[GUIDE] New Customs Import Rules India 2020

Do you regularly shop from AliExpress or Gearbest or any other international marketplace?

Then you might get charged extra due to the new Customs Import Rules imposed by the Indian Government, which takes effect from 1st Feb 2019.

Till now we always used to mark our products as gifts so that it doesn’t fall under customs, but it seems our Govt is determined to end that, as a method to boost productivity locally made items.

In today’s post, I will talk about customs duty and taxes you need to pay when you import an item from abroad.

India exported US$318.2 billion and imported $462.9 billion worth of commodities in 2014. All of this happened with the formation of the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act, 1992 and India’s Export-Import (EXIM) Policy.

Customs Duties help manage the importing and exporting of goods in India.

What is Customs duty?

Customs duty is the duty charged on goods on their importation into India or exportation out of India.

What are the different types of rates of duties of Customs?

There are two types of rates of duty of Customs:

  • Ad valorem rate, i.e., the tax is charged by value.
  •  Specific rate i.e., on the basis of quantity/number/ volume/ weight.

What are the different kinds of duties of Customs levied on imported goods? What is the authority to levy and collect the duties of Customs on imported goods?

Different kinds of duties of customs levied on imported goods are

  1. Basic Customs Duty
  2. Additional duty of customs
  3. Special additional duties
  4. Additional levies like Countervailing duty, Anti-dumping duty, Safeguard duty, etc.,

Also, cess duty is leviable on certain goods.

Section 12 of the Customs Act, 1962 authorizes the Customs Officers to levy and collect these duties

What is meant by the special additional duty of customs?

Special additional duty is specified under Section 3A of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975. The amount of Special Additional duty is computed by applying this rate on value, which is equal to the total of the assessable value, the primary customs duty and the additional duty of customs.

New Customs Import Rules 2019:

Before importing any product to India, read the Customs Import Rules 2019 below

A) Duty to be paid for Postal Import of Bonafide Gifts:

If you have an incoming gift from abroad, you might incur charges if it exceeds a specific value (price). If the value of the gift is below ₹5,000, you are good to go, no duty for you. But if it exceeds ₹5,000, you have to pay 41.2% duty of the product. This is broken down into – 10% Basic Customs Duty, 3% Education Cess and 28% Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST). IGST is charged during the movement of goods and services from one state to another. Or in this case, one country to another.

Btw, you can only import up to four items as gifts to your address per the calendar year. India Post is now going to verify your address to keep a check of this.

B) Duty to be paid for Postal Imports for Personal Use:

When you are importing a product personally, you have to pay 41.2% duty of the product, irrespective of its value. This is again broken down into the same – 10% Basic Customs Duty, 3% Education Cess and 28% IGST.

C) Goods Not Allowed for Import:

There are certain goods which are banned for importing. These are –

  1. E-cigarettes
  2. Obscene Articles
  3. All articles prohibited for import as per Foreign Trade Policy 

D) Goods Allowed only with an Import Licence/Certificate:

Other products might need an import license or a certificate, often used to verify for national security purposes. These are –

  1. Drones
  2. Restricted goods as per Foreign Trade Policy.

The duty is hiked from an average of 28.85% previously to 41.2% now. Also, you were able to import gifts up to ₹10,000 in value previously, but that bar has been decreased. This move has a lot of economic factors associated with it such as the depreciating rupee and current account deficit. It also encourages people to use in-house Made in India products to boost our economy. Importing finished goods is expensive, but importing pre-manufactured parts and then assembling here proves to be financially viable for companies and manufacturers. This is the reason why companies like Xiaomi and Samsung are already selling Made in India products, and Apple is struggling in our market.

With that said, we should see a decrease in the importing of goods in the foreseeable future. May our economy grow, and we rise to the top! But well, it does have other consequences that we, as a shopper need to face.

Customs Rules 2019 Implementation Date:

As of January 9th, 2019, the new rules will be implemented from 1st February 2019 onwards.

If you recall, 1st February 2019 is also the date for the implementation of the new TRAI DTH Rules.

Last Words:

I am a regular AliExpress shopper. As a shopper, I opt for any marketplace where I can get any product for cheap. AliExpress is my way-to-go preferred marketplace to import mainly electronic goods and accessories. These new rules are going to affect a lot.

Earlier, whenever I ordered something from abroad, I simply contacted the seller and asked them to mark my item as a gift, so that it avoids customs. There were times when they were valued over 100$, but still avoided customs due to their declared value of 5$ or something like that.

But it remains to be seen what happens from now onwards. Anyways, thank you for reading the article on the new Customs Import Rules, India.

If you have doubt or queries regarding customs duty on individual products or in any terminologies, feel free to comment and ask about it in the comment section below. I will be happy to help out.

Do share this article with your friends who shop from abroad to let them know about these new updates. Use the floating social share buttons below or on the left if you are on a desktop.

That’s all for now. I will be back soon with another exciting update. Till then, stay tuned!

Karthik M
Karthik M

Karthik is a BCA student who loves to write about science and technology. He also loves reading encyclopaedia when he's not writing.

  1. Would India allow the import of a steel wristwatch as a gift? I’ve heard some rumors about gifts “going missing”, or being seized by the customs officers for no apparent reason.

    • This depends on the luck. Anything can happen. But mostly the items are totally sealed during the customs scan. They don’t tear any seals. Often the items go missing after it is handed over to the India Post due to their bad quality service.

  2. Sir , my friend sent me gift from us worth $40 and mentioned $80 . As per foreign trade law gifts less than 5000 are duty free but i got call from post office that you have to pay custom duty , gst and postal fee total rps 1000 . What shoul i do.

  3. If I ordered a product worth 20$ from Aliexpress, and shipping is 40$, will the customs duty be calculated on 20$ or 40$?

  4. Hey,what if i order a cosmetic product which charge around 2,300 in indian rupee and marked it as a gift ,so will i eligible for duty ?

  5. Hey.
    I ordered an item worth Rs 3900. Do i have to pay customs???

    And if not
    Will i have to show any documents. The item is from US

    • Hello brother I hope you are doing good.
      I need information I have ordered some car accessories under 1300rs like one item worth 1300 another 750 and ranging from 100rs to 1000rs but all individual sellers
      # will i get custom charges and what will be it be if I get and what problem occur

    • Rs 3900 is borderline. You may or may not need to pay customs, depending on the customs officer’s mood. You need to show address proof as documents.

  6. I bought a tablet worth 3200 INR to India from Ali express for personal use & and of 1 quantity. Do I have to pay custom of 41% for it?

  7. RB872203486SG
    I have ordered a truely wireless earphone worth 2k and the seller has declared the value as 7$ so will i be taxed ?? Please help me out

  8. i have bought a mobile from aliexpress at something around 6600 rs (UMIGIDI A5 pro). i was tempted by the price. but later i came to know about custom.
    How much duty i will ahve to pay? 42% would be around 2700 rs. no point in purchasing a cheap device from aliexpress.

  9. If I ordered a Motherboard rs=4500, processor rs=6000, ram=3500. Then how much custom duty will charged? Please help me.

  10. I have imported a smart watch of ₹2000. If its not mentioned as gift, what will be the custom charges levied on it?

  11. Reply Avatar of Vikrant Singh Solanki
    Vikrant Singh Solanki February 5, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    41 percent is too much, I think. that’s why laptop prices are so high in India.

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