Import & Export Through Courier - CBIC
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 courier are:
- 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.
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.
Q. What types of goods cannot be sent as gift or commercial samples through courier?
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.
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.
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 from India.
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 Scheme?
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.
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 value.
Q. Machinery parts are sent abroad through couriers for repairs and reconditioning etc. what procedure is to be adopted during export of the said goods.
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 replaced?
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 proper valuation.