Customs in India

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Customs Procedures

Import Procedures
Incase of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange): No formal Bill of Entry is filed as it is generated in the computer system, but the importer is required to file a cargo declaration having prescribed particulars required for processing of the entry for customs clearance.
Incase of non-EDI more documents are also generally required.
Green Channel facility : Some major importers have been given the green channel clearance facility. They have to make a declaration in the declaration form at the time of filing of Bill of Entry. The appraisement is done as per normal procedure except that there would be no physical examination of the goods.
For details, visit the website: Central Board of Excise & Customs- CBEC.
Specific Import Procedures
Electronic Data Interface (EDI), and enabling e-payment of duties, implementation of customs Risk Management System (RMS), automation of customs formalities to Special Economic Zones (SEZ).

Certain goods are prohibited under Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992.

Importing Samples
Samples for non-commercial use are allowed incase the goods are supplied free of charge.


For duty free clearance the value of individual sample should not exceed Rs.5000/- and aggregate value should not exceed Rs.60 000/- per year or 15 units of samples in a year. However, the Prototypes of engineering goods can be imported even if the value is more than Rs.5000/-.


Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports

Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)
The average customs duty is around 15%.

Though this is relatively high, but as per the WTO commitments India is going to slowly reduce it.

The Central Board of Excise & Customs- CBEC is the apex body for customs matters.

Products Having a Higher Customs Tariff
Alcohol, wines, pet foods, some processed food products, and some manufactured goods are attracting higher customs tariff; however the tariff rate keeps on changing although the general trend is downwards.
Preferential Rates
Applicable to imports from those countries with which India has signed special Trade Agreements. For details on Trade Agreements, visit the site of Ministry of Commerce.
Customs Classification
India uses the harmonized system.
Method of Calculation of Duties
Customs duties are levied either as a Specific Rate (prescribed per unit of item) or Ad-valorem (a percentage on CIF value of item), or, sometimes, as a combination of both.
Method of Payment of Customs Duties
Consignment Purchase, cash-in-advance (pre-payment), down Payment, open account, documentary collections, letters of credit.
For more information, visit the site: Indian Customs & Excise Gateway –ICEGATE.
Import Taxes (Excluding Consumer Taxes)
Education Cess: This is chargeable at 2% on the aggregate of customs duties. It has been introduced as a special interim measure to raise special resources for investment in education.

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