Moving to India

Country Guide: India

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • 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
  • Packing list
  • List of electronic items
  • Authority Letters (Diplomats)
  • Duty-free Exemption Certificate issued by Diplomatic Mission in India (Diplomats)
  • Original Ocean Bill of Lading (OBL) / Copy of Air Waybill (AWB)
  • Original Residence Permit (foreigners)
  • Visa (foreigners)

Specific Information

  • The shipper 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.
  • Air shipments must be dispatched from the origin airport within 15 days after the arrival of the shipper in India.
  • Sea shipments must be dispatched from the origin seaport within 1 month after the arrival of the shipper in India.
  • Shipments may arrive at the India airport / seaport 2 months prior to arrival of the shipper; 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. Note: Customs regulations are the same throughout India. However, the regulations may be interpreted differently amongst the various Customs offices.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original Passport
  • Original Manufacturer’s Invoice
  • Import License
  • Insurance Policy
  • Certificate of Title / Registration
  • OBL
  • Duty Exemption Certificate

Specific Information

  • 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.
  • Left-hand drive vehicles cannot be imported.
  • New vehicles may only be imported from the country of manufacture.
  • Used vehicles can only be imported through the Customs port at Mumbai.

Pets

Documents Required

  • Vaccination Record
  • Veterinary Health Certificate

Specific Information

  • Only one cat, dog or parrot may be imported at the time of shipment.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • New items are subject to duties (invoice must be supplied).
  • Customs duties are approximately 15-15.3% to be levied on the following items:
    • Televisions
    • Digital video disc players
    • Video home theatres
    • Music systems
    • Microwaves
    • Dishwashers
    • 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 (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 35 to 61%.
  • The following items may qualify for free import if within the limits indicated:
    • Foodstuffs import duty free (excluding fruit products) up to cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value of INR 50,000
    • 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)

Prohibited Items

  • Beef and beef products
  • Narcotics, non-branded drugs and psychotropic substances
  • Obscene literature, photographs or films
  • Politically subversive literature

Consignment Instructions

Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.

Helpful Website(s):

http://www.state.gov/p/sca/ci/in
http://www.indianembassy.org