Country Guide: India
Household Goods and Personal Effects
- Original passport (copy of Passport duly certified is accepted for diplomats)
- Valued list of articles with date of purchase
- Baggage customs declaration signed by owner of the goods
- Packing list
- List of electronic items
- Authority letters (diplomats / non-diplomats, refer to agents for more information)
- Duty-free exemption certificate issued by diplomatic organization in India
- Original bill of lading (OBL) / sea waybill / copy of air waybill (AWB)
- Original residence permit (foreigners)
- Valid visa / PIO card for foreign nationals
- Employment letter / transfer letter / assignment letters
- The packing list must be stamped by the Consulate / the Embassy for diplomatic shipments.
- The owner of the goods must be present for Customs clearance.
- All shipments are subject to Customs examination unless a diplomatic shipment.
- All containers (except diplomat) are offloaded at the point of entry (POE) / (TOE) and reloaded into vans.
- Foreign nationals must possess a visa valid for 1 year.
- Indian nationals must have lived abroad for at least 2 years preceding transfer to India and intend to reside in India for a period of at least 1 year.
- Owner of the goods must have not must not have visited India for more than 180 days in the preceding 2 years.
- Air shipments must be dispatched from the origin airport within 15 days after the arrival of the owner of the goods in India.
- Sea shipments must be dispatched from the origin seaport within 1 month after the arrival of the owner of the goods in India.
- Shipments may arrive at the India airport / seaport 2 months prior to arrival of the owner of the goods; however, the shipment will be subject to demurrage or detention as applicable.
- Electronic items should be loaded in the front (opening side) of the container or lift-van
- A list of electronic items should be provided on a separate sheet.
IAM Note: Customs regulations are the same throughout India. However, the regulations may be interpreted differently amongst the various Customs offices.
- Original passport
- Original manufacturer’s invoice
- Import license
- Insurance policy
- Certificate of title / registration
- Duty exemption certificate (diplomats)
IAM Note: Not all ports / terminals in India are allowed to import cars. It is advisable to check with the destination agent / branch prior to shipping.
- The import of motor vehicles is a detailed, conditional and complicated procedure and is not recommended.
- Duties are generally higher than 100%.
- Diplomatic motor vehicles are allowed to be imported free of duty if covered by a duty exemption certificate issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, subject to the Ministry approval.
- Only right-hand drive vehicles are allowed to be imported
- Only cards that meet Euro III pollution norms are allowed (must have manufacturer’s certificate)
- New vehicles may only be imported from the country of manufacture.
- Used vehicles can only be imported through the Customs port at Mumbai.
- Vaccination record
- Veterinary health certificate
- Only one cat, dog or parrot may be imported at the time of shipment.
- New items are subject to duties (invoice must be supplied).
- Customs duties are approximately 15.45% to be levied on the following items:
- Digital video disc players
- Video home theatres
- Music systems
- Air conditioners
- Refrigerators above 300 L or equivalent
- Deep freezers
- Fax machines
- Word processors
- Video cameras
- Portable photocopying machines
- Gold or silver in any form other than ornaments
- Cinematographic films of 35 mm and above
- Firearms, ammunition and weapons
- Restricted item must be included with the household goods shipment.
- A license must be obtained prior to import.
- Duplicate items or items in sums of excess of Rs. 150,000 (Rs. 500,000 in Delhi and Mumbai) are duties of approximately 36.01 to 61%.
- Import of foodstuffs / edibles varies between different cities throughout India.
- It is advisable to check with the respective destination agent and then include in the shipment.
- The following items may qualify for free import if within the limits indicated:
- Alcohol (2 L) – transport is recommended as part of the shipment, not as accompanied baggage
- Wine (2 L)
- Perfume (59 ml)
- Cigarettes (200), cigars (50), tobacco (250 g)
- Beef and beef products
- Narcotics, non-branded drugs and psychotropic substances
- Obscene literature, photographs or films
- Politically subversive literature
Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.