Items not classified as either prohibited or restricted in the ITC (Indian Trade Classification) (HS), are freely permitted without the need to obtain a license. To make sure that your product is not prohibited or restricted please contact an importer and/or read through the ITC (HS) Classification of Export and Import Items under the section titled, Customs Duty Calculator Schedule.
The following is a list of some of the documents that are required when importing into India:
Importers must provide an Import Declaration in the prescribed bill of entry format, disclosing the value of the imported goods. This must be provided along with any import license and phytosanitary certificate that complies with the PFA (Prevention of Food Adulteration Act; in case of agricultural products), and other documents such as sales invoices and freight and insurance certificates. All products are required to be inspected prior to clearance.
Certification is based mostly on visual inspection and records of past imports. Therefore, importers of new products can sometimes face delays in clearing their products. The custom clearance period may last between one day and one month, depending on the product and experience of the importer. In case of a dispute or rejection of the shipment, the importer can file an appeal at the Customs office at the port of entry. To accelerate the process, it is advised to appoint a clearing agent.
U.S. firms that plan to participate in international trade shows in India should contact the U.S. Embassy's commercial service for assistance with importing exhibits duty-free into India.
The Indian customs classification on tariff items follows the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (Harmonized System).
For the most current tariffs and taxes applied to imported products for this country, please visit export.gov. Please ensure you have a 10-digit HS classification code in order to obtain tariff information. Also see the Census Bureau’s Schedule B search function (http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/schedules/b/index.html), which allows you to classify your product according to United States export codes. Simply click "Search" and enter the keyword (i.e. beer) that best describes your product.
Embassy of India
Ministry of Finance Department of Revenue
The information in this guide was obtained from external sources, including the websites of various governmental agencies and organizations, direct contact with those agencies and organizations, and from Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Attaché reports. Consequently, the accuracy of this information depends upon the accuracy of the sources.
TTB is not responsible for the content of external websites.
This page was last reviewed on August 17, 2010.