes their Business.
  • When the IEC holder winds up their Company.
  • When the IEC Holder sells their Import and Export Code business.
  • When one closes the division of Import/export in the business.

It is worth mentioning here that as the IEC is a 10 digit code granted on the individual PAN or company PAN, you should not surrender an existing IEC number that is not linked with the PAN and apply for a new one. This is because the Importer or Exporter will not be able to apply again for the IEC with the same PAN even if he gets the IEC surrendered or cancelled.

Online method to surrender IEC License

If an IEC holder seeks to surrender his or her IEC License, he or she can do so by filing the online request of IEC Surrender on the official website of DGFT. Submit the documents required for surrender along with the application for the IEC Registration. When the application is submitted, your IEC License will be considered to be surrendered, and it will be revoked for all future transactions.

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Step by step process is specified below:

Step 1

Log in to the official website of DGFT at and select the tab ‘Services’ from the homepage;

Step 2 

A drop-down menu will appear on services, select ‘IEC Profile Management’ from the drop-down menu. If you are not logged in already, you may also choose to directly reach this page using the link – 

Step 3

Here, you would be able to see many options like the prerequisites and processes involved with the IEC. Scroll down page, and you would find the option ‘Surrender IEC’;

Step 4

On this page, the website will ask you for your registered email address and password to log you in. In case you do not have an existing one, you may also create a new profile at this stage by filling in details like your mobile number, pin code, the district, state, and city;

Step 5

After logging in, check relevant business details like the PAN number, firm name, etc., and then click on ‘surrender’.  

Step 6

The IEC, once successfully suspended, shall be revoked for all future transactions.

Difference between surrender and suspension of IEC License

The difference between the two is as follows:

  • If the license is suspended, it is enforced by the Directorate General Foreign Trade, as opposed to a voluntary application for surrender. 
  • The officials of the DGFT may initiate the suspension of any IEC in case they think that it hampers trade relations of India with another country. It can be suspended only after giving the IEC holder an opportunity to represent his case. In case of surrender, the IEC holder decides to voluntarily give up the license due to certain reasons such as closure of business etc.;
  • When an IEC code is suspended or cancelled, such person shall not be entitled to import or export any goods except under a special license.
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IEC is an essential requirement for engaging in the import or export business. However, in case you no longer require the same, then there is an option to surrender IEC license by following the due course of law.

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