Country Information-India (IMPORT)

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The following are guidelines to assist you in completing customs formalities for your international shipments. The data is correct to the best of our knowledge. However, Blue Dart Express Limited will not be responsible for any omissions or changes in procedures at the time of shipment.

The Customs procedures given below pertain to:

To enable speedy clearance of loads, the Courier Imports Regulation 87/98 (formerly known as 35/95) was introduced by the Government of India. This regulation stipulates that:




Documents are cleared through customs on arrival. They are passed through X-ray machines and cleared immediately.

Non-documents that are classified as documents may be subject to fines and penalties imposed by customs for misdeclaration.

Given below is a general classification of documents:


2.Gifts and Samples

The Courier Imports Regulations permit Duty Free clearance of gifts and samples valued up to ₹ 10,000

Important Note:
The value limit of ₹ 10,000 should be the ACTUAL MARKET VALUE OF THE SHIPMENT i.e. the price at which the goods would be sold in the market place. Customs reserves the right to adjudicate correct market values and, in such cases, duty would be levied on the shipments regardless of the value declared by the shipper.

Shipments are opened and checked at random during customs clearance. Shipments may be required to be detained at customs for further documentation or valuation purposes.

3.All other shipments

Shipments must be accompanied by a 'printed' Commercial Invoice that should declare the Actual Market Value of the Goods. Customs reserve the right to adjudicate correct market values and duty would be levied on such re-assessed 'fair value'.

It is in the interest of the shipper and the consignee to declare the correct value of the goods. Values declared for customs purposes only, values wrongly declared, etc. would result in shipments being detained and the consignee being asked to produce catalogues, technical write-ups or manufacturer's price lists, which would result in clearance delays.

Every package is opened and examined by customs. Shipments may be required to be detained at customs for further paperwork or valuation purposes.

Shipments that are detained are submitted to the Express Industry Council Warehouse, which is a customs bonded warehouse, and a Detention Note is issued for each detained shipment.

Customs Assessment
All import shipments are assessed by customs on a CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) basis only.


  • FOB (Free on Board): Where values are declared on an FOB basis (or nothing declared), 20% towards Freight Cost and 1.125% towards insurance cost is added to the value declared, to arrive at the CIF cost.
  • C&F (Cost and Freight): Where values are declared on a C&F basis, 1.125% Insurance Cost is added to the C&F Value to arrive at the CIF Cost.


In addition to the above, for all import shipments, 1% of the CIF value is added towards landing charges. All assessments are done on the CIF Cost Plus 1% landing charges.

Customs may adjudicate 'fair value' of a shipment based on information that they have, in case they feel that the value declared by the Shipper is incorrect. Duty would be levied on such fair value.

Customs Clearance Hours
Clearance of all samples, gifts, packages is undertaken by customs during the normal working hours i.e. between 10:30 hours to 17:00 hours only. Every second Saturday of the month is observed as a holiday, and customs do not work on Sundays.

Goods Prohibited for carriage into India on the COB Mode


  • Precious metals - gold, silver etc.
  • Gems and jewellery.
  • All items that require testing by regulatory authorities (such as chemicals, powders, liquids etc.)
  • Plants and parts thereof.
  • Animals and parts thereof.
  • Currency in any denomination or form (unused stamps, activated credit/debit card, unused activated traveller cheques, etc.
  • Individual packages weighing over 70 kgs each.
  • Maps indicating incorrect boundaries of India.
  • Perishables.


Prohibited items when imported into India by the COB mode could result in:


  • Customs permitting clearance subject to levy fines and penalties on the consignee as well as the authorised courier.
  • Customs confiscating the shipment in addition to levy of fines and penalties.


Detained Shipments
The following shipments are generally detained by customs for the reasons given below:



Prescription Drugs

All prescription drugs/medication for 'personal use' must be accompanied by a prescription of a registered medical practitioner and must have the correct value declared. There are many drugs termed as LIFE SAVING DRUGS - some falling under List 3 of the customs tariff 2002-03, which attract duty of 26.67% and others under List 4 of the Customs tariff 2002-03, which attract NIL duty.

Consignees wishing to avail of Duty Exemptions of other than listed Life Saving Drugs must approach the Director General Health Services and obtain Duty Exemption Certificate prior to import.

All prescription drugs require to be first cleared by the Assistant Drug Commissioner of Customs. A doctor's prescription is essential. Once the 'No Objection Certificate' is obtained, the shipment is presented to Customs for valuation and clearance.

The commercial invoice depicting the correct name of the drug, as well as the correct value, would ensure immediate clearance, after obtaining the 'No Objection Certificate" from the Assistant Drug Commissioner. Customs reserve the right to demand the supplier's bills or price lists.

Many pharmaceuticals/drugs may be required to be cleared through the Assistant Commissioner of Drugs by providing Form 10/Form 11 which are a form of Import License. This is generally required for consignees who are pharmaceutical companies. Once these forms are provided, the shipment would be cleared through customs, subject to valuation and levy of duty, where applicable.

For Valuation Purposes
Shipments not accompanied by a Commercial Invoice depicting the actual market value of the goods, or where customs have any concerns regarding the value declared, would be detained. Such shipments can only be cleared through customs upon production of the following by the consignee:


  • Commercial Invoice.
  • Catalogue.
  • Manufacturer's Price List.
  • Technical Write Up.


To ensure speedy clearance of the shipment, it is in the interest of the shipper and consignee to ensure correct values are declared at all times, and catalogues of the items accompany the consignment.

100% Export Oriented Unit, Export Processing Zone, Software Technology Park
Importers situated in Export Processing Zones or Software Technology Parks, or those companies deemed as Export Oriented Units, are granted the benefit of Duty Free Imports.

For shipments destined to such importers, it is mandatory for shippers to ensure that the status of the importer is clearly declared on the waybill as well as on the Commercial Invoice. Otherwise, such shipments may be treated as normal, dutiable shipments.

For shipments detained by customs, importers are required to customs clear through their own service providers and fulfil the necessary customs obligations. Customs do permit transhipment of such shipments to other International Customs Airports in India. The consignee is required to appoint a registered customs house agent (customs broker), who would have to file a regular bill of entry for imports, to undertake such clearance.

Requirement of Duty Exemption Certificate
Certain importers may avail of clearance of shipments under concessional rate of duty subject to provision of a Duty Exemption Certificate along with an Essentiality Certificate.
Such importers are:


  • Government Organisations.
  • Recognised Universities and Research Institutes.
  • Charitable Organisations.
  • Recognised Hospitals.


Shipments of such importers are detained at customs and can only be cleared against submission of the Duty Exemption Certificate by the consignee.

Import License
Certain items fall under the list of Restricted Items that require clearance under a Special Import Licence (SIL).A SIL is freely available and can be purchased in the open market by any importer for clearance of shipments.
Such shipments can be cleared:


  • Against an Import Licence, in which case the consignee is required to appoint a customs house agent to file a regular bill of entry for imports for clearance. All extra costs are to be borne by the Consignee.
  • Against payment of a penalty/fine in lieu of an Import Licence. In such a case, the consignee is required to write to the customs authorities requesting for adjudication in lieu of an Import Licence.


Proof of Bonafide Exporter
Exporters, who import into India items such as labels and hangtags used in the manufacture of exports, are exempted from payment of Customs Duty. Such shipments may be detained by customs who may request for proof of being a bonafide exporter or proof of export orders, etc.

Generally such shipments are permitted Duty Free clearances against submission of a notarised copy of a valid registration cum membership certificate from an Export Council.

Feature Films
All feature films, in any language, must be accompanied by a Commercial Invoice that should depict the length of the film and a brief synopsis. Such shipments would be detained by customs and clearance is only permitted against a No Objection Certificate from the Censor Board.

Videos and other such goods, containing training material, can be cleared through customs against a declaration from the shipper giving all details of the content, length of the tape, etc.

Customs reserve the right to view such items to verify the contents.

Prohibited Items
Items prohibited for import into India by the Courier-on-Board (COB) mode, may be permitted for clearance against levy of a penalty/fine subject to the following:


  • Chemicals and items that require testing:
    Clearance may be permitted against a regular bill of entry for imports that can only be undertaken by a customs house agent. This would mean that the consignee would have to appoint a customs house agent for the clearance, and the correct valuation papers and a chemical analysis report would also be required.
  • Precious Metals, Gems and Jewellery:
    Clearance may be permitted against a regular bill of entry for imports that can only be undertaken by a customs house agent. The Consignee is required to appoint a customs house agent for the clearance, which involves customs examination at the Diamond Plaza Cargo Complex, and assessment and valuation at the Courier Terminal. This procedure can only be performed by a customs house agent and not by a registered courier.


Important Note: Blue Dart does not carry precious metals, gems and jewellery on its domestic network.

Repair and Return
Items exported from India for repairs and imported after completion of repair, are levied Duty on:


  • To-and-fro Freight Cost.
  • Insurance Cost.
  • Repair Cost.


Such items must be accompanied by a Commercial Invoice that must clearly state the words "Repair and Return" and the repair cost.

These items would be detained at customs and the Consignee is required to submit export documentation in the form of the original export shipping bill as well as the original customs-attested export invoice. Repair and Return benefit would only be granted if the identity of the goods exported is established to be the same as the goods imported after repair i.e. the serial and part numbers of the item must tally and must be stated on both the export and import documentation.

Regular Bill of Entry
The Courier Import Regulations provide for the customs officer to reserve the right to detain any shipment for clearance against a regular Bill of Entry.

Generally, such shipments are those that require clearance against an Import Licence, as well as shipments where the value is more than ₹ 1,00,000/=. All shipments having this value or more require the importer to submit the Exchange Control Copy of the regular Bill of Entry to the Reserve Bank of India at the time of making remittance of the cost of goods to the overseas supplier.

These shipments can only be cleared through customs by filing of a regular bill of entry by a customs house agent, and cannot be cleared against a courier bill of entry.

Blue Dart can offer the services of Skyline International, a reputable customs house agent located at Mumbai, to consignees wishing to appoint a customs house agent. The cost for these services is to be negotiated directly between the Consignee and Skyline International. Skyline International reserves the right to refuse acceptance for clearance of any shipment without allocating any reason to do so.

Concorde Air Logistics Limited is Blue Dart's designated agent for receiving import consolidations.

Consolidated shipments for various destinations across India are received at Mumbai, consigned to Concorde International. On receipt of the shipment, Concorde International sends a Cargo Arrival Notice to the consignee, and would await any of the following instructions:


  • Transhipment of the shipment to international customs airports in India. If the consignee requires this facility, the consignment is transhipped for self-clearance by the consignee.
  • Clearance at Mumbai by the consignee's own customs house agent. In this case, the Delivery Order and documentation would be handed over to the appointed agent for clearance.
  • Clearance by Concorde Air Logistics Limited at Mumbai, and forwarded thereafter to the final destination. Additional charges would apply for this service, subject to the customs documentation involved.


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