Know How To Import & Export Through Courier
In the International Trade import and export of high value, low weight goods
through Courier by air has come into vogue for quite sometime. For regulating
the said import and export, the Government of India had framed Courier Imports
(Clearance) Regulation in 1995 and has subsequently revised it by framing an up
to date Courier Imports and Exports (Clearance) Regulations in 1998. Private
companies have been registered as authorised couriers in the International
Airports at Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Calcutta, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad
and Jaipur by the Customs Commissioner of the respective places.
What can be sent
All types of goods can be sent through the courier mode into India and out of
India except few articles. The goods which are prohibited for import through
• Animals & parts thereof or plants & parts thereof,
• perishable goods,
• publications containing maps showing incorrect boundaries of India,
• Gold or silver in any form,
• Precious and semi precious stones & Studded jewellery,
• Chemicals of chapter 28, 29 & 38 of the first schedule to Customs Tariff Act
which need testing
Similarly, the export of the following goods are also restricted:
• Goods which are subject to levy of any duty on their export,
• Goods proposed to be exported with claim for Draw Back of Customs duty,
• Goods exported under Duty Entitlement Pass Book Schemes or Duty Exemption
Scheme or Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme, and
• Goods where the value of consignment is above Rs. 25,000/- and Waiver from the
RBI not to bring in Foreign Exchange is not available,
Samples, Gifts and Trade Goods :
(1) Document on any form including messages, information or data recorded on
papers, cards, photographs which are not subjected to any prohibition or
restrictions can be imported and exported.
(2) Bonafide commercial samples can be imported through courier provided the
said samples are being received free of cost (see Import of Samples). Similarly,
gifts from persons abroad upto the value of Rs. 5,000/- and all the life saving
drugs and equipments which are not chargeable to any duty at present (see
Notification 20/99-Cus) can also be sent to India through the courier mode.
(3) Commercial goods which are dutiable can also be imported through the courier
without any restriction of quantity subject to payment of duty by the courier
company at the time of clearance of the said goods from the Customs.
The value relates to which country
• Q. Whether the value of Rs. 5,000/- for the gift or the commercial samples
means the value of the goods in India or the country of sender?
• A. The value of Rs. 5,000/- is the export value of the goods excluding locally
refundable taxes like VAT in the country from where the goods have been
despatched. In case of gifts and samples up to Rs. 5000/- it does not include
freight or courier charges and insurance. However, in case of goods valued above
Rs. 5000/- it freight and insurance would be added to calculate the duty
payable. The sender may not necessarily be residing in the country from where
the goods have been despatched. A sender in U.K. can send goods from South Korea
to India. The value in South Korea would be taken into consideration.
Are There any Prohibited Goods :
• Q. What types of goods cannot be sent as gift or commercial samples through
• A. All types of goods which are banned for import under the Foreign Trade
(Development and Regulation) Act, 1992 are banned for import into India even as
gifts or as commercial samples. The example of such goods are wild animals, wild
birds or parts of wild animals and birds, narcotic drugs like opium, marijuana,
ivory, arms like revolvers or pistols or other hand guns and ammunitions
• Q. How to send magazines/books containing map of India?
• A. It is not possible for ordinary sender to know whether the magazines or
books containing the map correctly shows the boundary of India or not. It is,
therefore, safe to stamp or write across the map(s) that this map may not show
the correct boundary of India.
• Q. Can a person send jewellery to any manufacturer in India as sample?
• A. Gold jewellery or studded jewellery including samples thereof is not
allowed to be imported by or sent to ordinary persons in India through courier
route. However, the units in export processing zones or Export Oriented Units
are allowed to import gems and jewellery, including samples thereof, through an
authorised courier. However, the jewellery and its samples can be exported by
all units through the courier.
Why the prohibition on Perishables and Chemicals
• Q. Why there is a prohibition for import of chemicals and perishable goods
even of low value?
• A. It is not convenient to handle perishable goods through normal courier
mode. The system of import or export of goods through courier is designed for
very fast movement through the Customs. The chemicals imported may require
testing of the same to ascertain its identity which would need some time and
would also delay the processing other consignments through courier. Therefore,
the import of chemicals have been prohibited through courier route.
Any Weight Limit
Q. Is there any limit of weight and size of the package that can be sent
through the courier?
A. Packages upto 70 Kgs. of weight can be imported to India through courier
mode. However, there is no such weight limit for export of goods through courier
Q. Why there is a restriction on goods to be exported with claim for Draw
Back or any duty entitlement pass-book scheme of Export Promotion Capital Goods
A. Under these schemes additional paper work is involved and, therefore, it
delays clearance of this packet and in addition clearance of other packages is
also delayed. However, these consignments can be cleared through the air-cargo
complex by the same courier company. Invariably the air cargo complex and the
courier terminal are situated side by side and, therefore, there is no
inconvenience to the exporters.
Methods of Dispatch
Q. How Chemicals of small weight or Chemical samples can be sent to India?
A. Chemicals can be sent through the same courier company who would submit it
separately at the Air Cargo Complex for clearance. The Air Cargo Complex is
invariably situated beside the Courier Terminal. However, the clearance is
likely to take more time..
Q. How duty is paid,if leviable?
A. If the duty is small, the Courier Company makes the payment and collects it
from the receiver at the time of delivery of the goods. If the duty assessed is
high, they advise the party of the arrival of the goods and the party clears the
goods directly from the Customs. The courier can get the goods detained, inform
the client and with his consent make the payment of duty.
Q. While sending commercial samples what precautions has to be taken?
A. While sending commercial samples it should be borne in mind that it is duty
free only up to Rs. 5000/- in Q. 1. If you expect your addressee may not clear
on payment of duty please keep it within free limit. In addition, please attach
tags, inscription on the goods showing they are samples. Invoice should be kept
in the package and mention they are samples. The invoice should give correct
Q. Machinery parts are sent abroad through couriers for repairs and
reconditioning etc. what procedure is to be adopted during export of the said
A. While sending the goods abroad, proper documents should accompany the
package. The invoice may be attested by the Customs and a copy retained to
enable Customs to identify the goods at the time of re-import of the said goods.
The repairer may be advised to enclose a copy of sender invoice along with their
own invoice. The repairer may be advised to clearly mention their repair charges
for similar goods in the invoice, even if they have done it free. Along with
invoice or on its body list of jobs carried out (fault list) may be given.
Q. What happens if the part or the machinery which can not be repaired is
A. During re-import such machinery has to bear duty as if it is being imported.
The invoice should show separately cost of such parts/raw materials to enable
Reference Notification :
Notification No. 318-Cus., dated 2-8-1976
Additional duty –
goods of heading 98.04 (other than tobacco products)-exempted
In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 25 of the
Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962), the Central Government, being satisfied that it
is necessary in the public interest so to do, hereby exempts goods (other than
tobacco products), falling under heading No. 98.04 of the First Schedule to the
Customs Tariff Act, 1975 (51 of 1975), when imported into India, from the whole
of the additional duty leviable thereon under section 3 of the second mentioned
Provided that such exemption shall not apply to Colour Television Sets imported
into India under and in accordance with the Order of the Government of India in
the Ministry of Commerce No. 29/82, dated the 11th October, 1982 (relating to
Open General License No. 23/82, dated the 11th October, 1982), made under
section 3 of the Imports and Exports (Control) Act, 1947 (18 of 1947).
Notification No. 318/76-Cus., dated 2-8-1976 as amended by
Notifications No. 227-Cws.,
dated 11-10-1982; No. 263-Cus., dated 2-12-1982 and No. 204/86-Cus., dated
Notification No. 171/93-Cus., dated 16-9-1993
Gifts-imported by post or air freight. – In exercise of the
powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 25 of the Customs Act, 1962 (52
of 1962) and in supersession of the notification of the Government of India in
the Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue No. 107/91-Customs, dated the
25th July, 1991, the Central Government being satisfied that it is necessary in
the public interest so to do, hereby exempts bona fide gifts as are exempted
from any prohibition in respect of the import thereof under the Foreign Trade
(Development and Regulation) Act, 1992 (22 of 1992) and either imported by a
courier as defined in the Courier Imports (Clearance) Regulations, 1995, or
falling under heading 98.04 of the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act,
1975 (51 of 1975) from the whole of the duty of customsleviable thereon under
the said First Schedule and the whole of the additional duty leviable thereon
under section 3 of the said Customs Tariff Act:
“Provided that the value of such bona fide gifts imported by post or as
air-freight does not exceed rupees five thousand”;
“Explanation – For the purposes of this notification, postal
charges or the air-freight shall not be taken into account for determining the
value limit of rupees five thousand”.
[Notification No. 171/93-Cus., dated 16-9-1993 as amended by Notifications No.
100/95-Cus., dated 26-5-1995; No. 101/95-Cus., dated 26-5-1995; No. 28/98-Cus.,
dt. 2-6-1998 and No. 87/99-Cus., dated 6-7-1999.]
Source : http://www.cbec.gov.in/