Central Board Of Excise & Customs E Commerce Portal : ICEGATE

ICEGATE stands for Indian Customs Electronic commerce Gateway or e-commerce portal of Central Board of Excise & Customs. ICEGATE is an e-filing service portal for the traders and cargo carriers. It includes custom department and other clients of the customs department. As per the ICEGATE data, at present, there are 43,542 registered users serving 12.5 lakhs importers/exporters. ICEGATE serves the purpose of Electronic Data Interchange and electronic communication requirements for the department. For facilitating EXIM trade in a much faster way, ICEGATE linked 15 broad type partners with message exchanging service using Customs Electronic Data Interchange facility. It helps in faster customs clearance in EXIM trade.

What is ICEGATE?

It is an infrastructure project that helps in fulfilling the customs department Electronic Commerce /Electronic Data Interchange and data communication requirements.

What are the services ICEGATE offers?

ICEGATE offers varied distinguished services, such as

  • a.Through ICEGATE the department offers a host of services.
  • b.Electronic filing of the Bill of Entry (import goods declaration).
  • c.Shipping Bills (export goods declaration).
  • d.Electronic messages between Customs and the Trading Partners using communication facilities (E-mail, Web-upload & FTP) using the communication protocols commonly used on the internet.
  • e.24X7 helpdesk facility is provided by ICEGATE to its trading partners.

How ICEGATE is helpful?

The ICEGATE Portal helps many agencies in making regulatory compliances in seamless manner.
  • The shipping agents, cargo carriers and airlines can file manifests through the internet using ICEGATE interface facility.
  • The custodians and cargo logistics operators interact with Customs EDI through ICEGATE for cargo, logistics and related information.
  • ICEGATE provides an Electronic Data Interchange between different government bodies.
  • It helps in the exchange of data between regulatory bodies of India and licensing agencies who play a key role in the growth of Indian economy.
  • The data is exchanged between RBI, DGFT, Ministry of Steel, DGICS.
  • For the Directorate of valuation, The National Import Database (NIDB), Export Commodity Database (ECDB) uses ICEGATE services.
  • Indian Customs EDI System (ICES) process all the documents and electronically interchanged messages which are handled by ICEGATE. 245 customs locations serving 98% of Indian export and import traffic.

ICEGATE provides a host for other services

Varied other services like paying taxes online etc are hosted on ICEGATE to provide a one stop solution to the user. A list of such services has been given underneath

  • a. E-payment
  • b.Online registration for IPR (Intellectual Property Rights)
  • c. Document Tracking status at Customs EDI.
  • d. Online verification of DEPB/DES/EPC licenses.
  • e. IE code status
  • f. PAN-based CHA data

It also helps in the customs department to exchange the data between important government Web portals.

Benefits of using ICEGATE

  • It helps traders, importers, and exporters to avoid heavy paperwork and execute the whole process in a stress-free manner.
  • ICEGATE provides digital security, it uses Digital signature on the Bill of entry and other documents which are handled and processed under ICEGATE and customs department.
  • ICEGATE helped in solving the complex problems of eliminating the data error and communication delay between different legal bodies and licensing authorities.

Bill of Entry

What is Bill of Entry?

Bill of Entry is one of the legal documents submitted to the customs department in customs clearance procedure. It is filed by importer or CHA (Clearing House Agent). Once Bill of entry is filed on or before the arrival of goods, the importer will be able to claim ITC on the goods.

Who can file Bill of Entry?

Bill of Entry is filled by Importer or CHA (Clearing House Agent) appointed on behalf of importer. Firms or companies which are importing goods from other countries can also issue Bill of Entry.

Sample of Bill of Entry

The sample of Bill of entry, after the implementation of the GST regime.

ICECAGE-Bill-of Entry
ICECAGE-Bill-of Entry

The Bill of Entry consist of

  • BOE number and Date
  • Name and address of the Importer.
  • Port code, mode of payment.
  • Value of the goods, IGST, customs duty, additional duty.
  • IEC code, GSTIN, and PAN numbers.

How to track the Bill of entry in ICES?

ICEGATE is an e-filing service portal for the traders and cargo logistic operators. It also helps the traders and importers to track the customs clearance status and BOE (Bill of Entry) details in the services provided in the portal. Tracking at Indian Customs EDI system (ICES) through ICEGATE portal is simple and easy.


Shipping Bill

What is Shipping Bill?

When the goods are exported to other countries by traders, it is the mandatory legal document to be provided to the customs department for the shipping clearance. It contains the details of exported goods, the value of the goods, buyer name, seller name and details of the tax amount paid etc. It helps in claiming the duty drawback, additional duties and extra charges paid.

Types of Shipping Bill

Shipping Bill is an important legal document issued by shipping agencies for the export of goods from India to other countries and bonded warehouses to other places.

There are 5 types of Shipping Bills, they are classified depending on customs duty and duty drawback.
  • 1) Free Shipping Bill
  • 2) Dutiable Shipping Bill
  • 3) Drawback Shipping Bill
  • 4) Shipping Bill for Shipment Ex-Bond
  • 5) Coastal Shipping Bill

How to track the Shipping Bill in ICES?

ICEGATE is an e-filing service portal for the traders and cargo logistic operators. It also helps traders and exporters to track the customs clearance status on the goods in the services provided by ICEGATE portal. Tracking at Indian Customs EDI system (ICES) through ICEGATE portal is simple and easy.


After entering the Submit button, the following details will be displayed.


What is Bill of lading?

Bill of lading is the important receipts issued by the carrier company’s agent or captain or owner of the carrier to acknowledge the goods (Cargo) for shipment through seaways or airways. It contains a detailed list of cargo with size and quantity. It is used by the importer to file Bill of Entry. Bill of lading serves as evidence of the contract of carriage.

What is IGM in shipping?

Import General Manifest (IGM) filing is the detailed filing of cargo before arriving at the destination port or port of importing country with the customs department. The IGM is filed by carrier or his agent which filed on the basis of Bill of lading or Airway bills.

IGM contains details such as
  • Shippers name and details
  • Consignee details
  • Description of goods
  • Bill of lading
  • Total number of packages
  • Details of the ship, vessel or aircraft.

If the details of IGM is filled incorrectly, then import custom clearance documents are rejected. If IGM is filed incorrectly, then such details are amended with customs before filing customs clearance.

What is EGM ?

EGM stands for Export General Manifest. It is the documents to be filed by carrier or shipping agents with the customs department. It is filed once the export takes place from the country’s port or airways.

EGM contains details such as
  • 1) Details of the exporter.
  • 2) Details of the shipping goods.
  • 3) Value of the goods in the vessel or aircraft.

Customs department releases the shipping bill, based on the EGM filed by the goods shipping carrier

Banks authorized for the e-payment through ICEGATE

Government of India allowed few banks to facilitate the e-payment process to the import and export traders. E-challan payments can be done for paying taxes, customs duties and other duties in import and export of the goods.

State Bank of IndiaPunjab National BankBank of India
Indian BankUCO BankIDBI Bank
United Bank of IndiaBank of MaharashtraCorporation Bank
Bank of BarodaCanara BankIndian Overseas Bank
Central Bank of IndiaVijaya BankSyndicate Bank
Andhra Bank  Dena BankOriental Bank of Commerce
Allahabad BankPunjab National Bank



  • 1) Integrated Declaration replacing 9 separate documents
  • 2) Online Clearances reduces the traveling cost and time consumed in the process.
  • 3) It follows automated routing which involves four steps
    1. a) Receive
      b) Route
      c) Process
      d) Respond

By introducing the ICEGATE and SWIFT facilities Indian Government have improved rank of India in ease of doing business. In 2017 India ranked 130th in ease of doing business but at present in 2019 India stood at 77th rank in the world at ease of doing business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q - Who can get the IGST refund?

IGST stands for Integrated Goods and Service Tax. IGST refund module is operational in ICES, it has an inbuilt procedure to grant a refund after validating the shipping bill against GST Returns data available with GSTN.

Q - How can I pay customs duty online?

Custom payments can be made online using ICEGATE services such as ICEGATE e-payment. There are 20 authorized banks to pay the customs duty online.

Q -What is IEC?

IEC stands for Import and Export code. IEC code is a 10-digit unique code issued by DGFT and Indian government to the Indian companies.

Q -What is the main difference between IGM and EGM?

IGM stand for Import General Manifest. Carrier or shipping agents of the cargo has to fill the IGM with the customs department. IGM is filed while importing the goods into the designated port of a country mentioning the details of cargo, buyer, and seller of the goods.

EGM stand for Export General Manifest. Carrier or the shipping agents of the cargo has to fill the EGM with customs department while exporting the goods out of the country.

Q -How can I claim an Input Tax Credit on imports?

To claim the Input Tax Credit on imports, an importer must declare GSTIN number in Bill of Entry. Input Tax Credit on Imports can be availed by filing GSTR-1 and GSTR-2.
In GSTR-2 the eligible person for the Input Tax Credit has to mention the invoice details to avail ITC.

Q -What is the ITC code?

Indian Trade Classification code based on Harmonised system of codes. ITC -HS code is adopted for the import and export trade in India. Indian customs adopted 8 digits ITC codes for trade which fulfill the national trade requirements.

Q -What is ICES?

ICES stand for The Indian Customs EDI system. It is designed to transact and exchange customs clearance information with different trading partners. It uses electronic data interchange facility to exchange the data.

Q -What is EDI?

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the facility provided by ICES. It is generally the data exchange between computers using a standard interface for the business information. It also said to be the transmission of business data between the organizations and regulatory bodies.

Q -What is DGFT?

DGFT stands for Directorate General of Foreign Trade. DGFT is an agency under the government of India responsible for foreign trade. It provides the complete database of all importers and exporters of India. It is responsible for the execution of all the foreign trade policies in the country.

Q -What is a Digital Signature?

A Digital signature is a digital code which is generated by public key encryption, it is attached to an electronically transferred document to verify the sender’s identity and content in the document.
A digital signature is used in EDI filing of customs process documents to validate the authenticity of the document and verify the sender’s Identity. It helps in the privacy and protection of the data which is transferred.

Q -What is electronic cash ledger or GST cash ledger?

It an electronic cash ledger which stores the details of deposits and GST payments made by the taxpayers. The ledger is dividing the GST payments into IGST, SGST, CGST, UGST, and CESS. They are further divided into 5 minor classifications such as tax, payment, penalty, etc.

Q -Do I need to register at ICEGATE?

Without having a registered ICEGATE ID, you cannot file shipping bills, Bill of entries and other documents online. It is mandatory to register at ICEGATE.

Q -What is the difference between IEC holder and IEC authorised Person?

If any individual is importing or exporting the goods then he/she must hold a registered IEC code is a 10-digit unique code issued by DGFT and Indian government.If a person is registering on behalf of any company or firm, then the individual is named as IEC authorized person.

CA Abhishek Soni
CA Abhishek Soni

Abhishek Soni is a Chartered Accountant by profession & entrepreneur by passion. He is the co-founder & CEO of Tax2Win.in. Tax2win is amongst the top 25 emerging startups of Asia and authorized ERI by the Income Tax Department. In the past, he worked in EY and comes with wide industry experience from telecom, retail to manufacturing to entertainment where he has handled various national and international assignments.



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