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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.
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 for training, educational, and in-house advertising purposes must be accompanied by full documentation and a written synopsis of the films' content. All film 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 the 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.

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.

Electronics and Information Technology Goods (Requirements of Compulsory Registration)

With effect from July 3rd, 2013, Indian Government requires manufacturers, sales outlets or Indian importers to have their Electronics and Information Technology goods registered by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) approved laboratory prior to importation, distribution or sale in India.

Products must be labeled with "Self declaration - Conforming to IS " upon successful registration with BIS.

This is applicable to 15 types of products as per listed below.

Information Technology Equipment:

  • Laptop/Notebook/Tablet
  • Monitor (min.32")
  • Printer/Plotter
  • Scanner
  • Wireless Keyboard
  • Telephone Answering Machine
  • Set Top Box
  • Automatic Data Processing Machine

Audio, Video and Similar Electronic Apparatus:
  • Plasma/LCD/LED TV (min.32")
  • Optical Disc Player w/ amplifier (min.200W)
  • Amplifier (min.2000W)
  • Electronic Music System (min.200W)
  • Electronic Game (Video)

Additional information on this compulsory registration can be obtained at the following website: http://bis.org.in/other/ITCompReg.htm

Necessary documents to be submitted:

  1. Self Evaluation and Declaration
  2. Test Report from BIS recognized laboratories
Shipments of nutritional supplements require a No Objection Certificate (NOC) issued by the Drug Controller.
Customers must use an authorized UPS / MBE (Mail Boxes Etc) Store, UPS Customer Center or ISC Approved Shipper to ship personal effects.

The UPS Store, Mail Boxes Etc, UPS Customer Center or ISC approved shipper will be required to identify personal effect shipments on the shipping label by placing "Personal Effects" in the Reference Field of a UPS "smart" label or in the Special Instructions Field of a UPS waybill. They must also clearly indicate 'Personal Effects' shipment on the Commercial Invoice.

Personal Effects are classified as used items (owned for a minimum of 6 months) intended for the consignee's personal use. Any items intended for any other use, such as wholesale or retail sales, business purposes, or for distribution are not considered personal effects and cannot be shipped on this basis. "Personal Effects" must be clearly stated on the invoice and goods description.

All of the following documents must be scanned into DIS/SIR and originals on the package:

An inventory list with estimated values with the reason for importation (holidays, move, relocation) A confirmation that the goods are older than 6 months and that they are intended for personal use only A photocopy of passport or ID card Any items intended for any other use, such as wholesale or retail sales, business purposes, or for distribution are not considered personal effects and cannot be shipped on this basis.

Excisable goods (for example, perfume, alcoholic drinks, tobacco), medicine and perishable food can not be cleared as personal effects.

Personal effects shipments are not allowed in combination with Return Services.

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.
Videocassette tapes for training, educational, and in-house advertising purposes must be accompanied by full documentation and a written synopsis of content. All film 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.
  • Duration of the film.

For beta tapes and films, Customs requires a copy of the agreement made between the buyer and the 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 (NOC) from the Drug Controller.

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.

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 its an toy drone or a professional drone.

Electronic Cigarettes can only be shipped with an International Special Commodities (ISC) contract.

An Invoice with adequate description and country or territory of origin is required,along with Certificate of Origin and Import license/permit.

Any form of arms and ammunition is strictly prohibited including any form of toy gun or gun replica.
Emirates and Lufthansa (used by UPS to ship to and from Mumbai, India) have an embargo on Lithium Ion Battery type UN3480 (PI 965 ).
Shipments of Lithium Metal Batteries are prohibited on Emirates Airlines flights which UPS uses to this destination country or territory.

Alternative arrangements are in place, but expect transit delays if the normal planned flow of the package is via Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Time in Transit may be extended due to solution found.

Maps depicting incorrect India boundaries are prohibited.
Passports can only be sent to an Embassy in India.
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.

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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