Guide to Sending Parcels to India

With a population rivalling China's - 1.3 billion - India boasts 580 million middle class citizens - much more than Canada and the United States combined. With a steadily growing economy comes increasing consumer wealth for more and more Indians.

As of 2018, India had 560 million internet users and E-commerce accounted for about $40 billion USD of transactions. Both are expected to grow dramatically in the next several years. And with English as the lingua franca of India, doing business from Canada couldn't be brighter or easier.

The sources of information on this page come directly from the The Government of India, the The Central Board of Indirect Tax & Customs, and number of other government sources.

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Easy Tracking Information

Shipments through through Secureship come with full, easy to read tracking information to India

Full tracking information for parcels to India is available with Secureship
Tracking #:780123123123
Tel: 1-800-463-3339
Signed By: Pikwalia @ Residence
Oct 18, 2019
8:49 am
Lucknow, UP, IN
Delivered
Oct 17, 2019
7:18 am
Kanpur, UP, IN
In transit
Oct 16, 2019
9:03 pm
Ghaziabad, UP, IN
International Clearance
Oct 16, 2019
8:14 am
Agra, UP, IN
In transit
Oct 16, 2019
12:17 am
Toronto, ON, CA
In transit
Oct 15, 2019
4:30 pm
Ottawa, ON, CA
Pickup Scan

Disclaimer!

While we have made every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, Customs laws and procedures change regularly so it is important to consult a licensed broker in India before shipping any goods.

Types of Shipments

Not all types of shipments are created equal. Shipping a television will require different paperwork, duties, and taxes than shipping an accounting statement, for example.


Shipping Documents Only Image to India

Documents Only

Most documents can be shipped to India duty free, though there are certain items that incur a 10% duty charge. See the table below for these and other restrictions.

Document Type Restriction
Airline Tickets Airline tickets are only classified as a document if issued to an individual.
Brochures and Catalogues 10% duty charged
Calendars 10% duty charged
Computer software (printed hard copy). 10% duty charge
Envelopes (blank) Maximum of 10 envelopes in a shipment (extras are charged duties)
Greeting and wedding cards 10% duty charged
Pamphlets, booklets and leaflets 10% duty charged
Photographs, printed pictures and posters 10% duty charged
Plans and drawings such as architectural, engineering and industrial 10% duty charged.
Traveller's Cheques To be classed as a document, only used traveller's cheques can be shipped. If the traveller's cheques are unused, they are classified as non-documents and charged duties.

Sources:
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/customs/cst1718-010718/Chapter%2049.pdf;jsessionid=60B17F8F86043F854C10B0854035A4AA
https://www.ups.com/ga/CountryRegs?loc=en_US

Shipping Gifts to India

Shipping Gifts

A true (also known as bona fide) gift means an item for personal use by the recipient without any exchange of monies.

Bona fide gifts may be sent to India by post without duties being charged up to the value of 10,000 Indian rupees (about $190 CDN).

Additional Info

1. Gifts may include life saving drugs and medical equipment. They will not be charged duty.

2. Gifts can be shipped and accepted by individuals, societies, corporate bodies and institutions like colleges and schools, BUT they are intended for an individual's own use.

3. If the value of the value of the gift exceeds 10,000 INR, then duty will be applied to the entire amount of the gift.

NOTE: Be aware that a number of restricted and prohibited goods cannot be sent as gifts. Gifts containing restricted or prohibited goods, unsolicited or not, may be confiscated and the receiver may be financially penalized.


Document checklist:

  • The words "Gift Shipment" or "Unsolicited Gift" are included on the commercial invoice (see sample)
  • A detailed description of each item is provided
  • The value of the gift is declared on the commercial invoice

Sources:
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/cs-manual-2012.pdf
http://www.cbic.gov.in/htdocs-cbec/customs/cs-act/formatted-htmls/cs-regu-courier-imexp-2010
http://www.cbic.gov.in/htdocs-cbec/js-menu/imp-cour2
https://www.ups.com/ga/CountryRegs?loc=en_US

Sample Commercial Invoice for Gifts

Ship To Invoice
Rabindranath Tagore
Jorasanko Thakur Bari
6/4 Dwarakanath Tagore Lane Jorasanko
Kolkata, India
700007

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal Shipment / Gift Shipment

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 15 Oct 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Gift Shipment: LEGO Star Wars Rebel UWing Fighter, 659 piece set

CA $79.99
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Gifts
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $79.99
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Shipping personal effects/belongings to India

Shipping Personal Effects

Personal effects sent from Canada to India as unaccompanied baggage will incur a Customs duty of 35% of the estimated value of the goods. (This is officially called ad valorem.) In addition, the parcel will incur a 3% surcharge (called Education Cess).

Shipped unaccompanied baggage should be collected by the owner within one month of its arrival in India. A delay of up to one year may be allowed by the Deputy or Assistant Commissioner of Customs for circumstances beyond the control of the owner of the goods. However, the reason(s) will have to be documented.

The used personal and household effects of a deceased person may enter India duty free providing:

  • A certificate from the Canadian Indian High Commission or Consulate can be produced certifying the ownership of the effects to the deceased person.

Moving temporarily

A foreign national may stay in India for a maximum of 6 months in any 12-month period for purposes such as study, religious pilgrimage, or business.

If personal effects are sent unaccompanied, then duties will be imposed as listed above.

Only if personal effects are carried by a passenger are they duty free - up to a limit of 8,000 INR (about $150 CDN).

Moving permanently

A foreign national moving to India may ship personal effects duty free up to the value of 50,000 INR (about $950 CDN).

Indian residents are subject to different duty free limits than foreign nationals as the table below shows.


Time away from India Duty free amount
3 - 6 months 60,000 INR (about $230 CDN)
6 months - 1 year 100,000 INR (about $1900 CDN)
Minimum of 1 year 200,000 INR (about $3800 CDN)
Minimum of 2 years 500,000 INR (about $9500 CDN)

Further details and rules governing each condition may be found by clicking here.

There are limits to the amount of jewellery that can accompany a passenger or their personal effects. Specifically, males may bring into India a maximum of 20 g valued at no more than 50,000 INR (about $950 CDN) and females are allowed a maximum of 40 g valued at no more than 100,000 INR (about $1900 CDN).

Further details of prohibitions and restrictions may be found in Annexures I, II, III, which can be found by clicking here.


Document checklist:

  • Commercial invoice must clearly indicate "Personal Effects" under General Description or Remarks section.
  • List each item in the shipment on the commercial invoice.
  • Give each item a fair market value.

Sources:
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/cs-manual-2012.pdf
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/customs/cs-act/formatted-htmls/bgge-rules2016-ason23may2016.pdf
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources/htdocs-cbec/guide_for_travellers/guide-to-travellers.pdf


Sample Commercial Invoice for Personal Effects

Ship To Invoice
Rabindranath Tagore
Jorasanko Thakur Bari
6/4 Dwarakanath Tagore Lane
Mumbai, India
400019

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal effects being delivered to my new address.

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 15 Oct 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
5 Pairs Personal Effects: 5 pairs of various types of shoes

IN $40.00
1 Each Personal Effects: Arc'terix Winter Jacket

CA $478.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Personal Effects
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $678.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Shipping Food, Chocolate, Candies to India

Food, Chocolate, Candies

Generally, shipping food to India is complicated and most of the details are beyond the scope of this article. However, there are 2 groups with clear rules:

  • Chocolate and cocoa products will incur a duty of 30%
  • Candies and confectionery will incur a GST charge of 18%

Foreign Nationals Living in India

A foreign national living in India may import food duty free. In order to qualify for duty free exemption, the following conditions must be met:

  • The foodstuffs exclude fruit products and alcohol
  • The total value of foodstuffs in a year may not exceed 100,000 INR (about $1900 CDN)
  • The importer pays for the foodstuffs from funds in Canada

Sources:
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/gst/FAQ_3RD_Trench_Final.pdf
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/customs/cst1819-010219/Chap%2018.pdf
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/customs/cst1718-020218/G.E.%20132.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Food, Chocolate, Candies

Ship To Invoice
Rabindranath Tagore
Jorasanko Thakur Bari
6/4 Dwarakanath Tagore Lane
Kolkata, India
711305

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Food Shipment - Assorted chocolate bars in their original manufacturer's packaging

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 15 Oct 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Box Nestle Chocolate Bars in original packaging expiring May 2021 (shelf life of 6 months or longer)

CA $20.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Permanent / Sold
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $20.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Shipping Promotional Material to India

Samples

Commercial samples are those that can only be used for demonstration purposes. The aim is to encourage people to place orders of the samples, not sell them.

Authentic samples (also called bona fide samples) may be shipped to India as long as the recipient is not being charged, i.e. they are free.

Commercial samples can be imported duties and tax free provided the following conditions are met:

  • Commercial samples are valued at less than 10 000 INR (about $190CDN)
  • The total value of samples per year should be no greater than 300,000 INR (about $5700 CDN) and not exceed 50 shipments in a year
  • Parcels are to weigh no more than 70 kg
  • The goods are being provided free of cost to the recipient

Samples of Engineering Prototypes

If the sample is a prototype of an engineering product, then the importer must produce a certificate from the Export Promotion Council indicating that the samples are required to ensure export orders.

If the sample is valued at 10,000 INR or less (about $190 CDN), it may enter India duty free providing it is rendered useless by any reasonable means.

An engineering sample valued at more than 10,000 INR must:

  • have a bond posted with Indian Customs to cover the value of the duty
  • be re-exported to Canada within 9 months

The duty will be refunded when the machinery is exported back to Canada.


Sending Samples Checklist:
  • Complete a commercial invoice
  • Add a nominal value for the item(s)
  • State on the invoice: SAMPLE(S) FREE OF COST

Sources:
https://www.cbic-gst.gov.in/pdf/igst-exemption-concession-list-03.06.2017.pdf
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/customs/cst1617-020217/csgs-67.pdf
http://www.cbic.gov.in/htdocs-cbec/js-menu/imp-cour2
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/cs-manual-2012.pdf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Export_Promotion_Organisations_in_India

Sample Commercial Invoice for Commercial Sample

Ship To Invoice
Rabindranath Tagore
Jorasanko Thakur Bari
6/4 Dwarakanath Tagore Lane
Chennai, India
600128

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Commercial Sample - Not for Resale

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 15 Oct 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Box Commercial Sample - Advanced reading copy of Dan Brown's novel.

CA $20.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Commercial Sample
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $20.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Sending Promotional material to India

Advertising Material / Marketing Material

Advertising material includes items that are handed out to promote products or services.

Advertising items include:

  • Brochures and leaflets
  • Price lists
  • Pamphlets
  • Posters
  • Calendars and catalogues
  • Photographs

Most advertising material sent to India will incur a 10% duty.

Sources:
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/customs/cst1718-010718/Chapter%2049.pdf;jsessionid=60B17F8F86043F854C10B0854035A4AA
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/cs-manual-2012.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Promotional Material

Ship To Invoice
Rabindranath Tagore
Jorasanko Thakur Bari
6/4 Dwarakanath Tagore Lane
Bangalore, India
562109

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Promotional Material - Not for Resale

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 15 Oct 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Promotional Material: Not for Resale. Product pamphlets to hand out at trade show.

CA $163.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Promotional Material
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $163.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Have your goods warranty repaired in India

Repairs

Sending Product for Repair to Canada

Goods manufactured in India and exported to Canada for repairs will have duty imposed on them when they are re-imported into India. The amount of duty incurred will be the total of:

  • The fair cost of repairs, including materials required;
  • insurance; and
  • freight costs, for both directions

Ensure to complete the following:

  • The words 'REPAIR & RETURN' are stated on the commercial invoice under General Description or Remarks
  • Write the Serial or Product number under the Detailed Description of Goods section on the commercial invoice
  • Include a copy of the Repair Contract with all your export documentation

Returning Product after Repairs are Completed:

Goods manufactured in India, or parts of a larger piece of equipment, are exempt from duty and taxes providing the goods leave India for Canada within 6 months of their arrival.

NOTE:

  • Personal property that was imported to India but returned to Canada for renovations, repairs, or alterations that are covered by a warranty are exempt from duty and taxes.
  • This applies only if the goods were repaired free of charge.

Ensure to complete the following:

  • Write the words 'REPAIR & RETURN' on the commercial invoice under General Description or Remarks
  • In the Detailed Description of Goods section, write the value of the product and the cost of the repair
  • Include the original shipping documents or tracking number from when the item was first exported to India

Sources:
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/cs-manual-2012.pdf
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/gst/igst-exemption-concession-list-03.06.2017.pdf;jsessionid=ED0F7781EAF889573C2CEB79A4E0FAE6

Sample Commercial Invoice for Warranty Repair

Ship To Invoice
Rabindranath Tagore
Jorasanko Thakur Bari
6/4 Dwarakanath Tagore Lane
Hyderabad, India
501323

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Repair and Return - Watch being sent for repair

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 15 Oct 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Fossil Watch being sent for repair - Model E5, serial # 789456FG7E2 - Repair Cost $76.00

US $163.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Warranty Repair
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $163.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Temporary Imports / Exports for shipments to India

Temporary Imports

Temporary importation of certain goods into India, without incurring duties or taxes, is allowed for a period of up to 6 months. Make sure to clearly indicate the return date on the commercial invoice.

Goods that are often part of a temporary import include:

  • Scientific and professional equipment
  • Commercial samples
  • Items that will be used or displayed at a fair, exhibition or event
  • Tools and specialised equipment required for repairing, exploring, producing or manufacturing
  • Materials and goods to be used during a public exhibition such as a trade show booth
  • Equipment required to evaluate and test the operation of other goods and equipment
  • Theatrical equipment and costumes
  • Mountaineering equipment and supplies (does not include alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco products)

Tourists

Canadian tourists who enter India for a stay of not more than 6 months in a 12-month period are allowed a duty free allowance up to 8,000 INR (about $150 CDN).

Legitimate, non-immigrant reasons for entering India include: touring, visiting family, a religious pilgrimage, study, sports or recreation, or business.

Qualifying for Duty & Tax Free Temporary Import

In order to import your goods duty and tax free into India, you can pick from 1 of the 3 Temporary Import Methods listed below.

Each option has its pros and cons. Regardless, each of the following methods requires you to complete a Commercial Invoice (CI). More details below.


Option # Temporary Import Method Risk of paying Duties and taxes
1 Commercial Invoice Only (no other documentation is provided) High (if broker cannot clear goods temporarily)
2 Commercial Invoice + Apply for Temporary Importation Under Bond (TIB) Very Low
3 Commercial Invoice + ATA Carnet Very Low


1. Complete a Commercial invoice only


This is the simplest and quickest option. See example.

NOTE: You should be aware that shipping using this method doesn't guarantee that your items will be imported duty/tax free. Not all brokers will clear goods as temporary imports (i.e. UPS, Fedex, DHL) nor is it a guarantee that customs won't charge any duties and taxes.


2. CI + Apply for Temporary Importation Under Bond (TIB)

In addition to completing a Commercial Invoice (CI) you can also apply for a Temporary Importation Under Bond (TIB). You will need to speak to a customs broker in India to obtain this form. You would then add the TIB number to your Commercial Invoice.

FYI - Customs clearance provided by the major carriers such as FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc. DO NOT offer special temporary import clearance.

3. CI + an ATA Carnet

This option is great for items that frequently travel in and out of the country. It's also great because once you have an ATA Carnet, it is accepted by 176 countries worldwide making the application process a one-time thing.

In addition to declaring your commercial invoice as a temporary import, you can get an ATA Carnet for the items that are of temporary nature.

ATA Carnets are beyond the scope of this article. You can however, contact your local chamber of commerce and they will be able to guide you along. You can also find more information here: http://www.chamber.ca/carnet/

In addition to 1 of the 3 items above, the following conditions must also be met in order to qualify for a duty and VAT free exemption:

  • The goods arrive and leave in the same condition, i.e. they undergo no repairs nor are they used in manufacturing
  • Stay no longer than 6 months in India

NOTE:

  • If the above conditions are not followed, duties and taxes will be charged as though the goods have been imported permanently.
  • Your Customs broker can clear goods of a temporary nature (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc. typically cannot clear goods of temporary nature).

Document Checklist

  • Commercial Invoice clearly stating "Temporary Import" including the return date. This must be written in the General Description section.
  • Include your ATA Carnet with your shipment (if applicable)

Sources:
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/gst/igst-exemption-concession-list-03.06.2017.pdf;jsessionid=ED0F7781EAF889573C2CEB79A4E0FAE6
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/customs/cst1617-300616/csge-158.pdf;jsessionid=20802E775150F0667E8400FA61A67E9E
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/cs-manual-2012.pdf
http://www.atacarnet.in/faqs.html

 

Sample Commercial Invoice for Temporary Imports

Ship To Invoice
Rabindranath Tagore
Jorasanko Thakur Bari
6/4 Dwarakanath Tagore Lane
Ahmedabad, India
382325

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Temporary Imports - Trade show booth and display equipment returning Jan 2020

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 15 Oct 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 box Temporary Imports - Trade show booth and display equipment

CA $1032.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Temporary Imports
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $1032.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge



Permanent Goods / Sold To an individual or business within India

Permanent/Sold Goods

Shipping goods permanently to India is pretty easy. You simply need to include a commercial invoice and packing list with your shipment. Duties and taxes will be charged based on a number of factors (see duties & taxes below).

Document Checklist

  • Include 4 copies of the Commercial Invoice with your shipment
  • Provide a detailed description of the goods on the Commercial Invoice (in order to avoid customs delays).
  • Include a Packing list
  • Certificate of Origin (if preferential rate of duty is claimed)

Sources:
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/cs-manual-2012.pdf.

Sample Commercial Invoice for Permanent/Sold Goods

Ship To Invoice
Rabindranath Tagore
Jorasanko Thakur Bari
6/4 Dwarakanath Tagore Lane
Delhi, India
110088

Phone: 613-555-1234
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Permanent/Sold: Parts and accessories for Canon B78n camera

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 15 Oct 2019
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
15 Each Camera Lenses: Canon EF 50mm, Canon EF 85mm & wide-angle lenses.

CA $132.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Permanent/Sold
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $1980.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge

Required Documents


Shipping packages internationally requires a lot of documentation. This process alone can be confusing and time consuming. So we’ve narrowed down what documents you might need and ranked them based on likeliness of being needed.

Document Type When? Details
Shipping Label / Bill of Lading Always required This is a label provided by the carrier (UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.). Always required because the carrier needs to know the parcel’s destination.
Commercial Invoice Required for all non-document shipments
For all non-document shipments, you will require 3 copies of the commercial invoice (to be included with your shipping labels - These are for customs purposes and need to be included inside a document pouch outside of the box.

When creating a shipment through the Secureship website, the system will help you create this document automatically.

B13a Required if value exceeds $2,000 per shipment or is a controlled good
A B13a is required if your shipment exceeds $2000 CAD or is a controlled good

Learn more about the B13a form here.
Certificate of Origin (COO) Infrequently required

Allows a reduced or zero-rated import duty.
Canada has a preferential trade agreement with India. A COO proves that an item has been produced, manufactured or processed in Canada.

When an item with a COO is imported into India, it will incur a reduced or zero-rated import duty.
Certificate of Insurance (COI) Infrequently required

Shows that the shipment has been insured.
Banks may request a certificate of insurance when providing letters of credit for the goods. Otherwise, it is generally your choice whether to purchase insurance for the shipment.
ATA Carnet Infrequently required

Used to avoid duties and taxes on shipments of temporary nature.
If you ship goods of temporary nature to and from a country, you can obtain an ATA Carnet to expedite the customs clearance process and ensure that anything of temporary nature is not charged duties and taxes.

See temporary import section
Packaging List Infrequently required Required if value exceeds $2,000 per shipment or is a controlled good.
ATA Carnet

Infrequently required

Used to avoid duties and taxes on shipments of temporary nature.

If you ship goods of temporary nature to and from a country, you can obtain an ATA Carnet to expedite the customs clearance process and ensure that anything of temporary nature is not charged duties and taxes. See temporary import section.

Certificate of Insurance (COI) Infrequently required Shows that the shipment is insured.Banks may request a certificate of insurance when providing letters of credit for the goods. Otherwise, it is generally your choice whether to purchase insurance for the shipment.
Packing list Infrequently required No specific form is required, but generally includes information regarding:
  • The exporter, importer and transport company.
  • Date of issue.
  • Number of freight invoice.
  • Type and number of packages.
  • Contents of each package
  • Marks and numbers.
  • Net weight, gross weight and measurements of each package.

Prohibited & Restricted Imports


The list of restricted and prohibited items is extensive and changes often, so it's always best to check the official customs page prior to sending your packages.

Your carrier will refuse to accept your parcel if any of these items are in it. Any prohibited items will be seized and you could be prosecuted.


Prohibited items

The short list of prohibited items includes:

  • Obscene and pornographic material
  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Perishable goods
  • Plants and seeds
  • Precious and semi-precious stones
  • Antique coins
  • Counterfeit and pirated goods
  • Wildlife including body parts and products made from them
  • Any form of arms and ammunition, including any form of toy gun or gun replica
  • Maps depicting incorrect Indian boundaries are prohibited
  • Drones, both toys and professional versions, are prohibited goods

Restricted Items

Some of the items that have import restrictions to enter India include:

  • Passports may sent only to an embassy in India
  • Maps of India must show the correct external boundaries
  • Electronic cigarettes must be shipped with an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract
  • Mobile phones must have an International Mobile Equipment Identity
  • Gold and silver, except as jewellery
  • Goods for commercial profit

Used electronic and computer equipment require a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Environment & Forest (MOEF). (The Consignee is responsible for the application of the NOC.)


Sources:
https://dgft.gov.in/policies
https://dgft.gov.in/policies/prohibited-items
https://dgft.gov.in/policies/restricted-items
https://www.immihelp.com/travel-to-india/prohibited-restricted-goods.html
https://www.ups.com/ga/CountryRegs?loc=en_US

Duty & Taxes

Import duty and taxes in India are calculated based on the sum of the Customs Value, Insurance Amount, and Freight costs (shipping costs). This is known as CIF.
CIF Value = Customs Value + Insurance Amount + Freight Costs

Using the CIF Value, you can predict how much Duty & Tax the recipient would have to pay the Indian government to receive their goods.


Thresholds

Some countries provide a Duty & Tax Threshold (i.e. de minimis) which means that below a certain amount, no duties or no taxes are charged on the import of that shipment.

Currency Indian Rupees (INR)
TAX (VAT / GST)

28% - Consumer durables

18% - Capital goods, TVs, video cameras

12% - Dried fruit, confectionary

5% - Medicine

Duty Exemption
(De minimis Value)
0 INR
Tax Exemption
(De minimis Value)
0 INR
Threshold Method CIF
Tax & Duty Calculation Method CIF

Duties on Imports
  • Chocolate and Cocoa30%
  • Beer 100%
  • Spirits and Wines150%
  • Cigarettes and Tobacco30%
  • Cigars, Cigarillos and Cheroots60%
  • Audio Video22%
  • Books and Collectibles22%
  • Documents0 or 10%
  • Gaming and Tablets22%
  • Computers and Laptops22%
  • Mobiles and Cameras22%
  • Accessories for Electronics22%
  • Jewelry and Watches22%
  • Health and Beauty Products50%
  • Clothing and Footwear25%
  • Luggage and Fashion22%
  • Home Appliances50%
  • Toys and Sports Equipment22%
  • Pet Accessories22%
  • Dry Food and Supplements22%
  • Home and Garden22%

Most documents incur no duty but a few will a 10% duty imposed. See section: Documents Only for details.

NOTES: The duties above are based on the item's Country of Origin (manufacture) being a part of the Most-Favored Nation (MFN). If the Country of Origin is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), then it is part of the MFN and hence gets the above duty rates. Please keep in mind that we do make an effort to keep the numbers above updated, but if exact numbers are needed, please contact a customs broker at the destination country.

Sources:
https://www.export.gov/article?id=India-Import-Tariffs
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/gst/103%20Household%20English%20Ad%2029-9-2017.pdf;jsessionid=3ACF3D4F40BDA99CC44C3E07B7C651DF
http://www.cbic.gov.in/htdocs-cbec/customs/cst1819-010219/cst1819-0102-idx
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/customs/cst1819-010219/Chap%2022.pdf;jsessionid=066C388D9D75042415F00ECBD7E3AA72
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/customs/cst1819-010219/Chap%2018.pdf
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/customs/cst1819-010219/Chap%2024.pdf;jsessionid=3BDD5FEF303E0AFE00BF7FFBE28C6602
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/customs/cst1819-010219/Chap%2062.pdf;jsessionid=7F0FA0872A807853FCF2428276DF13B8
http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/customs/cst1819-010219/Chap%2064.pdf;jsessionid=CB1124986C4020315F8A301005F7D977

India Shipping Insurance


You can purchase insurance through Secureship and it is provided by the carrier that will be transporting your shipment.

Each carrier will charge a different amount per $100 of declared insurance. If you indicate that you need insurance for your shipment our system will automatically include the insurance costs for your shipment.

Insurance is great to have in case your package is accidentally lost or damaged by the carrier. But be careful, not everything you ship is insurable. Worse - even if your package contains items that are insurable, if it doesn’t meet the ISTA 3A packaging standard, the insurance purchased through the carrier would not be available to you.

Here are some items that cannot be insured by the carrier:

  • Personal belongings
  • Antiques
  • Artwork
  • Liquids (including alcohol)
  • Television
  • Jewelry in excess of $500
  • Perishable goods
  • Glass or Ceramic
  • And many more items

For more information, please see the carrier's terms and conditions.

Questions about Shipping to India



How much does it cost for shipping to India from Canada?

The cost for shipping to India from Canada will be based on your package information as well as the delivery address. The package information consists of the destination city, weight, dimensions and other shipping options if selected.

You can obtain a real-time price through multiple trusted carriers for your shipment to India by using our estimate tool.


Does United Parcel Service (UPS) ship to India?

Yes, UPS does ship to India among other countries. The be exact, they ship to 195 countries and territories in the world. Use Secureship and start saving today up to 50% off their regular rate.

Get a Get a UPS shipping estimate to India here. here.


Does FedEx ship to India?

Yes, FedEx ships to India. You can get a quote for shipping your envelopes or package directly on the Secureship platform. Save up to 50% on your FedEx shipment to India by clicking here.


Does United States Postal Service (USPS) ship to India?

USPS offers shipping services to India. Sadly, they are currently not on the Secureship platform.

To find out more about shipping to India using USPS, please visit https://pe.usps.com/text/imm/il_002.htm.


What is the cheapest way to ship from Canada to India?

The cheapest way to ship from Canada to India would be by using the Secureship platform. You will be able to compare pricing among all the major carriers and even save up to 50% off their published price.

These huge savings are due to our group buying power. Find the cheapest way to ship to India here.


What are the courier charges from India to Canada?

Courier charges to India from Canada vary widely depending on the size and weight of the parcel, how quickly it needs to get there and which courier service you use.

For example, a small box of 2 kg the size of a loaf of bread may cost from $155 to $300 CDN for express service (4 - 6 days) from Ottawa to New Delhi.

The best thing to do is to use our estimate tool to get the courier charges from Canada to India for a variety of providers.


How long does parcel mail take from Canada to India?

Parcel mail using Canada Post, can take as between 12 business days for Air and 2-3 months for Surface parcel.

You can find out more on their shipping rates and delivery times by visiting https://www.canadapost.ca/cpc/en/business/shipping/international/compare/international-parcel.page#!navtabd2738e11


How do I get a FedEx shipping estimate / FedEx quote to India?

Easy! Click on the FedEx Shipping Cost Calculator for India, complete your shipping details and get an estimate within seconds.


How do I ship gifts to India?

To ship gifts to India, just click shipping gifts to India and learn all you need to know.

Additional Resources