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Import/Export

United States to India

Country or Territory Regulations Topics:

Commodity Specific Stipulations

There are special stipulations on the following commodities when shipping to India. If you plan to ship one of the commodities listed below, be sure to adhere to the following stipulations in order to avoid delays and holds at customs.

Advertising literature cannot be shipped as samples. These items are subject to import duties regardless of value.
Any Brochures having samples (i.e.fabric/swatch/cd/patterns), RSA token and USB along with company or individual data shall be considered as non-document-thus it needs to be manifested as non-documents only.
Catalogs cannot be shipped as samples. These items are subject to import duties regardless of value.
It is mandatory to have an IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identification ) Number clearly indicated on all mobile phones imported into India. The IMEI numbers should also reflect on the commercial invoice.
Shipments of clothing/fabrics/garments/textiles, other than samples and personal shipments, require No-Objection Certificate from the Textile Ministries of India. 3-4 days of delays may occur.

Certificate of origin and laboratory test certificate from an accredited laboratory in origin country or territory are required.

Shipments of medicine require a No-Objection Certificate from the Assistant Drug Controller. Pharma samples and shipments of chemicals are subject to stringent examination and are cleared after obtaining a No-Objection certificate from Assistant Drug Controller of India.

The Commercial invoice should clearly state the scientific/chemical name of the commodity. If only the common trade name of the commodity is listed on the invoice, this will create a delay in clearance. The commodity description should be such that it is easily identified by the Custom Authorities and other agencies.

Films or Videocassette tapes for training, educational, and in-house advertising purposes must be accompanied by full documentations and a written synopsis of the films' content. All films and videocassettes are subject to censorship and Customs duty, which will delay clearance. The consignee is responsible for the payment of any charges pertaining to the import.

All films should have the following on the accompanying invoice:

Country or Territory of Origin-Contents and title of the film-Purpose of Import.

For beta tapes and films, Customs requires a copy of the agreement made between the buyer and seller or any other document of sale where the value of the contents is clearly stated.

Shipments of food require a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Individual importer can apply NOC by sending an explanation letter and a passport copy to FSSAI. Approval is solely based on FSSAI's discretion.

Copy of Passport /VISA and Form-7 is a mandatory document to import for personal consumption (limited quantity) for foreigners.

If any jewelry shipments import into India, customs will asses import duty of approximately 13% on the value of items.

If jewelry shipment is coming in for repair & return from customer, then the consignee must have proof the shipment has exported from India, otherwise customs will assess import duty.

If the shipment is Gold, silver, precious or semi- precious items, it should be examined by custom officer & for this process UPS will charge RS 2500.00 (approximately US$53.00), no matter the value of shipment.

The importer must be registered with India customs (import must have (IEC) Import Export Code, or customs will assess a fine).

All import shipments consisting of leather (finished or raw), leather accessories/items, animal skins etc require No-objection from Wildlife Regional Office (WLRO) prior to customs clearance.

Certificate of origin reflecting the commodity details is a mandatory requirement to obtain No-objection from WLRO.

All medical products, devices, and supplies, including diagnostic kits, will require a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Health Department. Personal shipments, regardless of quantity and value, will also require a NOC.

The NOC should be obtained upon shipment arrival. The consignee will have to provide a letter explaining what the item is and the purpose of import to the Health Officer. UPS India can provide assistance for submitting the NOC applications provided all documents required are available.

A delay of one additional day is expected.

Laboratory equipment and devices do not need to conform to this requirement. A catalog is required for duty assessment purposes.

Shipments of medicine require a No-Objection Certificate from the Assistant Drug Controller. Pharma samples and shipments of chemicals are subject to stringent examination and are cleared after obtaining a No-Objection certificate from Assistant Drug Controller of India.

The Commercial invoice should clearly state the scientific/chemical name of the commodity. If only the common trade name of the commodity is listed on the invoice, this will create a delay in clearance. The commodity description should be such that it is easily identified by the Custom Authorities and other agencies.

Oxygen Concentrator

Scope of importers covered: B2B, B2C, C2C and COVID products donated by shipper to Indian organization for free distribution in to India.

1. Steps Taken for import of B2B, B2C, C2C:

Basic Customs Duty is exempted on import of Oxygen concentrator including flow meter, regulator, connectors and tubings is exempted. IGST (Integrated Goods and Service Tax- applicable on import) is reduced from 28% to 12% if imported by individual. Import duty relaxations are time bound and shall remain in force up to 31th July and 30th June 2021 (for IGST) respectively, which means, importers have to pay higher cost if imported after aforesaid dates.

Mandatory requirement of pre-import registration under Legal Metrology Act is exempted however importer (B2B shipments only) shall submit relevant declarations to concerned regulatory authorities immediately after import/Customs clearance and before sale by way of stamping or putting sticker or online printing as the case may be. The importers, importing the said medical devices under this permission shall inform all such imports with quantity imported to the Director (Legal Metrology) and the Controller (Legal Metrology) in the State, where the import is made, immediately after import. This is again time bound exemption and shall be applicable up to 28 July 2021.

1-Documentary Requirements (B2B cases)

Invoice with commercial value of product-Importer & Exporter Code of consignee-gST Registration of consignee-Catalogue of product.

2-Documentary Requirements (B2C/ C2C cases)

Invoice with commercial value of product-KYC document of consignee (Aadhar Card/ Pan Card/ Passport/ Voter ID card)-Bank remittance if purchased online.

Note: Documents are are mandatory for swift import clearance.

Shipments of nutritional supplements require a No Objection Certificate (NOC) issued by the Drug Controller.
Shipments of radios and radio equipment require an import license from the Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing, Ministry of Communication.
Sample shipments cannot exceed 10 pieces of the same model. Samples without clear descriptions are subject to a Customs inspection. Brochures, catalogs, and advertising literature cannot be shipped as samples. These items are subject to import duties regardless of value.
Shipments of satellite equipment require an import license from the Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing, Ministry of Communication.
Secured/RSA tokens are dutiable and should not be shipped as documents. An invoice with the actual value of the token based on the agreement between the sender and the receiver is required for customs clearance. Customs may re-assess the declared value.
Films or Videocassette tapes for training, educational, and in-house advertising purposes must be accompanied by full documentations and a written synopsis of the films' content. All films and videocassettes are subject to censorship and Customs duty, which will delay clearance. The consignee is responsible for the payment of any charges pertaining to the import.

All films should have the following on the accompanying invoice:

Country or Territory of Origin-Contents and title of the film-Purpose of Import.

For beta tapes and films, Customs requires a copy of the agreement made between the buyer and seller or any other document of sale where the value of the contents is clearly stated.

The Government of India has made it mandatory for all mobile phones imported into India to have a clearly identified IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identification ) Number. The IMEI numbers should also reflect on the commercial invoice.
Shipments of textiles require a Testing Certificate, issued by the Textile Ministries of India, for contents of hazardous dyes. Clothing containing hazardous dye will not be customs cleared.
The Government of India has recently announced that Importation of toys into India under India's Customs Classification numbers 9501, 9502 and 9503 is now prohibited up to January 23, 2010, except for those accompanied by the following certificates:

  • A certificate that the toys being imported conform to the standards prescribed in ASTM F963 or standards prescribed in ISO 8124 (Parts I-III) or IS 9873 (Parts I-III) or standards prescribed in EN71
  • A Certificate of Conformance from the manufacturer that representative samples of the toys being imported have been tested by an independent laboratory which is accredited under International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC) Mutual Recognition Arrangement and found to meet the specifications indicated above. The certificate would also link the toys in the consignment to the period of manufacture indicated in the Certificate of Conformity.
Shipments of Vitamins require a No-Objection Certificate from the Assistant Drug Controller.

Pharma samples and shipments of chemicals are subject to stringent examination and are cleared after obtaining a No-Objection certificate from Assistant Drug Controller of India.

The Commercial invoice should clearly state the scientific/chemical name of the commodity. If only the common trade name of the commodity is listed on the invoice, this will create a delay in clearance. The commodity description should be such that it is easily identified by the Custom Authorities and other agencies.

Prohibited or Restricted Commodities

In addition to the commodities which UPS prohibits to all countries or territories served (listed here), it is prohibited to ship the following commodities to India.

Antique shipments are restricted from Europe, the Middle East and Africa and can only be shipped with an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract. Antiques are defined as a work of art, piece of furniture, decorative object, or silverware that is 100 years old or older.
Artwork shipments are restricted from Europe, the Middle East and Africa and can only be shipped with an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract.

Paintings or other works of art can be accepted if the artist is still alive, the artwork is replaceable and an art dealer or gallery has appraised the artwork within the last year. If the declared value of the artwork is greater than $100.00 and there is a claim, the shipper must provide a copy of the original invoice, a bill of sale, or other proof certifying in writing the actual cost or replacement cost of the item.

Artwork includes the following: Original engravings, prints, lithographs, original sculptures, statuary. The term "Artwork" does not apply to: architectural, engineering, industrial, topographical, commercial drawings, hand-painted or hand-decorated manufactured articles

Perishables are not allowed to be imported in courier/express and customs clearance is done through the Cargo terminal-this can be changed as allowed to clear if consignee can produce the NOC from concerned government authority such as Additional Drug Controller, FSSAI, and WLRO etc.

Please ensure such commodities are not sent through express mode to avoid delay in clearance.

The items in scope are prohibited from being sent through express for commercial use. The items below cannot be sent as gifts or as samples:

Perishables goods, Plants and seeds, Precious and semi-precious stones, Gold and silver, Nutritional supplements, Drugs and cosmetics, Confectionary, Dried and fresh fruit, Vegetables, Spices, Honey, Chocolate, Tinned food, Meat and animal products, Milk and milk products and Medicines for commercial use.

If any of the above mentioned items are sent for personal use, clearance and delivery will be subject to approval from Customs.

Drones are prohibited goods under the Indian Customs Act.

All airport and cargo customs officers have been notified about the regulation and made clear that drones should be restricted/prohibited item for India, and should not be allowed to enter into India at any cost, no matter if Import of Drones/ Toy drones are regulated by Indian customs and can only be cleared post importer complying with following norms.

Importer in India must ensure below stated documents before import in to India;

Clearance certificate from DGCA

Airworthiness certificate or airworthiness certificate exemption letter by Quality Council of India

SIL (Special import license from DGFT)

Any import without aforesaid documents will be subject to penalty on importer and UPS to bring shipment in to India without any valid documents. All such penalty cost would be billed back to origin without any ERN approval.

All E-Cigarettes and parts required for a E-Cigarette are completely prohibited in India for Export and Import.
Any form of arms and ammunition is strictly prohibited including any form of toy gun or gun replica.

(Except Guns for consignee who is a renowned shooter and has all valid license from authorities for clearance and import of such goods).

License holder like film productions having valid license and NOC from MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs).

Emirates and Lufthansa (used by UPS to ship to and from Mumbai, India) have an embargo on Lithium Ion Battery type UN3480 (PI 965 ).
No restrictions from Customs point of view, from Airline perspective not allowed on commercial airlines.
Strictly Prohibited
Passports can only be sent to an Embassy in India.
As per the latest notice issued by Mumbais Customs Commissioner, consumables/perishables are not allowed to be imported and customs cleared through the Mumbai express terminal, effective immediately.

Instruction from Mumbais Commissioner is that such commodities will need to be transferred from the express terminal to the cargo terminal for importers to complete the clearance procedure as per cargo regulation.

Please ensure such commodities are not sent through express mode to avoid delay in clearance.

The items in scope are prohibited from being sent through express for commercial use. The items below cannot be sent as gifts or as samples-

Perishables goods, Plants and seeds, Precious and semi-precious stones, Gold and silver, Nutritional supplements, Drugs and cosmetics, Confectionary, Dried and fresh fruit, Vegetables, Spices, Honey, Chocolate, Tinned food, Meat and animal products, Milk and milk products, Medicines for commercial use.

If any of the above mentioned items are sent for personal use, clearance and delivery will be subject to approval from Mumbai Customs. As of January 31, 2019, this regulation has only been enforced at Mumbai Airport. UPS, along with Indias Express Industry Counsel is working with Mumbai Customs to ensure minimal impact to our customers.

UPS is working on contingency plans to ensure current and potential imports through Mumbai are successfully cleared.

Personal effects (Classified under CTH/HTS 9803) are restricted for courier clearance, can be cleared only in cargo terminal under baggage mode where these goods can be cleared but consignee should fulfil below conditions:

Should have valid passport and Visa-should have travelled from origin to destination-Should have valid Air ticket- Shipment should be booked as Same shipper and same consignee-Period of travel history must be within 6 months

Products made in Iran are prohibited in our service due to a current embargo.
Shipments of seeds require a No-Objection Certificate from the Plant and Quarantine Office.
Shipments of used electrical & electronic equipment (for example, used computers, CRT, RAM, electrical or electronic assemblies and etc.) require a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Ministry of Environment & Forest (MOEF). The Consignee is responsible for the application of the NOC.
India prohibts importation of used items of any nature, whether for personal, commercial or professional use unless consignee is able to obtain a Special Import License (SIL) granted by the Director General of Foreign Trade in India.

Used goods are not allowed to clear in Express Terminal.


NOTE: Information provided by UPS is provided AS IS, may not be current, and does not constitute legal advice. In no event shall UPS be liable for any errors in the information, forms or features made available by UPS, or by any third party site linked to from UPS. Selection and completion of proper forms for any given shipment is the sole responsibility of the shipper. All shipments are subject to the UPS Terms and Conditions of Service in effect at the time of shipping for the country or territory of origin.
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