Sending Used Phone to India from USA by USPS – My Experience


Sending used mobile from USA by USPS using Fedex delivery in India. My experience with process, custom clearance and forms. 18.16% custom duty is charged.


Cost of Sending Used Phone to India

I get lot a questions asked on the other thread that I wrote on sending iPhone 6 to India and does it make sense to pay 18%+ of custom duty?

The answer depends a lot on the prevailing USD to INR exchange rate and how big a fan of Apple products. Apple is entirely a different story and hence a separate article.

Today, I am going to share my own experience about sending a used mobile phone by postal mail to India, and specifically using the USPS (United states Postal Service) as the carrier.

In this case, these were the details that you would like to know about the phone:

Google LG Nexus 5 (16 GB) White , 2014 version
Declared Price (in USD, has to be greater than zero)$50
Package Weight11 Oz (Less than 1 LB)
Mailing Cost (USPS Global Delivery Express)$108.80
Transit Insurance (FREE up-to $100 declared value)$0
Total (in USD)$158.80
Total (in INR)(1 USD = INR 66.88)INR 10,939

Which mailing service is reliable, cheap, fast and offers custom clearance in India?

Being a desi, I wanted best of all worlds and hence analyzed the 3 main services based on the cost first, then the custom clearance, reliability and last on time-period.

Fedex is most expensive with the cost for 1 LB package around $116. Second spot is taken up by UPS with price tagged at $109.
Out favorite service USPS starts their pricing from $61.45 for priority mail.

The biggest drawback with USPS though is, they use India Post as their delivery partner in India for all their priority mail international services and takes about 7-10 days with NO custom clearance help.

Most of the people would use the USPS priority mail service but I would not recommend it. Instead, use USPS’s another product named ‘Global Delivery Express‘. This, simply for, it uses Fedex delivery in India and they take the pain of custom clearances on your behalf.
This service costs $108.80 with insurance, tracking and 3-5 day guaranteed delivery in India.

I know that it is almost the same price as UPS and a bit less than Fedex. But, you don’t have many options if you want reliability, custom clearance help and faster service.
Even if you have time to spare and don’t care about speed, I would still strongly recommend to use this USPS service.

Here is the custom form and sample receipt for sending via USPS service:

Custom form receipt send mobile to India Via USPS

Custom form receipt send mobile to India Via USPS

Then, the final mobile box would be placed in USPS-Fedex packet like this:

USPS Fedex final package

USPS Fedex final package

Documents required for Custom Clearance in India

Now, when this package reaches India, you will have to pay customs duties and taxes. Don’t worry, you will get a call from the Fedex or a delivery guy will contact you immediately with the documents that you need to furnish. In our case, the Fedex delivery person hand-delivered the list of documents to be submitted with instructions on 3rd day itself and that too after 5 PM.

You can pre-prepare yourself and collect these documents, to expedite the custom clearance. Note all the documents here should be of the person receiving package in India.

This is the letter you can expect you receive when your package reaches India and USPS hand-overs it to them:

Fedex document demand letter for custom clearance In India

Fedex document demand letter for custom clearance In India
  1. 2 Passport Size photograph. If you are sending documents by email, just send one digital copy.
  2. PAN card copy.
  3. Any one of the following:
    • Voter ID card
    • Passport’s first and last page
    • Driving License
    • Bank Statement
    • Ration Card
    • Aadhar Card

Documents to be downloaded and then filled up by person receiving package in India.

Download the KYC Form (Know Your Customer Form) and Authorization Letter from this Fedex India link under section ‘Useful Shipping Forms at Your Fingertips‘.

KYC form has the ‘Checklist’ included in one single download.

  1. Fedex KYC form.
    This is how you will fill up the KYC form (sample):

    Fedex sample KYC form for custom clearance in India

    Fedex sample KYC form for custom clearance in India
  2. Fedex Checklist (Sample given below).

    Fedex checklist for custom clearance in India Sample

    Fedex checklist for custom clearance in India Sample
  3. Fedex Authorization Letter (For getting your package cleared by Fedex on your behalf).

    Fedex Authorization letter for custom clearance in India

    Fedex Authorization letter for custom clearance in India

You can easily send the KYC form, checklist and other scanned copies of documentary proof by email (kycdocs@mail.fedex.com with subject as your FEDEX AWD number. Remember, this is NOT same as USPS tracking code that you would have got in USA). You will find Fedex AWD number on the document demand letter.

Custom Duty and Taxes in India

Here is the break up for this case:

Custom duty is 18.16% of total CIF value for sending mobile to India

Custom duty is 18.16% of total CIF value for sending mobile to India

 

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.

You would need to pay this fees (INR 2399) at the time of delivery to the Fedex person by CASH. They will provide the receipt too (as shown above) with your package.

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.

What is the total time frame to ship mobile to India from USA?

This service by USPS (with Fedex) takes about total of 3-5 working days if there is no custom clearance delay.

If you are submitting the KYC and supporting identity proof documents for the first time to Fedex, there will certainly be a delay of at-least 2-3 days.

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

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


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