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Jul 04

Well it is an important question in the world of today, more and more Indians are purchasing stuff online and importing it into India. But the question most people ask is the same. What about the customs duty?

Well to be frank with you, anything you have bought abroad and are bringing into India is chargeable as far as custom duties go except some duty free items like IT Products (Digital Camera, LCD Monitors,RAM,Processors etc., confirm the list though).

Seasoned ebay sellers and other online stores try to ensure that loyal Indian customers aren’t forced to shed customs at all. Remember you don’t need an IEC number to import stuff for personal use.

Here is what most companies do so that you don’t have to pay customs for importing stuff into India :

1. They mark the product as a gift on the customs declaration form of the package. This is illegal by the way , but there is no way to detect whether the thing is a gift or not. Unless the other person leaves an invoice inside the so called gift :P

2. Even after declaring the commodity as a gift, Indian customs will still charge it if the price is above Rs.10000 , so these ebay sellers under-declare the value of goods. This is a double edged sword, as if the product is stolen it would mean that you would not get the right price from insurance, so this can lead to losses.

Now both these steps do save duty to the importer, but you should realise they are probably illegal and be ready for consequences. Also keep in mind the more expensive the courier, the more closely the customs will examine your package. They know that EMS and DHL aren’t used for low value items, hence these packages are scrutinised more than others. On the same time Airmail and Registered Airmail is more prone to theft especially in India.

Now the fact is most genuine importers don’t mind paying a little duty on the products they are importing into India, but the customs are so notorious that most try to circumvent them, because they know if their package is caught by Indian customs, there will be a lot more paying up to do! Also if you are importing in bulk and you don’t have an IEC, you are in big trouble.

Another question people have is what happens if the customs find your item chargeable, dont worry no one will send you to jail unless you are importing prohibited stuff. If your item is found chargeable, your package will be seized by customs and you will be sent a letter usually asking you for purpose of import etc. Be truthful while replying. If customs are satisfied with your reply, then they will calculate the appropriate customs duty and send the postman to your home who collects the duty and delivers your shipment. As easy as that. There is a small fine too for mis-declarations. Frequent mis-declarations will get you in trouble though. So be on the right side of the law. In case you have questions, feel free to ask via comments. Also this is not legal advice, hire a lawyer if you need legal advice.

856 Responses to “Online shopping and getting stuff into India (Customs)”

  1. Raj Potula Says:

    Man, I have ordered cosmetics for my wife and daughter for US$153 (including shipping) from korea and now its stuck at customs for the past one month. I got the letter from them late and there’s no response on phone or email! Don’t know what to to. It’s stuck in Mumbai and I stay in Hyderabad. Any suggestions?

  2. Jibril Wilson Says:

    dear Wisetechic I had diplomatic boxes stolen from the arara courier after I paid for the $240.00 dollars to release for my mail to get to me. they also blocked my emails as a result and sent me a contract that I couldn’t send back through P.D.F format. The sender told me. I tried for five days I want to sue the Arara courier service for neglect.
    calling both us.citizens terrorist: (baring of false witness. stealing diplomatic mail. And Stealing the money that was sent to the Pedestrian. Thank You Jibril Wilson

  3. Rads Says:

    What if I buy make up stuff of worth 4000 Indian rupees? Do I need to pay customs for that?

  4. V Says:

    How much customs will charge my order of 9.2 lbs.

  5. Rahul Batrel Says:

    I hve orderd 4000rs (indian currecy ). From aliexpress does it cost any duty if it will cost so how many ruppes it will cost any estimation.

  6. Rashmi R Das Says:

    my friend has send a percal including 40thousand british money . How should i get the percal or what will be the charging amount . I allready paid 37thousand indian money

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