Import to India is governed by the Foreign Trade Act of 1992 which controls India’s
exports and imports trade. Its goal is to facilitate imports into and exports out
of India. These rules and regulations were further simplified by the EXIM Policy
Importing from China to India is a great opportunity given the geographic proximity
of the two nations to each other. For China & India trade resources, visit http://www.tradeindia.com
As an importer who wants to bring goods into India from China (or from any other
foreign country), it is important for the foreign party to understand the Indian
Overview Import to India Procedures
The following is an overview of the Import to India process.
The vessel, aircraft or ship carrying imported goods to India must enter India only
at designated customs port or airport. For goods entering India by land, the vehicle
needs to follow the approved route and visit the approved land customs station for
The person in charge of the transportation vehicle must submit an Import Manifest
or Import Report within 24 hours of arriving at a customs location.
details are typically provided in this document:
Details of the goods to be unloaded
Any unaccompanied baggage to be shipped
Details on the vessel, the owners and the crew
Unloading of the goods is granted once the customs inspector reviews and approves
the shipment. The unloading process can occur only under watchful eyes of a customs
officer at designated locations. Once unloaded, the goods remain in the custody
of the port authorities until the amount of duties are paid.
When the goods are unloaded, a tally sheet is used to accurately count the quantity
of goods. If the quantity is lower than what is reported, an insurance survey is
carried out to claim for lost goods. However, if the quantity of goods is higher
than what was reported, then the shipper can pay up to twice the amount in tariff
as a penalty. So it is extremely important to have an accurate count of your shipment.
Import to India Procedures in Detail
Bill of Entry
Bill of Entry must be filed by the imported or the agent representing the importer.
There are three types of Bill of Entry:
Bill of Entry for Home Consumption - This white form is used when the imported products
are to be cleared on payment of 100% of the duty for consumption in India.
Bill of Entry for Warehousing or Bond Bill of Entry - This yellow form is used when
the imported products are not immediately required by the imported. Instead, the
products are stored in a warehouse under a bond without payment of the duty. When
the goods are required by the importer, full payment of the duties is expected. This
process enables the importer to defer the duty payments.
Bill of Entry for Ex-bond Clearance - This green form is used for clearing the goods
from the warehouse and payment of duty. The value of the goods is assessed at the
time of entry through the customs port. So this Bill of Entry does not fill that
role. Instead, it is used to determine the duty rate, the rate that is applicable
when the goods are removed from the warehouse. This may be different than the rate
originally assessed at the time of entry into India especially if the goods have
been stored for a long time.
Assessment and Clearance
Submitted documents by the importer or his agent are checked and assessed by the
customs officials. Once approval is granted, the goods are cleared or released.
The Bill of Entry submitted by the importer is checked against the Import Manifest
from the shipper to ensure quantity and content accuracy. Any variance between the
two must be reconciled by the importer. The duty rate is assessed when the Bill
of Entry is submitted. The importer can submit the Bill of Entry one week prior
to the vessel arrives to the customs port. The duty rate is applied on the day when
the vessel arrives.
When the Bill of Entry is presented, it is sent to the appraisal department. Goods
are examined and a value for the goods is assigned with the appropriate duty rate.
The goods are also checked to ensure that there are no illegal goods. The importer
can pay the duties in cash, bank draft, or through an account balance.
The Bill of Entry is returned to the Importer for payment. The importer has 7 days
to pay the duty. If it is not paid within this period, then a penalty of 20% annual
interest will be applied.
Provisional (Tentative) Assessment
This may be granted if it is necessary to carry chemical tests on the goods for validation
or if the importer does not have the required documents.
Bill of Entry is sent to the licensing department to ensure that the importer abides
by India's Import Export policy.
Out of Customs Charge
Upon completed of all the above steps, an out of customs order will be issued. It
is only then that the goods can be removed by the importer.
Delay Due to Customs Formalities
Penalties called demurrage are assessed if all the goods are not removed within 3
days of unloading. The only exception is if the delay is due to the customs formalities
and it is not the fault of the importer. At that point, the customs authorities
will issue a certificate indicating that the delay is due to bonafide customs formalities.
Self Assessment of Bill of Entry by Green Channel of import.
Under certain circumstances, the importer may assess the duty by him or herself.
This speeds up the customs process. These are some of the conditions where self
assessment may be permitted.
Goods have no import restrictions or fall under negative list of goods.
Must be a single product not multiple products
Importer regularly imports that item.
Import products do not require any bond.
From the Indian dress code to the English influence, it is vital for your import
partner to learn the India Business Culture.
For the foreigners who want to export to India, some India Travel Tips are vital
to navigating this diverse land. The country is full of sights and sounds which can
be overwhelming to the uneducated foreign traveler.
Nameer P, Import from China to India
“It is good to see such a wonderful website. I wanted to import goods from other
countries to India. Your advice was invaluable in getting us started in importing
Once you identify a potential industry and a product to import from China, you will
need to determine how to import the product into the India. More often than not,
this will be accomplished through the sea channel. Shipping to India requires that
you know the different major and minor ports and the many shipping companies involved
in international trade by sea.
Toolsfor importing from China: Books, DVD’s, Supplier Agreements.