Cost of Sending iPhone 6 To India From USA – Custom Duty and Shipping?

Total cost including custom duty, shipping and other taxes to ship iphone 6 to India from USA. The cost and exchange rate may not make it fruitful.

Cost of Sending iPhone 6 to India

How much does it cost to send an iPhone 6 to India from USA? Any idea?

I got this query from my Indian friends when the iPhone 6 was launched this week and some of them wanted it in their hand before it is launched in India.
They are even ready to pay the extra price!

I have heard that iPhone 6 plus was selling for whopping 1.5 lakhs in Gray market with iPhone 6 standard going for 1 lakh. People are asked to deposit 50% of cost in advance and rest needs to be paid once they receive the phone. On the other hand, I found some international re-sellers selling it starting INR 68K on eBay Global buy.

Isn’t that a HUGE game plan? The gray market person is certainly making 100% of profit on some iPhone 6 models.

There is a new article on the complete process to send a used mobile phone from USA to India by USPS here. It includes details about custom forms and custom Clearance in India.

I tried to analyse the total cost of sending 1 iPhone to India if I buy it from USA and use the normal mailing channel to send it to India.

Here are the costs involved for iPhone 6 64 GB models:

iPhone 6 (64 GB)iPhone 6 Plus (64 GB)
Basic Price (in USD)749849
Sales Tax (@6.5% – Could be different in your state)4955
Shipping to your home or pick – up from store*00
Mailing Cost (Fedex/UPS – standard shipping – 1 pound packet)126126
Transit Insurance (@2% of declared value)1517
Total (in USD)9391,047
Total (in INR)(1 USD = INR 60)56,34062,820
* I assumed that Apple offered free shipping or you picked up the phone from an apple store to keep this cost as zero.

Cost of sending iphone to India by Fedex

Cost of sending iphone to India by Fedex – Boston to Delhi

Cost of sending iPhone 6 to India from USA by mail

Cost of sending iPhone 6 to India from USA by mail

Custom Duty and Taxes in India

Now, when this package reaches India, you will have to pay customs duties and taxes. The mobile comes under the cell phones category and hence there is no duty at this time (September 2014).

But, wait, no duty does not mean no charges! There are certain other types of fees that you need to pay for importing goods in India.

Here is the break up as per best of my research:

Custom duty in India for importing mobile phones

Custom duty and taxes in India for mobile phones


CIF cost means the total of Cost, Insurance and Freight.

For the purpose of customs validation, the CIF value is the price paid for the goods plus the cost of transportation, loading, unloading, handling, Insurance and associated costs incidental to the deliver of good from place of export to place of import.

This is precisely the value that custom’s values your imported item at. The other charges are calculated on this CIF value.

In our example, this CIF value is the total money that you have spent for the item in USA including all expenses. So, we start the calculation from there.

All in INRiPhone 6 (64 GB)iPhone 6 Plus (64 GB)
ACIF value5634062820
BCustom Duty00
CLanding Charges (1% of CIF)563.4628.20
DSub-total (A + B + C)56903.463448.2
ECountervailing duty (12% of (CIF + Duty + Landing Charges) i.e. D)6828.47613.7
FSub-total (D + E)63731.871061.9
GCESS (3% of (Duty + Countervailing Duty) i.e. E)204.8228.4
HSub-total (F + G)63936.671290.3
IAdditional Countervailing duty (1% of H)639.3712.9
JGrand Total (H + I): Final cost to you64,57672,003
KTotal Custom Taxes (J – A)8,2369,183

Did you understand this table? Don’t worry, the calculations are a bit complex (as are always in India).

The crux of the matter is that

  • iPhone 6 standard 64 GB would cost you 64,576 in Indian rupees if your friend in USA buys and sends it to you in India by mail. Here you will pay 8,236 INR as custom taxes.
  • iPhone 6 plus 64 GB would cost you 72,003 in Indian rupees if your friend in USA buys and sends it to you in India by mail with 9,183 INR as custom taxes.

The above calculation might be a bit complex for a layman.
Hence, if you want to take a figure in your mind, you can consider about 14.61% or to round it off as 15% of the CIF value as customs charges.

For example:

If the total cost (CIF) in INR is 60,000 for a mobile,
then add about 15% of 60,000 as custom taxes and charges.

Final price would be: 60,000 + 9,000 (15% of 60,000) = 69,000.

Does it make sense to buy iPhone 6 from USA and ship to India?

If you carefully understand the calculations, you are approximately paying about 40% extra for the phone.

iPhone 6 Standard 64 GBiPhone 6 Plus 64 GB
Total Cost (In hand in USA)$798$904
Total Cost (In hand in USA) (1 USD = 60 INR)INR 47,880INR 52,240
Total Cost (In hand in India)(INR)64,57672,003
EXTRA payout (Shipping and custom taxes) (INR)16,69619,763

As per the rumors, the estimated launch price of iPhone 6 standard in India is somewhere between INR 60k to 65k for 64 GB.

Isn’t it the same price that you would pay if you get it mailed from USA?

Marking the parcel as GIFT to evade custom duty/tax?

This would be the next best advice you will get from any fellow desi abroad. Well, that is true, but to a certain extent. Remember, customs in India are also the same desi with same mindset! haha.

So, you can ONLY gift up-to INR 10,000 worth of single package and that too without bill. The value of 10K is converted value after applying relevant exchange rate. Also, postal charges or airfreight or insurance is not taken into account to find the value of product.

NOTE: If the value of the gifts received is more than INR 10,000, the receiver has to pay Customs duty on the whole consignment, even if the goods were received free.

Who can be a sender of GIFT?

Any person abroad can send gifts. There is no specific restriction that only relatives can send the goods. Business associate, friends, relatives, companies or acquaintances can also send the gifts to residents in India. No proof is required.

Who pays the custom duty and taxes and how?

The receiver pays the custom duty and taxes. Normally, when the shipment reaches India, your postal company would run it through customs. Custom officer would create a custom invoice and the postal company would either call you to keep the money ready or ask you to deposit the money first.

Once you deposit the money, you will be handed over your shipment. Most of the companies these days like BlueDart, Fedex etc. have streamlined the process. They would call you before coming to deliver the package and ask to keep the money ready. You pay the custom duty to the delivery boy itself.

What is the time frame to get iPhone 6 shipped in India from USA?

As per the best estimates as of today (17 September), the iPhone 6 standard versions are shipped to USA resident in 7-10 days. Add another 5-6 days for shipping to India.

On the other hand, iPhone 6 Plus has shipping delays of 3-4 weeks within USA if ordered today and best time have been seen as first week of November. Shipping on to India would take another week.

If you rely on this news about Apple delaying the iPhone 6 launch date in India to November, your efforts of getting your hands on iPhone before launch in India may just go in vain.

Is there any sales tax on imported goods/mobile in India?

No, no sales tax is charged on imported goods at this time.

I have made all calculations and provided information to the best of knowledge and research. Please correct or share more information about it if you had any experience of sending a mobile phone to India from USA.


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