iPhone to India from USA – Custom Duty, Shipping Cost of sending

By Anil Gupta,  18 Jan, 18       313  Finance

Total cost including custom duty, shipping and other taxes to ship iphone to India from USA is about 66,300 and 73,926. Custom duty and exchange rate make it expensive.

Cost of Sending iPhone to India

How much does it cost to send a new iPhone to India from USA? Any idea?

I get this query from my Indian friends every year when the iPhone is launched in USA and most of them want it in their hand before it is launched in India.
They are even ready to pay the extra price!

I have heard that iPhone plus model sells at whopping 1.5 lakhs in Gray market (heard about Gaffar Market in karol bagh, Delhi?) with iPhone standard going for 1 lakh. Buyers are asked to deposit 50% of cost in advance and rest needs to be paid once they receive the phone.

Isn’t that a HUGE game plan? The gray market certainly makes a good profit on some iPhone models.

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 64 GB models:

iPhone (64 GB)iPhone Plus (64 GB)
Basic Price (in USD)699799
Sales Tax (@6.5% – Could be different in your state)4652
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)1416
Total (in USD)885993
Total (in INR)(1 USD = INR 65)57,52564,545

* 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

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 there is 10% BCD charged on imported mobiles at this time (September 2017). This duty came into effect on July 1, 2017. Earlier, there was no duty charged. Source: NDTV, Forbes

But, wait, there are certain other types of fees too, that you need to pay for importing goods in India apart from this 10% BCD (Basic Custom Duty).

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

CIF (Landing charges)1%
BCD (Basic Custom Duty)10%
IGST (Integrated Goods and Services Tax)12%
Compensation Cess0%
Specific Duty0%
Preferential Duty0%
Final Rate (Does not add up (like 1+10+12 = 23% due to compounding)23.2%

(source)Β CIF cost means the total of Cost, Insurance and Freight.

Cost of sending iphone to India from USA
Cost of sending iphone to India from USA

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 (64 GB)iPhone Plus (64 GB)
ACIF value (Total cost to send from USA)57,52564,545
BLanding Charges (1% of CIF)575645
CSub-total (A + B)58,10065,190
DCustom Duty (BCD – 10%)5,8106,519
ESub-total (C + D)63,91071,709
GAll other cess and charges00
HTotal (E + F + G) Final cost to you71,57980,314
GTotal Customs (H – A)14,05415,769

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 standard 64 GB would cost you 71,579 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 plus 64 GB would cost you 80,314Β 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 24% of the CIF value as customs charges.

For example: If the total cost (CIF) in INR is 60,000 for a mobile,Β then add about 24% of 60,000 as custom taxes and charges.

Final price would be: 60,000 + 14,400 (24% of 60,000) = 74,400.

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

iPhone Standard 64 GBiPhone Plus 64 GB
Total Cost (In hand in USA)$745$851
Total Cost (In hand in USA) (1 USD = 65 INR)INR 48,425INR 55,315
Total Cost (In hand in India)(INR)71,57980,314
EXTRA payout (Shipping and custom taxes) (INR)23,15424,999

If you carefully understand the calculations, you are approximately paying about 50% extra for the phone, if you import.

Indian government takes hell of taxes here.

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 on imported iPhone 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 shipped in India from USA?

As per the best estimates, the iPhone versions are shipped to USA resident in 5-6 days. Add another 5-6 days for shipping to India.

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

Yes, there is GST tax under called Integrated Goods and Services tax that’s levied on imported mobile phones.

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.

  • Astral Dust

    Very good research. Thanks.

  • S

    Thanks πŸ™ So, I should just wait for it in India by Oct or Nov.

  • You are welcome Astral.

  • Yes, I think it makes sense to wait for its launch in India unless your friend can carry it along with him from USA to India. Carrying can save the shipping and custom costs and that would make it cheaper.

  • Emobitech

    If we order it to Ahmedabad instead of Delhi, then do we go to airport to collect it ?

  • No, You don’t have to go airport anywhere. Generally, the shipping company (like FedEx and UPS) have their set-up with customs in India.
    They will get the custom clearance on your behalf and would demand the amount from you, at the time of delivery.

    Sometimes, if the amount of custom tax is high, they may call you to deposit the money with them before-hand and then they would get the package clearance from customs.
    Once they have the package cleared, they will deliver it to you.

    Normally, the end customer would not need to do anything.

  • Nancy

    thanks Anil.. very useful article… i was looking for options and cost to send iphone6 to my friend in India.

  • You are welcome Nancy. I am glad the information has helped you.

  • ameycool33

    hey!hw abt my frd buying a note 4 and bringing it 2 india with him as he is cumng 2 india for diwali..so is he gna gt charged anythng apart from d mrp f note 4 i.e $700…plz leme knw asap πŸ™‚

  • Hi ameycool33,
    Legally, a person is only allowed to carry gogods worth INR 45000 as duty free allowance. Note that the total cost i.e. the cost of note 4 + sales tax 9if paid in USA) will be considered.
    So, if you calculate it as 700*60 (exchange rate) = INR 42000.

    It does not matter if your friend declares lesser value or even show a bill with lesser amount. The Custom officer will decide its real value and you can ONLY provide the original bills to convince him.

    The other way is to completely NOT declare it. If he passes the customs without getting caught, you are all-set. But, if he does, he would have to pay the duty and i guess some fines too.

    Let me know if you need more information.

  • ameycool33

    hey thanx!wht i wntd 2 knw is..is it okay if d celphone is bought n unpacked der before coming back 2 india?
    like buying it a day prior departing for india…unpacking it…carrying d celphone and keeping d box of it in d bag??

    And verizon wireles in USA has d cellphone for $299-$699…ie $699 for off contract…so shud i ask my frd 2 buy tht for me and if bought is it gna work in india o ill hav 2 jailbreak o unlock it o sumthng…plz leme knw asap.

  • ameycool33

    hey thanx!wht i need 2 knw is d dfrnc btwn a non contract mobile and an unlocked mobile…will it b okay tht a non contract mobile is purchased and gt into india by unpacking it and carrying it personaly weras d box and cover is kept in d luggages.

    i hav provided a link tht shws verizon wireles non contract model for $699..shud i buy it?
    plz leme knw abt sum options of purchasing a mobile tht will work in india without any kind of problem?


  • Hi ameycool33,

    Yes, buy only the Unlocked phone. These days, all GSM phones work in Indian telecom frequency. So no need to worry.
    Yes, you can unpack it and probably show it as your phone for use.

    But, remember that even if the phone is opened and you are using it, it is considered for calculating custom duties.
    As a general rule, if you have only 1 phone…custom guys don’t bother about it. But, if you have more than 1, it creates a suspicion in their mind about the second one being opened just to fool them.

    These tricks are followed by all the travelers daily. So, they are well aware of these things.
    It depends on your luck if you can pass through it. Normally, if you are travelling from USA to India, they won’t check you much.

    Their main targets are people coming from Thailand, Bangkok, Singapore and China (They know which flights have landed at what time and hence increase their vigil).

  • Vinay

    People are saying you can send an iPhone as a GIFT and not even penny is required to pay as customs/cif/sales tax etc. Who pays these fee, sender or receiver?

  • Hi Vinay,
    I have added details about sending Iphone 6 with makring as GIFT to India. You can only send packages worth 10K as duty free and WITH GIFT marking.

    Let me know if you need more information.

  • VJ

    Just FYI, I have found a calculator for customs duty:


  • Thanks VJ for sharing the information.

  • Hemanshu Deshmukh

    my friend send his old iPhone 5s From USA, it’s CIF value $340/-, but in Ahmedabad Foreign Post Said, You will Pay 42% Duty and additional Rs. 6000/- penalty under Customs Act,1962. i’m confused what should i do?

  • Hi Hemanshu,
    The CIF value is just an indication and the last decision rests with the customs. If they think that the value is much higher than what you have declared as CIF, they would charge you more.

    Also, the penalty is applied simply because the value of good that can be imported without the import code (i.e. for personal use) is only about 2000 per piece (Not sure about the exact amount at this time but its very low and somewhere around 2k only).

    Did you receive the 42% duty and penalty amount in written? You can probably try and negotiate and see if it works out. I have never done it though.

  • Hemanshu Deshmukh

    they don’t gave any figure in written, but say on telephone as i inquiry. i request him send me all calculation in writing.

  • I think you would be able to negotiate it. All the negotiations just start with the highest amount and that’s what they have told you over phone.
    Anyways, you do not have any other option at this point.

    Take the bills to prove the CIF value and be confident about the calculations. I do not think that it would be 42% custom taxes. It should be around 18% as per my knowledge + any penalty that they try to impose.

  • Hemanshu Deshmukh

    thanks for share your best knowledge.

  • Ravi

    I want to import cell phone from amazon USA through freight forwarder but will mark product as gift on amazon and they wont include bill. So how much price cell phone should i purchase ? i.e 10000 INR or less ?

    as you said 10000 INR is free from customs.

    also, 2000 INR would cost me for freight forwarder.. will i still have to pay for taxes in india ?

  • Yes, I think phone under 10K should be okay.
    But, remember the last decision rests with customs in deciding if the package is a gift or not. They may or may not rely on your documents.

  • Ravi

    freight forwarder will use DHL and they take care for everything in customs and collect customs fee on delivery.

    I am confused on gifts. Can you tell me if custom department collect cess and other charges on gifts ?

    and how they will calculate ? do free import is on under 10000/- CIF value or only the product value ?


  • 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.
    Duty and tax free import is under 10K PRODUCT value.

    As per the best information that I could find, there will be no CESS and other charges on the GIFT.

  • TechWiz

    Your calculation above are incorrect with respect to Cess. 3% cess is supposed to be calculated on the total of Duty and Countervailing duty only and does not include CIF. For iPhone 6, it should be INR 204.85 instead of INR 1911.9 (this figure is calculated by including CIF). The total price increase comes to about 14.62% instead of ~18%.

  • TechWiz

    One more correction. CVD on mobiles is 6% and 12%. Check here http://deity.gov.in/esdm/tariff. So, if you redo the math, the total increase is only 8.31% excluding shipping and handling. If you use a parcel forwarding service like PPO, Comgateway and SNS, you can have the package shipped to India for under 3k. Total increase in cost is not going to be more than 10%. Please edit your article accordingly.

  • Hi TechWiz,
    Yes, your point is right. I have updated the calculations above.
    Thanks for your comment.

  • Thanks TechWiz. I have corrected the article.

  • Mahesh

    Hi Anil, Your artical is really helpful, but I still confused, Actually I have ordered a laptop on a US store as that laptop is not available on any store in India, they will be shipping it via fedex, I came to know that fedex will ship the package to shipping address I provided, then to whom, how and where I have to pay custom duty and charges

    On checkout, website charged me laptop price and shipping price


  • Hi Mahesh,
    There are two ways:
    1. The online website where you paid for shipping charges you the total amount including the custom duty and taxes. In your case, are you sure that custom duty and taxes were NOT included in the total?
    2. If the website has not charged you but are still ready to ship to India via, fedex, then Fedex would contact you when the package reaches India.
    These days, all big courier companies (including Fedex) have dedicated staff to deal with custom duty and taxes. They would run it through the customs and then call you to keep the amount ready.
    The Fedex delivery guy would collect the amount from you and handover the package. You would not be required to visit any custom office or talk to anybody. It would be the same experience for you as you bought something from India.

    Does this answer your question?

  • Mahesh

    Yes it is, thanks πŸ™‚

  • You are welcome.

  • Hemanshu Deshmukh

    They charged me 42% Duty + Penalty, i can’t understand. Is it customs invoice?

  • That’s really bad. So, it basically cost you more than what you could have paid in India itself?
    Yes, it should be customs invoice. They should have given you the break up of all charges. Have they?

  • Mahesh

    If I need to buy some cell phone spare parts from Hong Kong and the price of all item is about $100USD including shipping, i.e., under Rs. 10,000 and I asks them to gift wrap the item before shipping, and then they ship it via any shipping company whether it is fedex or bluetdart then still I need to pay custom duty.

  • I don’t think that custom duty and taxes wud be applicable in this case.

  • Suraj Sokasane

    Hey Anil, Nice Article. Even I want to import Moto X 2nd Gen which I am getting in $259 as cyber monday offer.
    So finally what solution do you suggest to import a mobile to India other than bringing it personally.

  • Hi Suraj,
    If you have someone abroad (in the country where you are ordering), ship it to their address and then they can mail it to you.
    If you don’t have anyone there, you can use the package forwarding services. There are many companies who do it. Just search for ‘Package forwarding service’.

    Does that answer your question?

  • Ankit

    Hi Anil,

    I found one seller on ebay germany. He selling new unlocked iphone 6 16gb for 500$ (around 30000 INR). Price of new iphone 6 in india is 53500 INR. If i ask him to send only phone without box and invoice as a gift then i have to pay how much total tax here in Delhi ?

    Please calculate and give me approximate value. That would be a great help.

  • Hi Ankit,
    Are you buying through eBay’s global buy program? If yes, then ebay would include all the costs (including customs in India) in their total cost.

    If you are not buying it through global ebuy and going directly with the eBay seller, you would need to do the calculation as mentioned above in the article.
    Add up shipping and insurance costs till India to base cost 30,000. This value would be CIF
    Then, top it up with about 15% of CIF value.

  • Rishi

    impressive research Anil ! Kudos
    Can you suggest some other sites like Global buy(Ebay) which is secure in terms of payment and delivery. And a seller from US doesn’t post real pics so that its healthiness could be ascertained before clinking buy button. Any suggestion in this regard ?

    Thank you

  • Hi Rishi,

    I would say that ebay global buy does provide a level of security and insurance if the product you are buying is not what was told.
    On the other hand, you should never buy a product which does not have the real pictures featured. Don’t ever get into the trap of low price sale.

    If something sounds too good to be true, it most probably is.

    The other way to shop from US is to buy genuine products from genuine websites like Amazon etc. and get them shipped to India via package forwarding companies. If you don’t know about package forwarding, these companies just provide you a local US address to get your shipments delivered.
    They would then charge a service fee to ship it to India inclusive of all customs charges. This would be a better option in case you want to handle everything on your own.

    Does that answer your question?

  • john

    Hi Anil, i want to order some video games disc of 700 USD from hongkong. so can you kindly help me out in totaling the custom duty charge!! and do they charge even in 100 usd?? Thanks

  • There is a website http://www.dutycalculator.com that you can use to calculate the duty for video games.
    Let me know if you need more information.

    You would need to choose the imported goods category and it will be pretty straight-forward.
    Let me know if you need more information.

  • deep

    Hi anil…
    its a great info…i have some doubts.
    im gonna fly from south korea to india.
    how many mobile phones i can carry?
    what will be the rules at airport’s custom?
    how much tax should i pay if i exceed the limit?
    Thanks in advance!!!1

  • Hi Deep,

    You can carry goods worth INR 45K without paying any duty.
    This is over and above 1 Laptop (personal use and opened), 1 mobile (personal use and opened) that is assumed to be carried by a person.
    There is no custom duty on mobiles at this time in India, but you would be required to pay the custom charges and taxes. The exact amount would be decided then and there by the custom officer.

    It also depends on how it was found by them. Either you would declare it or they will find it! You know what I mean…

  • deep

    yeah i got it.
    very thanks anil……

  • daman

    hello Anil, sir my question is my friends cousin bought 4 iphone and 1 ipad. he got caught by customs at delhi airport. what is the procedure and how much he have to pay ? out of which 3 are iphone6 and 1 iphone6+.

  • Hi Daman,
    The duty and penalty would be decided by the custom officer. They would decide on the perceived value of the iPhone in India and then charge accordingly.

    Their valuation would be called ‘assessed value’ and they all the charges as mentioned above would have to be paid.

    I have never gone through this process and hence can’t advise with 100% confidence.

  • Vivek Dumbre

    Hi Anil,
    what would be the customs and taxes if i buy a phone from china website 3cplaza.com the cost of phone mi3 is around INR16500,is it 14% of that amount?is there any charges i have to pay apart from that.Also can you tell me if this website is genuine,also what about vopmart.com
    THNx in advance

  • daman

    ok sir..thank you…..do they have to pay full amount for iphone 6(64gb) that is 62500/ or less? any idea? can they carry back there iphone back to usa without any duty?

  • Hi Daman,
    I am not 100% sure on the value they would assess, but as per my information from other sources, the total final cost would almost be somewhere around the real cost of iPhone 6 in India. Custom officers would charge the custom fees (as mentioned in above article).

    Coming to your next question of taking the phones back to USA, they can do whatever they want to do once you have paid the customs and got hold of them.
    If you are thinking of skipping the custom duty and directly taking the iPhones back to USA, I do not think that’s an option now. Your phones have already been caught by custom and they can only be taken out after paying duty. You either pay the duty or forget your phones. That’s what I know how customs work. There may be other possibilities though.

  • Hi Vivek,
    The best option when buying from online website (located out of India) is to get the shipping and customs included in the total charges. If this website is giving you the option of shipping directly to your Indian address, they they would certainly show you the charges while making the purchase itself.

    Coming to second option i.e. if they are NOT shipping directly to your Indian address, then you would need a package forwarding company’s services. In that case, the package forwarding company would tell you the complete charges.

    The third confusion that I see here is only about the custom charges (assuming you somehow get the phone to Indian address). Yes ,the custom charges should be about 14% of total cost (CIF value – refer above article).
    Please note that customs may charge a penalty too (decision depends on custom officer) as would be importing the phone without the import code. Import code is what allows business man to import articles into India.

    The last question. Are these websites genuine?
    I can’t say. Both of them look exactly same to me. Please do read the website reviews before making any purchases. I have never used these sites before.

    Also, a bonus tip:
    When you make purchases with your credit card in foreign currency, bank would charge 3.5% as currency conversion charges apart from their own exchange rate (generally not very competitive). So, account for these charges as well while comparing the cost of a phone abroad with Indian price.

  • daman

    thank you sir, for next time how many iphone6 can my relative bring to india from usa, uk and canada?

  • You can carry goods worth INR 45K without paying any duty.
    This is over and above 1 Laptop (personal use and opened), 1 mobile (personal use and opened) that is assumed to be carried by a person.
    There is no custom duty on mobiles at this time in India, but you would be required to pay the custom charges and taxes. The exact amount would be decided then and there by the custom officer.

    It also depends on how it was found by them. Either you would declare it or they will find it! You know what I mean…

  • Ajay

    Hi Anil,

    First of All, I really like your articles
    it’s really very helpful. Here is my query I asked my friend to ship I phone 6
    (16gb) From USA to India. Now he told
    that I will have to pay custom charge for that pls can any of bro help me how
    much it will be and any desi jugad by which I can avoid it. I am bit week in
    math so pls tell me ki how much I have to pay them incase if I go to pick it up. I don’t want them to charge me

  • Hi Ajay,
    The total custom charges should be about 15% of the total value of the (phone + insurance + shipping).
    They can also impose some penalty. But, it depends on the custom officer.

    Let us know once you get the phone about the amount that you paid. It will help others in the forum here.

  • Ajay

    Can you pls give some idea How much it will be in rupee. I dont know what is the exact price of it India. Everywhere its different..

  • Ajay

    Also Can you pls suggest which phone to buy 6 or 6 plus.I am confused some ppl say 6 and some 6 plus what you suggest. Although this is the first time I am going to use Iphone. I waiting for my both answers bro…

  • Hi Ajay,

    The total custom charges should be 15% of the total amount that you have spent on (phone + shipping+insurance).
    There may be some kind of penalty too but it depends on the custom officer. I can’t predict it. It may or may not be charged.

    Do share your experience and the amount that you pay to custom once you have the phone in you hand. It would help others, who come here to look for real life experience.

  • Hi Ajay,
    The total price would be the conversion of US $ (the amount you have spent) into rupees. It will NOT be governed by the Indian price of iPhone.

  • It depends on your personal preference. I have seen both here. I personally do not use iPhone.
    But, the common review that I have heard is that iPhone plus is a bit bigger to handle with single hand and carry in pockets.

    iphone 6 standard is a better option as per my opinion.
    Rest is dependent on your needs.

    Also, do not forget that a smartphone’s life is only slightly more than 1 year. Next, year, you will be tempted for upgrading to a better one. So, buy a cheaper one to make your upgrade decision easier later on.

    Rest is up-to you and your budget.

  • Ajay

    Anil, What If I asked my friend not share original price. Is that possible..? I spend $800 and If I told him to say its not new its old one. Is that something work mate…. Please advise. I am sorry if I am asking too much Its just I like your advises…

  • Nope. Infact, if you say its an old one, then you would definitely be asked to pay penalty.

    Check Hemanshu Deshmukh’s experience in the comments below.

    This is what he wrote:
    my friend send his old iPhone 5s From USA, it’s CIF value $340/-, but in Ahmedabad Foreign Post Said, You will Pay 42% Duty and additional Rs. 6000/- penalty under Customs Act,1962. i’m confused what should i do?

    It would cost you more than what you would pay in India if you try to go the ‘Old phone’ route.

  • Ajay

    Thanks what is CIF value and how does it work.. How we can come to know about it.I just read Himanshu post.. PLS help me bro..

  • Hi Ajay,

    It would be great if you can read a few lines in the above article to understand the whole thing.
    I had already replied in your first question about the CIF value. Here it is again for your reference.

    CIF value = (phone + insurance + shipping)

  • sumit Beniwal

    Hey hllo sir…
    I am getting a deal of iPhone 5s from eBay usa
    So is there any additional cost i have to pay apart from the payment which i am going to make to ebay……. ( i am getting deal of an used iPhone 5s, In india it will cost around 20k )

  • Hi Sumit,

    Are you buying from eBay global buy? If yes, then they have the option of making a consolidated payment (including shipping, customs etc.) and you don’t have to pay anything extra and phone will reach your hands in India.

    If you are buying on any other eBay platform, then please do read Hemanshu Deshmukh’s experience (below in the comments) with getting used iPhone 5 from USA. He paid duties and penalty too.

    Be careful.

  • daman

    hello sir, can my relatives bring 2 iphone 6 in switch on mode in there pocket? without any if or but from custom ? thnk you

  • They can bring any number of phones if not caught.
    Customs are smart enough to understand these tricks.
    Please be careful and play sensible.

  • Shubham Kodgire

    Hello Gupta sir,
    A friend of mine from states is ready to send me a used phone. My questions are –
    1. Is it a good idea to buy a refurbished Htc One M7 from USA ? My friend will buy it then ship it to me. It is written that is phone has minor scratches but is in mint condition. The cost of the price if 11000 INR.
    2. I have an IEC code already but will it be better to ask him to send it as a gift without invoice ?
    3. What courier will have my mobile shipped to me in one piece. Like with good handling and all ?
    4. the cost of new Htc One may exceed 45k which is the limit as you specified before. So the import officer dude will consider the price of new phone or of the old phone if I have to pay the custom charges ?
    It will be incredible if you could give me your expert opinion.

  • Hi Shubham,
    Thanks for calling me a sir, but it really is not required. You can just call me Anil, it sounds much better πŸ™‚

    1. It is your personal choice on the phone model. If you like it, you can buy it. Please make sure that you have verified everything about the phone condition.
    2. I would suggest to send it as gift.
    3. The best one is FedEx (Most expensive, good and most reliable service), then UPS (might be cheaper than FedEx, good and reliable service) and last is USPS (cheapest, good service too).
    4. Please note that limit of 45K is ONLY applicable for person carrying the stuff personally and declares good at airport customs. It is NOT applicable to the shipped items as in your case. In your case, the limit is 10K only and that too if he sends it as a gift.

    Also, please note that since it is a used phone, you may have to pay a penalty too. It depends on the custom officer’s discretion.
    Please read Himanshu Deskhmush’s experience with importing used IPhone in comments below. He paid about 42% duty and penalty too. So, it probably cost him way too much more than what he expected.

    Does that answer your question?

  • Shubham Kodgire

    thanks a ton for your extremely delightful answer.

    I completely read your discussion with Himanshu Deshmukh ever before writing you. I did not find it helpful cause what I had in mind was to have sent a used phone without its bill(as a gift). So if the custom officer decides not to let me have the package. What can he possibly charge me for ? First its a single phone. I am not importing cause it is not multiple item. It is without bill so I have to pay 45% of the new phone along with 6000 rs penalty or 45% of the price I bought that phone in ? the same phone unopened costs 41k and i plan to buy the used phone which will be around 11k. How can I possibly get away with this cleanly ? like without giving them any opportunity to stall me ? Now as you know my entire story, i am sure you help me find a way.

  • Hi Shubham,
    As per my opinion, customs would consider the CIF value (actual cost 11k + insurance + shipping) that you would have paid till the package reached India.

    Note that you would need to have a valid invoice to prove the costs.

    If you can’t prove the cost with valid proofs, they would assume the CIF on their own.

    Does that answer your question?

  • Shubham Kodgire

    That cleared my doubts. Thank you very much for elaborating in such a good manner. I will write again if there are any doubts.

  • You are welcome.

  • Mathew Karimpanal

    Excellent write-up (incl. for mentioning sources)! Good job. Very useful. Thanks for posting.

  • Thanks Matthew.

  • SP

    Anil, I’ve seen the posts below and the responses are impressive and helpful. I needed to get a replacement for my iPhone 5s, the replacement procedure is done, now I want to import the phone to India from USA. (Assume the price of the replacement phone is $270 which I didn’t had to pay) What would be the best advice to get the phone in one piece. Also getting a case for it. Please advice me the best way to import it in the cheapest possible way.
    Thanks much in advance.

  • Hi,
    The cheapest option is to ask anyone coming to India to carry it for you.
    If you go the courier/mail route, I don’t think you can avoid the custom penalty and fees.

  • SP

    Thank you. I can’t find anyone to carry it for me to India.
    The best option seems to be the courier/mail route. Anything approx?

  • Are you receiving the bill also with a specific amount for this iPhone 5s?
    If not, then customs will value it on their own (based on their valuation) and then add the custom duties as mentioned in above article.

  • Paul Cool

    Hi sp I want iPhone 6 64 can you send me the iPhone 6.

  • Hi Paul,
    SP himself seems to be in India.

  • narendra jhala

    The price of iphone 6 (64 GB) in India is currently 54k and in USA it is around $299. So.. Is it a good deal to buy it from there?

  • narendra jhala

    if possible.. please purchase two iphone :p contact Amnaren12@gmail.com

  • Hi Narendra,
    You must be talking about a used iPhone 6 in USA. Right? I don’t think you will get a new one for $299.

    You can buy it and I think the total cost might still be less than 54k.
    I can’t guess the total cost here as it depends on the custom officer.

  • nisha

    Hello sir. i am thinking to get an iPhone 5s or 5c from usa. my aunty will send it from usa to india.will u plz tel me d shippng chrges?

  • The shipping charges would be calculated based on the weight of the box that your aunt will send.
    It should be around $126 if she sends it by FedEx.

    You can also compare and check shipping charges on USPS and UPS websites.

  • Hemant Kumar

    Hi sir,i would to place an order of mobile phone costing of 182 usd on http://www.aliexpress.com.shipping charges are free. they will be sending this product by singpore post to india. is there any custom duty on this product in india?or should i advise to seller to send me as gift so custom duty will be nil? kindly advice which way can i get this product without paying custom duty to me…thanks and regards

  • Hi Hemant,

    1. Yes, you would need to pay the custom taxes. Please read the above article on how to calculate the exact amount.

    2. If you ask them to send it as gift, the total value should not exceed INR 10,000. Read more here: http://www.am22tech.com/sending-iphone-6-to-india-from-usa/#mark-parcel-as-gift

    Let me know if you need more information.

  • Aditya

    Hi anil,
    Im thiking of getting some music instrument like guitar and amplifier from usa or uk through ebay(not global buy), they are most likely to be in used but mint condition,,
    guitar are around in between 500-1000 us dollar but im getting for around 300- 500,,,,,, the amp i am trying to get costs around 1k usd, where as it costs more than 2k usd for new (same available for more than 2 lakhs in india), shipping are extra,,
    I know customs charges would cost me a fortune, but I want to know on what basis they would calculate the charges if it’s used or i got them for lesser value?,,
    Is there a way I could save myself breaking the bank and evade high custom charges to an extent? I don’t think marking them as a gift by seller would help, but i can request them for making a invoice or letter with a low selling cost around 200-300 usd, would that help? Or Am i getting myself into a trouble? ,, they are supposed to be big and heavy,,
    Any help advice would be really appreciated,, Thanks

  • Hi Aditya,
    The real cost analysis by a custom officer would be the last word. They mostly rely on the invoice and their own database to fix the cost and then charge the duties and taxes.
    They also know that people tend to create lower amount invoices to evade custom duties and hence may or may not rely on the bill.

    I would say that even if it is some other value that they fix for your imported stuff, it should not go beyond the amount that you can expect to pay in India. The total should still remain less than Indian cost. I am saying this based on what I have heard from other people who have imported used electronics and shared their experiences.

    Let me know if you need more information.

  • Aditya

    Thanks a lot for your anwer,
    well lets say i ordered a used product for around 24k inr, then 10-15k shipping charges,, then what would be the most likely duty charges i’ll have to pay? Would they consider 24k as a base price,, the price for new is around 58k inr.

  • Yes, they would most probably rely on the invoice amount. In your case, it would be 24K unless you get an invoice for something really low and they sense something fishy.

    Duty charges depend on the type of item you a re importing. I have given a sample calculation for Mobile.
    You can check on the website dutycalculator.com for the item type that you are importing for an exact custom duty and taxes amount.

  • Ayush

    hello sir
    my name is ayush

    i have order 6 units of i phone 6 from UK and i wanna ask you how many types of taxes pay in india

    for get my parcel

  • Hi Ayush,
    All the information about custom duties and taxes have been shared above in the article.
    Let me know if you need more information.

  • rohitjack13

    I am thinking of gifting a phone to my sister. The total buying price is less than 10,000 Rs. I am thinking of sending it as a gift. Should i include my buying invoice or not? I am worried, if i dont attach my buying price, custom might treat the phone price as 20k, as the phone is not available in India.

    Any suggestions?

  • Customs will do whatever they want to do. It is not 100% sure that they will consider it as gift even of you send no bill or give it in writing that it is a gift.
    It depends on their own analysis of the case.

    These days, they have database of all the devices and their rates in their system.
    So, don’t worry and send it as gift.

    If they don’t want to consider it as gift, they will notify your sister and ask for proofs. At that time, you can show the real bills and other supporting documents to prove your case.

  • Anil Kumar

    i have a brother in us, is there any cheap way to send me a phn to india by posting ??

  • I did not understand your question.
    The one mentioned above is the cheapest option, unless someone gets it with himself.

  • Navnish Nigam

    I want to purchase Jiayu S3 from China via Singapore post( free shipping and handling charges).
    Its costing me about $175/- or Rs12,000/-. Please let me know the custom charges(if any).
    One guy was charged Rs2500. but it was in january, 2015

  • Hi Navnish,
    We do not keep a track of current custom charges for each device. Please calculate it based on the above formula.

  • Navnish Nigam

    With Rs.10,000 you mean $151? but i am getting jiayu S3 for not less than $169.99 + screen guard and tempered glass will cost me around $180. Dutycalculator shows I will be charged Rs.1715/-. (which for me is superb). aliexpress and other website such as gearbest said, I can buy insurance for $20 more to evade custom duty. is that true?
    Also, is the custom duty calculated by the dutycalculator highly accurate?
    Thank you,

  • Hi Navnish,
    The duty calculated by any website is just the best estimate. The final decision rests on the custom officer who takes up your case and evaluates its real value.
    Most of the time, the value shown on the original bill is what they consider (including all costs i.e. insurance and everything). But, there is no guarantee that they would believe what is mentioned on the bill.

  • Navnish Nigam

    Thank you Anil. I have calculated and I am a bit relaxed now after knowing that I won’t be charged hefty sum as custom charge. Two thumbs up for your work!

  • kk

    Dear Navnish,
    When you get the product, kindly share your experience with customs, how much extra you paid in actual? Thaks

  • Navnish Nigam

    Sure. I will

  • kk

    Thanks, waiting to hear from you. planning to buy redmi note 2. Through which site u ordered?

  • Navnish Nigam

    I haven’t ordered it yet due to rupee falling down w.r.t. US dollar and Jiayu S3 was available for $190. Waiting to get a discount from pandawill and any other website(gearbest, pandawill, aliexpress, everbuying, antelife are best in return and refund policies).

    You can search kimovil com to check the best deal available online.

    You must buy Redmi Note 2 topmost model as its basic version won’t support 3g in India.

    willmyphonework dot net

    check it out!

  • kk

    Thank you. FDD LTE works in India but not with all service providers. I will wait for Indian launch of the mobile.
    Thanks for prompt helpful information.

  • Navnish Nigam

    You’re welcome. Also, MediaTek Helio X10 2.0 (MT6795) processor which is packed in Redmi Note 2 will not be launched in India. In India, Xiaomi will release this device with Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 which is very low in performance and has lots of bugs(though Moto G3 has the same processor however, surprisingly it has worked away with all the bugs concerned with QS 410).
    The MediaTek Helio X10 2.0 (MT6795) processor is the latest offering from MTK and trust me it is more efficient and powerful than Snapdragon 810 which is packed in Samsung and LG’s flagship smartphones and that too with no bugs or stagefrights noted as of yet.

  • Raja

    Hi Anil,

    my Niece wants like 6 iPhones from here in USA to Bangalore, India. I crosscheked the actual price differences and its really profitable to buy in USA. but the problem is applying the 15% estimate as per the study one would not prefer shipping. I am planning to buy them and send it with a friend of mine by putting them in checkin luggage, thoughts??

  • There is high probability that iphones in luggage would be caught by customs at Indian airport. They are smart these days!

    You will off course save money if your friend is lucky enough to evade the customs.

  • Aman Nirwana

    Hi Anil found your post really really helpful but I want to ship another gadget nexus player its a media player below worth 5000 and I want it to send it as gift from usa to India so according to commodities and all is it duty free from all respects ? Are there any chances of it to have some sort of duty ?
    Thank you in advance
    I also asked fed ex babout shipping charges to India from usa. They said 441 don’t know its INR or dollar. Is this the general rate coz I think its very cheap; it is a small box acc fed ex dimension

  • Hi Aman,
    1. I am not really sure about the custom duty for media player. But, it would not be zero. It would have some value and it would be decided on the Indian customs.
    2. On the FedEx front, you should ask them if it is USD or INR. I personally don’t think that 443 woud be INR as FedEx is generally the most expensive.

  • amit yadav

    Hi Anil,

    One quick help is required.

    I have a friend who is ready to send a iphone to india and it will be costing me around $500. Could you please let me know import will be calculated on what basis like will it be on total cost of product like in my case it is $500 or on the invoice. If i will ask him to give me a invoice of only $150 or $200. He is also fine with that let me know if it will be calculated on invoice amount or the cost of the product in india?

    Thanks in advance.

  • amit yadav

    Please share information on blog or my perosnal mail id on amitnkt@gmail.com

  • It does not matter if the invoice shows the lesser price. Customs have the price list and they would analyze.
    It depends on the custom officer and what he feels about the invoice price. If he thinks that it is genuine, he might consider it.

  • VEnkat

    Hi anil,
    How to import iphone 6s plus from US to INDIA ,how to purchase in usa and how to take out here.How much cost it will come

  • You have two options to buy iPhone6S from US and get it delivered in India:
    1. Buy from a retailer that can directly ship it to you in India. There are sellers on Amazon.com and EBay global buy that can send it to you with a fixed final price (including shipping, custom and taxes).
    2. Buy from any US retailer and get it shipped to a ‘package forwarding company’ in USA. These are companies that provide you a US based address where you can get your package shipped. Search on google and you would find many of them. They will then charge you their fees and ship it to you in India (including customs, shipping, and taxes).

    Let me know if you need more information.

  • Monika Patel

    Hello Anil,

    Thank you for your informative post. I have one quick question.
    I am a student and I live in japan. I have been residing in a rented house since last year and had brought a second hand LED tv for my personal use but now from this year I have been allotted a dormitory in my university and I can not take big personal appliances there. The tv is in fairly good condition and i don’t want to dispose it off. Can i take it back to india for the reason it is not new and has been used by me for around 1 year..??
    If yes what are the custom and tax rules.
    Thank you in advance πŸ™‚

  • Yes, you can take the TV with you to India.
    There are no specific rules as such for your case. Anybody or everybody can say the same thing about whatever they are bringing with them to India.

    So, it really just boils down to the custom officer and what value does he puts on it. The custom taxes and duties will have to be paid since you are importing something.

    Check the dutycalculator website for current custom tax rates..

  • S Alam

    Dear … I already sent second hand Galaxy Note 3 to India without Bill by EMS post office..(I have no bill) …What is way of custom clearance ..Remerber without bill, how they calculate tax, bill etc… Please reply

  • If there is no bill, customs will find the price themselves from their own database.

    You will receive a letter at your destination address in India for custom clearance with the amount that you need to pay.

    Normally, these days courier companies get it cleared from custom for you, if you have already paid them in advance.

  • Rishitesh Ahuja

    Hi Anil
    One of my relatives sent me an iphone 6s worth $800 from USA to Delhi through USPS Currently the phone is with custom people. Can you please tell me that do I need to pay any custom duty on this ? If yes, how would I pay this amount? Would really appreciate if you can help on this please ?

  • Hi Rishitesh,

    Did your relative paid for the customs in advance in USA? These days, courier services take care of all the clearances in India, if you opt for it, while shipping it from USA.
    If not, then the courier company will send you a letter at your address OR call you, mentioning the amount you need to deposit. Once you deposit the amount, they will release the phone.
    Most probably, you would need to pay it to the courier company and they will get the clearances for you and handover the package.

  • Rishitesh Ahuja

    Hi Anil,
    Thanks for your reply. Really appreciate your help.
    My relative paid the postage fees only of $61.5 (Priority email express international). I called up the custom people today and they said that “go to the foreign post office tomorrow and ask for your package. We might have cleared your package as we don’t take so much of time”. He didn’t ask me for any information though I mentioned him that the tracking shows – custom clearance processed on 16th November. He just gave his thoughts on this information.
    I am scared !! What if I don’t get my package from foreign post office tomorrow? Need your valuable suggestion.
    Thanks for all your help.
    Kind Regards

  • If the package was already cleared from customs, then you should contact the USPS office. They are responsible to deliver it to your address in India. You are not supposed to go to poat office.

    I think the package would be delivered ina day or two.

  • Rishitesh Ahuja

    Thanks Anil.
    I went to the foreign post office, they said that your package is under custom examination. Custom duty will be charged on your package. I have to visit them again on Monday. They are very irresponsible. They just don’t have any concerns for the package. Too lazy to do anything for people.

  • Ya..I can understand the pain of going through government office and procedures.
    Infact, these days if you use FedEx, they take the pain of all these custom clearances and they even charges you the custom duty upfront at the time of booking the package. That way it becomes easier for a common man.

    Anyway, do share the total amount that they charges once you have got your phone.
    It will help others on this forum to make a purchase decision.

  • RishiteAhuja

    Hey Anil
    Finally, I have got my phone after so much of pain. They charged 9,182 INR as custom duty on 64 GB Iphone 6S.
    I strongly recommend people not to buy Iphone from outside. I haven’t saved much and just wasted my time. It’s really a pain.

  • Thanks Rishi for sharing your experience.
    I agree that it is not beneficial to import the iPhone from USA primarily due to high custom duty and the current exchange rate. It does not make much sense.

  • Rahul Vijay

    Hi Anil,

    I have won apple tv in a online contest. Contest hosting company are sending me by FedEx from USA. Value of apple tv is $149. In India, will they consider under duty free as it is prize/gift?? Do they calculate for courier charge/service charge paid by them?

  • Hi Rahul,
    Prizes are not counted as gift.
    The shipping and original cost of device would be counted as the total value to calculate custom duties.

  • Rahul Vijay

    Thanks Anil.. Just one more question. What if they sent as gift cards via mail?

  • I think gift cards can not be detected and you can get them without duties.

    I am not sure though.

  • Rahul Vijay

    That was quick. Thanks a lot Anil. I really appreciate it.

  • You are welcome. We try to reply as early as possible for our guest’s convenience.

  • Pratap Mahanta

    Hello Sir this is very helpful forum and I would like to share about my experience. Most of people worried about custom duty even I was also going through this situation anyway come to the topic.

    1 – I purchased Elephone P8000 from http://www.geekbuying.com worth $159.9 but I paid through PayPal so it cost me total β‚Ή10,810 from China to Chennai through Singapore Post & marked as gift of $30. It delivered to custom office Chennai on 18th September 2015 and I received on 1st October but I had to pay β‚Ή1275 as custom duty. Below I attached a copy of custom details which I received by postman.
    2 – Again I ordered a tempered glass for this phone from aliexpress worth $5 but it custom free.

  • guna

    Hi friend I need to buy xiaomi products from china so please suggest to me how much need to paid please mail me guna6986@gmail.com

  • Nitish Singh

    Hi, Somebody tell me what is the process of Importing Electronic items via alibaba ?

  • Prasad

    Hi Anil
    My sister live in London she wants to send iPhone 6 plus can u say how to send

  • Prasad

    My sister live in London she wants to send iPhone 6 plus how can u say plz

  • She can either send it by courier or someone has to carry it personally.
    You can’t evade custom duty if she sends by courier.

  • mukemeka

    Hi sir , please help..Have ordered 3 galaxy s6 edge plus from US, now the delivery company asked 23500rs for costum duties, later 18500rs for indian tax and now they are requesting 33500rs for LBT karnataka before they deliver the package. Shall i be worried?

  • I don’t understand your question completely. Is 33,500 the total amount that they are demanding as custom duty and taxes?
    If yes, then, it might be true as India has high taxes on imported mobiles.

    They would anyway provide you with the final custom bill + any service charges that they would charge to get it cleared from customs.

  • mukemeka

    No Actually the 33500 is only for the LBT. Initially 23500 was paid as clearance duty, later on 18500 as indian tax.
    Isn’t too much for just 3 mobile phones?

  • I am not sure about the full form of LBT.
    But, as a general rule, you should expect to pay about 40% extra (convert USD to INR and then calculate percent) including the shipping and customs.

    I would agree that import duties are pretty high in India.

  • mukemeka

    Thank you very much for your help!

  • Vajahath khan

    Mr.anil Gupta I won international giveaway contest for Samsung s7 edge and they will ship it to my address .so should I HV to pay for it becoz it giveaway if yes then how much I have to pay plz reply me. Thanks.

  • You will have to pay for it, if they don’t pay for custom duties and taxes. The amount will depend on the real cost of device + shipping + insurance that they declare. Please see the rules mentioned above for calculation.

    If it is shipped from within India, then you might not have to pay anything.



  • I doubt if they can deliver it within 3 days with legal ways.
    Are you sure they are going to mail it to you from USA directly or they have some stock in India to give it to you?

    You have to ask them how they are delivering it. if they deliver by mail, you have to pay custom duties. If they are not charging you those duties, there is high probability that it is a smuggled phone, that they might be sending you.


    They are sending through courier agencies


    This is no smuggled phone air, proper invoice and mails have been done.I hope we are not cheated

  • If it is being sent by mail from USA, either they would have included the custom duties and taxes in the cost itself (this is the normal pattern these days) OR if they have not, you will be asked to pay taxes when it reaches India.

    As mentioned above in the article, courier companies take care of the custom clearance in your behalf. They will then bill you their service charges + custom charges before handing over the package to you.


    1 HOW TO PAY,
    3. WHOM TO PAY

  • I can’t comment on the legality of the phone purchase and the device’s originality.

    As far as custom duties are concerned, yes, they should be demanded by custom authorities (you will get a letter from them), if your courier agency is NOT handling it.
    If they are handling it, then they will call you to pay the custom tax amount.

    Once you pay it, you will get your package.

  • sumeet

    h rishite i, in same situation i got stuck. could you please help me out?

  • smit


    I have query related i phone 6 which have sent me (pune india) from USA by my friend as a gift through USPS (First-Class Package International Service) on 4th of march.

    USPS is saying it has been reached to indian custom office, i have spoke with custom office (mumbai) they are say still your gift has not received. Even if it received then it will come to your home by post office person.

    How to track my parcel ?

  • USPS provides tracking (if you paid for it) online. Use it to track the package.
    Also, they handover it to Indian post once the package reaches India as they do not have their own service there.

  • smit

    LC332091522US this is tracking ID. It is showing still in Chicago but they are saying it received in Indian custom office.
    So how i will come to know where to ask about parcel ?

    Thanks for reply

  • I tried tracking your parcel in India post tracking but, it does not show me anything.
    I am afraid you have no other option than to wait for USPS to update the status on their website.

    Who is saying that it was received in Indian custom office?

  • This link has some details about how USPS and India post tracking works:

    Just check if it helps you.

  • smit

    USPS said like that, but in India they unable to track.

  • I would agree that once the package has left USPS hands, it gets un-reliable as it is on India post to deliver.
    And we all know how India Post works!

    I would advice you to use USPS global express service (uses FedEx as delivery in India instead of India post) for next time. Its much more reliable and better.

    Do let me know what happens with your package. I am also in the process of sending one phone to India via USPS. But, your experience is keeping me away from using USPS.

  • smit

    Yes next time i will prefer other service.
    i will attach both pics of status.
    These are status USPS showing currently.

  • ‘Bidisha Kulshrestha

    Friend from London has sent a gift ..on the airway receipt say value is approx.780 USD. It contains electronic items like iphone ,macbook and some custom jewellery. I got a call from someone in Mumbai (Im in Delhi) and said I have to pay INR 37500 for clearance. Is it some kind of scam coz I havent got any email or anythng . How can I simply pay to some person without any verification.I do not know the procedure for custom clearance.Any help would be greatly appreciated

  • The procedure for custom clearance is that you would receive a bill from custom department by formal mail. This custom clearance is done at the port of package entry. I am not sure why it is Bombay for you. It should be Delhi international airport, if the address on package is Delhi.

    The second point to note is that the mail courier takes care of the package clearance formalities.
    Normally, if your friend used a Fedex or UPS as courier, they would themselves get the custom clearance done (without you visiting the post office or custom office). They will just give you a call to notify and submit some verification documents and then take care of the process.

    If the Courier that your friend used in UK does not have any business partner in India, they would normally hand it over to ‘India Post’ for delivering. You then need to visit the ‘India Post’s’ international package office (in Delhi, you should visit the ‘Foreign India post’s’ post office. I think it is in Kashmere Gate (Near state bus stand)).

    Normally, you would visit the ‘Foreign Indian Post Office’ in your city to pay the amount and then they would release the package.
    Everything will happen formally and you would receive the bill as well as the receipt.

    Do not pay something to someone without any proper authenticated bills.

    I recently sent one mobile phone from US to India using Fedex and in the process of writing up the whole process in a separate article. Will share the details once the article is published.

    Let me know if you need more information.

  • ‘Bidisha Kulshrestha

    Thanks so much, Anil. Really appreciate your reply.

  • Hi Smit,
    Did you finally get your package? Any suggestions to keep in mind with USPS?

    I had in-fact recently used USPS’s ‘Global express delivery’ service as they use Fedex’s delivery service in India. That was pretty smooth and they got the customs cleared and delivered the package within 5-7 days at home.

    Your feedback with India Post (and USPS) will help others here.

  • You are welcome.

  • chris Royal

    hello anil im chris i want to send i phone 5se 64gb to India Mumbai so plz help me out with these coz i dnt want my brother to get trouble in these coustom

  • Hi Chris,
    I would suggest to send it by ‘USPS Global delivery Express’. The price is just a tad lower than Fedex, but still uses Fedex delivery in India.
    They take care of all the custom clearance processes and deliver within 2-3 days, if there is no custom clearance delay.

    I just sent one Nexus used phone to India last month using this service and I was really happy. It has all the tracking and they even accept supporting documents on email (in India, for custom clearance).

    I am in the process of writing the article on this whole process and would be published soon on this blog.

  • chris Royal

    hi anil how much fedex charges u paid?

  • USPS charged $108 for global express delivery.
    I had declared used phone value as $50.

    If we convert $50 into INR @ of $1 = INR 66, we get 3300 INR.
    Fedex took INR 2400 (including their own fees for custom clearance and custom fees) in India.

  • Arjun Reddy

    hi anil gupta

  • Hi Arjun,
    how can i help you?

  • Arjun Reddy

    hi i have ordered i phone 6s from uk they told that it wil take 3 working days to delivery after that when the parcel came to india they asked me to pay the full payment i paid then they asked me to pay tax and clearance i paid again they asked me to pay delivery man fee i paid the they asked me to pay insurance fee i paid next insurance fee that one also i paid at last they said to pay customs of india i paid again they told me to pay stamp fee

  • Arjun Reddy

    at last they said that u wil get the parcel by today from three days iam depositing my money is this true all these process we should carry ah ? the courier service is global mertex courier service from uk we can trust with this courier service

  • So, what is your question?

  • Arjun Reddy

    u have any idea about that courier service about global mertex courier services

  • I have not heard about this courier service before. But, if you bought the mobile from a well known online retailer, then you should be okay.

  • Without knowing the complete details of the offer, i can’t really comment on what is right and what is wrong. Even if you got the second phone for free, you will have to pay the custom duty on both phones.

  • Arjun Reddy

    what about these stamp duty registration fees it is applicable for courier services ah
    i mean for mobiles also we should do that stamp fees?

  • Arjun Reddy

    have u heard about that stamp duty registraion for imports?

  • Arjun Reddy

    again they said that wat u have paid for these services is refundable hw can i refund that amount ?

  • I have never heard of stamp duty fees for mobile import.
    Check this article http://www.am22tech.com/sending-used-phone-india-usa-usps/
    It has details of what all is part of custom duties.

    Also, you are only supposed to pay a consolidated single amount for all custom duties. You will also receive a bill and receipt for it.

  • Arjun Reddy

    then what they did to me is fraud ? if it is fraud what can i do for them ?

  • Arjun Reddy

    DDFF078B3F this is my tracking number global mertex courier services can u plz check it once it is true r not

  • Hi Arjun,
    I cannot say if it is a fraud or not. You have to decide.
    Did you receive your package? Have you got the custom bill or receipt of the paid duties?
    If not, then ask for it from the courier company.

  • Arjun Reddy

    hello anil gupta u gave me lot of information now again i tracked my number its the package hold by local body tax ?

  • Arjun Reddy

    have u heard about that LBT local body tax ?

  • Arjun Reddy

    hello mukemeka wat happen to ur delivery u got it how about that LBT we should pay for that local body tax to enter in karnataka?

  • Arjun Reddy

    can u please tell me about LBT my parcel is holding by LBT ?

  • Arjun Reddy

    four months back mukemeka guy asked about LBT (local body tax)to u what happen to that guy he got the delivery ah?

  • Nirmal

    Hi anil
    Can i send note 4 edge via fedex ( usa to lucknow) without any stop at custom iffice india. They will take care of all custom clearance and duties.

  • Don’t worry, you should receive your package after all clearances. Or call your courier service to know the status and why it is stuck there.

  • I have documented the process to send any electronic device (primarily mobile) to India via USPS global express (it uses Fedex delivery in India) here:

    Follow the link to know the exact process, amount of custom duties and documentation required in India.

    The Fedex will take care of all the custom clearances for you. Your Indian person will receive the package as they would normally receive any other standard mail. No need to run to any custom office.

  • Arjun Reddy

    hello ani gupta,
    is sales and services taxation fee 20000 they asking me to pay the sales and service taxation also should pay for that courier services ah ?

  • Arjun Reddy

    i should pay for sales tax service fees also ah ?

  • I don’t know what kind of contract you had with the courier service. They should have asked you for a single amount including everything.

  • Nirmal

    Thanks for reply. So it means if i send mobile through fedex then i do not need to fill all above form. They will take care of all custom things once i shipped mobile from fedex office.

  • You will have to fill the custom declaration form when you send it from USA. This is a 1 page form about declared value and purpose of shipment.

    In India, Fedex will ask you to submit identity documents (of the person receiving the package) and they will take care of everything else themselves (including filling up of any forms in India).

  • Ajay singh

    Sir I also have been contacted by the same person

  • Ajay singh

    Please contact me

  • Ajay singh

    I’m stuck with stamp duty tax

  • Ajay singh

    Did you get the package???

  • Ajay singh

    This is my contact no.

  • Arjun Reddy

    no bro i didnt get my parcel u r still in stamp duty tax after that they ill ask to pay local body tax 20000 after that toll gate tax 25000 after that they ill ask sales tax service to pay 20000

  • Arjun Reddy

    i didnt pay the service tax thy told me to pay 20000 i dnt no what courier service is that i dnt no wat to do bro

  • Hi Ajay, it is not a good idea to share your mobile number on public platform. There is a good chance that you will start getting SPAM messages on it.
    I would suggest to delete your comment (with phone number) once you have spoken to the concerned person for help.

    The same holds true for your email address.

  • hyan Arrow

    is there any way to know how much customs charge if applied to my parcel before the delivery of my parcel,according to tracking-my parcel cleared the customs in two days..and sent for local post office now.can it be checked online,contacts etc with reference to parcel track number,thanks

  • Is it coming through indian post? If yes, then you can go and check with their international service branch about the status.

    The custom duty will depend on the contents of package. For mobile, it is approximately 18% including everything.

  • praveen v

    Hi Anil,
    could you please tell me how much (what percentage) customs will charge us or on what base they charge us by getting an iphone6 though Indian mail.

  • Hi Praveen,
    Everything has been mentioned in above article.

  • praveen v

    ah.. sorry anil i did forget to mentioned that i was asking about an used one.. on which base they calculate the customs duty on that.

  • The total cost declared by you + shipping + insurance cost mentioned in your courier bill.
    Read more about it here (I sent used Nexus phone to India and how much custom was charged is mentioned):

  • praveen v

    Thanks for the speedy reply , in my case there is no bill its a gift from my friend overseas. it was a mobile he using. insurance was taken for 600 AUD. plus 60 as shipping. and its via Australian express post (EMS)

  • It depends on what Custom officer assesses. He may or may not deem it as a gift and hence the actual cost cannot be determined.
    Once he finds the value (if it is gift, then zero, else whatever he assesses it to be), + all other costs like insurance and shipping and then he will calculate the custom taxes.

  • praveen v

    is there any fine will be there ? or just the charges as u mentioned above
    , i mean is that allowed to send the electronic items like this via normal post

  • I don’t think there is any fine for sending anything by normal mail. It is your choice. Everything is scanned at the port of entry and they would know what’s inside.

  • praveen v

    thanks man …. you were informative..i appreciate your effort πŸ™‚

  • You are welcome.

  • jatin pandya

    Hello Anil,
    My relative sent Iphone 6s along with clothes and cholocate from US, but on document she has written only clothes. now shipper contacted me and saying you have to pay fine and penalty. can you please let me know what should I do now. would it be possible to sent parcel back.

    please help

    Thanks in advance.

  • Hi Jatin,

    You should talk to the shipping company and their policy on what they are supposed to do in this case.
    They may or may not send it back. If they do, they will charge the shipper (your relative).

  • Vishal Kumar

    Hey Anil !

    I just wanna know that the customs or the company like fedex or who so ever will be receiving the package there in India Do they really go and check all the stuffs that are there in the package ??

  • Vishal Kumar

    Like even if she has sent an iphone in a box containing clothes and chocolates how would they come come to know what she has sent out of the packed box ?

  • Vishal Kumar

    what i was trying to know is that what if i send an iPhone in a box with other gifts and clothes stuffs would they be still able to come to know that i hav sent an iphone in it ?? πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

  • Vishal Kumar

    Reply me ASAP ! As am sending it to my girlfriend and i dont want any of the charges to be borne by her at any cost. What can i do ?!

  • You are not the first one to think of this trick to fool custom officers.

    They have the nose and gadgets to smell and find even professionally hidden items.
    Also, all packages are scanned at the airport.

    It is better to declare it. Else, in addition to duty, you will have to pay penalty too. And with penalty, it would cost you even more than what you would have paid to buy iPhone in India.

  • Vishal Kumar

    So here who is suppose to pay the 3300 and 2400 sender or the receiver ??

  • Vishal Kumar

    alright, so buddy do also let me know 2 thing
    1 – that how can eliminate any of the charges to be paid by my GF or anyway you think she will have to ??
    2 – what if i buy a new apple iPhone and state it as a used one with a declared charges as 30-40 dollars, will that work ? Atleast in this case she will have to pay a lesser amount.
    Response awaited !

  • Vishal Kumar

    Hey Anil,

    One last question for you buddy !! Thanks to you to bare with me . .
    IS there any chance that i can take care of the custom duty charges and etc. charges from here being in US on behalf of my girlfrind. Or she only has to pay for it there in India???

    Thanks a lott :*

  • Hi Vishal,
    1. The Indian custom duties have to be paid by the person receiving the package in India. You would not know the exact amount until Fedex (India) gets it cleared from customs. You can re-imburse her the amount once she has paid it.
    2. That’s your choice. As I said earlier and repeating once again, you would not be the first one to use tricks to fool custom officers. They see these kind of things every hour and everyday. If you are so eager, you can try your luck.

  • Yes, the receiver in India has to pay it. The Fedex delivery guy will collect it in cash before handing over the package.

  • Bharti Gaurav

    Hello Anil,
    I just wanted to know whether there are different custom and duty standards for the Product which is not yet been launched in India or that’s a Myth? As i have an iPhone 7 waiting to come from Canada.

  • Hi Bharti,
    I do not know of any separate rules for this scenario.
    You should just be asked to pay the standard duty based on the invoice price.

  • Bharti Gaurav

    How do I get that confirmed? No offence, any Idea?

  • Confirmation of what?
    The only way of knowing the custom duty amount is when it is actually received in India and custom officer assesses the value.

  • Bharti Gaurav

    okay, thanks!

  • Harry

    Hi sir my relative want to send some vegan protein from Canada to india with some cloths.they send me as gift.please suggest me how with better way I will save custom. Is any specified amount gift free from custom in india.thanks.Regards Harry

  • Hi Anil,

    I read comments past 1 year.
    All are appreciated. I would like to buy iPhone 7 plus 128 GB ($869) from apple.com (us). ShopUSA.com website ready to ship India by UPS. Shipping charge $51. I contact ShopUSA India (india@shopusa.com) they will ready for declare price as my like.
    1. If I pay $51 ShopUSA shipping charge. Indeed to pay extra for UPS India for handling or clearance ? ( duty I am ready for pay)
    2. If iphone reached at ShopUSA.com US hub from iphone were house they will move my package to extra their own box ? ( I buy Micromax from flipkart. I got flipkart cartoon box )
    3. If I declare price “$469” wroth iPhone “6 plus”. Customs will open my package ? If scanning detect iPhone 7 box ?

    Help me bhai.
    (Forgive me for My bad English)

  • Indian customs can open the package and check what phone is really inside. They do it everyday and it is difficult to fool them.

  • Neil Radnor

    dude forget it, customs people are not dumbfucks man.. they can identify gold smugglers who keep gold dust in between their belt gap… They have seen all kinds of attempts to under value and hide goods and what not… your idea is so childish, don’t even think of trying that. Btw, just so you know all incoming shipments are run through x-ray machines and any shipment with touchscreen immediately gets flagged… so your iphone between clothes idea is stupid.

  • Rajashekar Sanga

    Hi Anil,

    I got a clarity from you that there will be approximately 15% Customs on imported mobile !
    But will there be Customs by US authorities while it is being couriered or exported to india ?

    Thank you !


    I have purchased a used Iphone 6 plus from an online Indian e-commerce website.
    On the bill they have deducted Rs2000 as tax, so i want to ask , is there tax on selling used products too?

  • No, US does not charge export duty if you are sending it as a normal person.
    The rules may be different for companies that do export as a business.

  • This question is related to Indian purchase. Not related to this article.

    Tax is charged on sales irrespective of used or new item.

  • Rajashekar Sanga

    Thank you Anil!
    Have a great day!

  • I have purchased iphone red recently from us using ppobox dot com (by refering a friend). i have also seen shopusa dot com but comparing all of these i find it little expensive for me. are their any better cheap alternatives?

  • I personally do not have any website information.

  • NO because you have already paid. If you purchase from Out of india and you want to shipping in india cost will get effected.

  • Hi Sujay,
    Looks like you are trying to answer someone’s question here. But, accidentally, you have not ‘Replied’ to them and hence your comment shows up as individual comment.

  • Vicky Rock

    I would like send IPhone 6s gift to India from USA , it is used it costs around 300 usd. If I mark as gift then can I put value of the product is zero get ride from custom charges and taxes.

  • No, you can’t. Custom guys are smart and they know people use these tricks.

  • Dhillon Gurjinder

    Hi sir my uncle send me I phone 7 by fedex and cost ovum duty stop it can u tell what will da costume duty on 65000

  • The total duty should be around 15% of 65000. The Fedex guys will call you and tell the total amount to be paid before delivering it to you.
    The exact amount of duty depends on what value the custom officer decides for the phone.

  • Sooraj T S

    How many phones can i buy from amazon.com to India as personal courier? there is any limitation?

  • I am not aware of any such limit, if any while buying from Amazon.
    The only thing to consider is the Indian customs. They will certainly ask for IMPORT license if you order more quantity than for personal use.

  • Hardiksingh Bhatiya

    if my friend purchase iphone x in USA for me and he take the phone in his hand so any Tax or duty will be paid on that??

  • Ideally, if your friend carries it with you and declares it on Indian airport customs, then yes, you have to pay the duty.
    If he does not declare at Indian airport, then you are good to go, if not caught by customs.

  • Nitin

    Also there will a state tax on Iphone depends on which state you are purchasing it. So it will cost you more.

  • yugam singh kushwaha

    if i buy $1200 laptop and import it around how much will be the custom fee

    and is shipping via shopusa site help me gonna save money

  • No company can help you save money. They are also going to charge their service fees.
    Also, the custom duty is dependent on total amount after shipping + insurance to India.

    It is always cheaper only if someone buys it from USA and then carries it himself to India. Otherwise, it is not cheap.

  • How many cellphones can one bring from USA to India at maximum.?

  • 1 for personal use, +1 for official use, if issued by employer (Would need a letter by employer).
    All others might be questioned by customs (if you declare) or you don’t declare and they find it in random inspection.
    You will have to pay duty on all other phones beyond the one you have for personal use, if you can’t prove what they are for.

  • Thanks Anil for the reply. πŸ™‚

  • You are welcome.


    If my friend purchase IPhone X in USA for me and He/She send to me in India. Tell me he/she can pay custom charges there for me or no, its neccessary to pay here custom charges on it.

  • There are some package forwarding companies that can take the payment (including custom charges) from sender.
    But, if he is sending by Fedex or UPS or USPS, they will only charge for shipping from sender. They charge the custom duty at the time of final delivery in India and you will have to pay it then.

  • AayushBhatia

    Hey there!
    Very nice answer!
    My question however is a little different
    I want to import a macbook from USA ( I am planning to buy it from Ebay)
    How much custom will i be charged if the price of the laptop is 800$
    Also, what if i use a parcel forwarding service like viabox? Will i save any money?
    Thanks for you help

  • the answer depends on if ‘ViaBox’ is charging your all inclusive for their services i.e. are they including the custom duties or not.
    If yes, then they will show the final price.

    Else, you can assume about 25% extra to be paid in India as custom duties and taxes on the final price.
    Final price = $800 + Shipping charge + insurance charge + Viabox Fees.
    Custom duty is calculated on ‘Final Price’.

  • Parma boruah

    I ordered some phones from USA ,and that package held by custom in Islamabad, Pakistan.and my courier company asking me for 120,000rs to deposit in a account of Kolkata ,place name behala, should I deposit that amount in his account?

  • Amol Dhamale

    Hello Anil, one of my colleagues is going to bring a new iPhone X from US to India. I read a few feeds on Quora which claimed that a single iPhone shouldn’t attract any duty despite the exceeding price limit if we declare that the phone is simply brought as a gift for parents or spouse. However, my colleague is strongly advising against that and he believes that opening the box and keeping the phone in pocket will do the trick to avoid customs at the airport. What would be the best way to skip customs or is the claim that a single iPhone isn’t objectionable true? I’d like to know your thoughts as soon as possible since he’s flying back to India in the next week and we need to figure out a good solution by then.

  • Legally, you have to pay custom duties on any product that you bring in with you, that exceeds that allowed limit (Rs 45,000).
    You cannot rely on people’s suggestions that custom will waive it off for you.

    The best option is to open the box and carry the phone as if your friend was using it for personal use. If it is packed in a box and customs catch it, you will probably have to pay either tax or bribe.

    Please note that Customs are smart enough to know the tricks of the trade. They handle people 24 hours, 365 days a year and have seen all kinds of reasons/tricks that people try to avoid customs.

  • NO.
    Why is custom company asking you to deposit money in Kolkata if the package is held at Islamabad? I see no valid reason for doing this.

    Please ask your courier company for a valid payment option within Pakistan to avoid any fraud. Ideally your should pay ONLY by cheque to make sure you can legally challenge it.

  • Amol Dhamale

    First of all I really appreciate the prompt response. Thank you for that. I hope that you assumed that he might already be carrying his own personal phone. So if he opens the box and keeps the iPhone with him which will by the way will be switched off to avoid unnecessary carrier locking, won’t it raise any suspicion among the customs that he is merely carrying the phone to avoid duty which is actually new? Secondly would he require to declare that has an iPhone with him if he opens the box and just keeps the phone in his pocket?

  • Hi Amol,
    1. Yes, i assumed that he would have his own phone as well as will be carrying your iPhone X.
    2. In any case, a second phone, if caught by Customs, has to be considered for paying custom duty.
    2 A. Case 1: He declares your phone on customs form, then he cannot avoid duty.
    2 B. Case 2: He does not declare it in customs form and carries it with him in his pocket OR carries it in his luggage inside the BOX itself. In this case, it all depends on whether customs catch him or not. The chances of catching are about 30%. Customs have their eyes on bigger offenders (who carry LED TVs, multiple phones, Gold bars etc.) most of the time.
    So, Case 2 with phone in his pocket of luggage is your best chance.
    That’s what people do normally too.

  • Amol Dhamale

    Fine. Carrying the phone in his pocket seems like the best shot I can take to avoid duty. Keeping the sealed box in the luggage is substantially riskier right? Secondly, if at all he carries the phone in his pocket, the box and the remainder of accessories (charger, ear pods, connectors etc.) will remain in the luggage. Will that be objectionable as well? In the worst case if he gets caught what is the maximum duty that he will have to pay considering the cost of the phone on the invoice as $1059? Besides this, any pointers that I could give him from your experience so far with customs at the airport in order to avoid suspicion?

  • The only way to avoid suspicion is to be normal as if nothing has happened. Just walk out of airport normally. Don’t sweat πŸ™‚
    If he has to pay duty, then it would be about 23.2% of $1059 (after conversion to Indian rupees) and penalty (for no declaration).
    Penalty is decided by customs officer. They may decide to charge it or waive it off.

  • Raunacq

    Hi,I wanted to order a headset from amazon Usa and it’s 60$ over ther what would be the approx price of it after reaching my place ?

  • The approximate amount of custom duty would be 25% of total cost.


    can you tell me the name of some package forwarding companies that can take the payment (including custom charges) from sender.

    tell me the Names of that courier companies

  • Personally, i have not used any.
    Do a google search and you can find many.

  • alankar

    hello…i want to buy a iphone7 plus from US and delivery it to mumbai. How much will it cost? will it cost the same as after adding the taxes customs etc

  • It will cost almost the same as if you buy it from India. I would suggest to buy it from there itself.

  • Venny Durga

    I want to buy lcd refurbish machine in aliexpress dot com cost was 896 us$ + 400 $ shipping cost via fedexIE
    How much custom duties and extra taxes i pay ?

  • Total Custom duty should be around $325.

  • Venny Durga

    Thnku..seller says if i want invoice price change to 400$ to reduce taxes..is it ok to change invoice price ?

  • You can do that. The custom duties are calculated on total invoice plus shipping and insurance.
    But, it is not guaranteed. Custom officer decides the real value if he is not convinced that invoice is right.

  • I have only used Fedex till now to send phone to India. Their service was really good.
    Cannot comment on the ShopUSA service. Have not heard about them with anybody else as well.

  • Saurabh Chokhra

    HI Anil I want to order 25 VR headsets from Newyork to delhi for my business purposes(Not for reselling). each product value is $399. How much custom duty+ tax is expected? will i get input for this custom duty?

  • I am not really sure about the percent of duty on VR headsets.
    I am guessing it would NOT be less than 20% though.

  • Sayed Fazil Ahmed

    sir i want to import a mobile from use for my personal use,its cost 818$ for mess what will be the custom duty included all taxes

  • Sagar Desai

    how much is the duty on used laptop of $1200? i am planning to purchase it from EBAY USA.

  • Approximately 350$

  • Approximately $200.

  • fipik com

    Hi bhai, i want to buy 4-5 graphic cards for my personal use. How much duty i will have to pay if i am buying from Europe or Usa ?

  • You can use this site to find the HSN code for graphic cards:

    and then the applicable custom duty.

  • Topgun An Anomaly

    Hello Amit, I think u can help me the situation where I am.

    I have purchased iPhone 7 from eBay @ 60 GB pound in an auction. I have paid that amount via PayPal .now person is going to send me the phone with invoice of ebay pricing 60 GB pound. Now will have to pay custom duty on 60 pound + i + f ??

    Or custom personnel will refuse to process things giving logic that the iPhone 7 worth more than the price ?

    Please help me with your best suggestions

  • Yes, there are high chances that customs will not accept the real bill that the person from eBay will send.
    Too many use this as a trick to avoid custom duties.

    But, it all depends on the custom officer. They may accept it or may impose their own value and then find the amount of tax that you need to pay.

  • Topgun An Anomaly

    In that case what could be the custom duty on an used iphone 7?

  • Example calculation is mentioned in above article. I do not know how much shipping, insurance and real cost would be analyzed in India.

  • Topgun An Anomaly

    Does custom personnel asks proof of payment to seller ??

  • I have not heard of it.

  • BAT

    i want to buy some motors from usa .
    can you please tell me what charges are going to applied on it if it is going to me cost around $1500 (including shipment charges)?

  • What are motors? Do you know what import category code they fall in?

  • BAT

    it’s dc motor and it’s hsn code is 85030021.

  • As per this website:

    The total duty is about 30%.