Import from India

India, called “the world’s largest democracy,” is one of the fastest developing countries globally, experiencing rapid economic development. With its current economic growth, India is believed to be the most populous country in the world with a young population and the third-largest economy in the world by 2030. India is a prospective market; thus, imports from India are becoming more and more popular.

Import from India – products

In 2018, India was the 13th largest exporter in the world. It was placed between Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.

India was the EU’s 9th largest trading partner in 2018-2019. India’s exports to the European Union for that period was 57.20 US$ billion (17.33% of India’s exports). Among EU Member States, Germany was both the largest importer of goods and the largest exporter of products to India. EU top 3 imported categories of goods were:

  • other manufactured goods (45%)
  • chemicals (19%)
  • machinery and vehicles (17%).

India was the United States’ 10th largest supplier of goods imports in 2018. That same year, US goods imports from India totaled 54.3 US$ billion. The top import categories were:

  • precious metal and stone (diamonds) ($11 billion)
  • pharmaceuticals ($6.3 billion)
  • machinery ($3.3 billion)
  • mineral fuels ($3.2 billion)
  • vehicles ($2.8 billion).

Shipping goods from India

The most popular choice of shipping from India is sea freight. The delivery time depends on the selected shipowner and its current schedule. The transit time to Europe is usually 25-50 days. The cargo reaches the USA in 25-55 days.

Containers leave India mainly from the ports of Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai, Kolkata, and Mundra. The best solution is to choose the port in Mumbai (Nhava Sheva), as this port is mainly used for cargo shipping. The port of Nhava Sheva handles 40% of all container trade in India.

If you order cargo from North India, make sure it is loaded on the train in New Delhi. The goods will then bypass traffic jams and reach the port faster than if they were transported by a truck.

Airfreight is a quicker option, although more expensive than ocean freight. It is worth considering when you are pressed for time or do not want to risk a lot. Main airports of origin in India are, for instance, Kempegowda International Airport, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Mumbai Airport, and Chennai Airport. The estimated transit time to Europe is 10 hours. It takes up to 16 hours for cargo to reach the USA by air.

Particular attention should be paid to the state from which the cargo transport begins. In India, the “interstate tax” is levied on cargo movement from one Indian state to another. Moving cargo between states, for example, from a warehouse in the middle of a country to a coastal state, to load goods onto a ship is taxed, raising the cost of transportation and overall costs.

No matter if you import to the USA or Europe, you can request a quote for both air and sea freight on the ShipHub website. All you need to do is to fill in the form and submit it. The carriers will provide you a price.

Duty on products imported from India to Europe

Custom rates and customs codes applicable in all European Union countries are available in the TARIC – Integrated Tariff of the European Communities. In fact, every EU Member State should provide its tariff system, which includes the VAT rates and excise duties. The systems contain information on import restrictions and possible anti-dumping duties.

Customs duties on goods from India are under Erga Omnes (for all countries) in each product position. To check if any anti-dumping duties have been imposed on a product, search for India in the list of individual countries.

When looking for a duty rate for a product of your interest, enter the custom code or product name in the tariff system’s search engine.

Duty on products imported from India to the USA

In terms of importing to the USA, the current duty rates are in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule System, provided by the United States International Trade Commission. Applicable duty rates for India are in the General sub-column.

Likewise, in the TARIC, to find a specific product, enter the individual word, a phrase, or the custom code in the HTS system’s search engine.

Import documents

First of all, importers in India must obtain an individual Importer-Exporter Code (IEC). The firm’s nature obtaining an IEC may be any of the follows- Partnership, Proprietorship, Limited Company, LLP, Trust, HUF and Society. It is issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Mandatory documents for importing from India:

  • a commercial invoice obtained from the exporter
  • certificate of origin obtained from the exporter
  • sea bill of lading (Bill of Lading, B / L, BOL) from the shipping company or Sea Waybill (SWB) and telex release
  • for air freight, the Air Waybill (AWB)
  • Packing List (P / L).

Furthermore, for imports to the EU, you will need a declaration of customs value and SAD (Single Administrative Document) received after customs clearance.

When importing to the USA, a Custom bond is required, along with an inward cargo manifest or immediate delivery form and an entry summary. Moreover, an Importer Security Filing (10+2 ISF) is mandatory for ocean vessel shipments to the USA.

Additional documents required depending on the type of goods:

  • fumigation certificate issued by customs or sanitary authorities
  • CITES certificate for the import of specimens of fauna and flora
  • CE’ certificate’, test reports, declaration of conformity for some goods imported to the EU
  • a license or permit to import into the US
  • other certificates and documents.

The issue of documents, especially those related to the transport of goods, should be determined when placing the order so that there will be no misunderstandings.

The list of documents for customs clearance with their descriptions is available on the European Commission‘s official website. For tips for new importers to the USA, click here.

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