Custom Duty on iPhone to India from USA 2020 – GST Tax Calculator

Sending iphone to India is expensive (custom duty + GST Tax) than buying in India. Mark as Gift does not help. Carrying and not declaring at Indian airport custom evades duty but not safe.

Written by Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta          Updated  6 Jan, 20


Cost of Sending iPhone to India Calculator 2020

The cost of shipping iPhone from USA to India is USD $150. Buying iPhone from USA and shipping to India is not cheap after adding custom duties and GST tax.

You have to pay for shipping, insurance, custom duty in India along with GST tax for sending any phone including Google Pixel 4, Samsung Note, Samsung S10 to India.

I have given a sample custom duty calculation for iPhone here.

Open link in new window.

You may be paying much more for smartphone if you decide to buy from USA and ship it to yourself in India, the legal way.

Here are the sample costs involved for iPhone 64 GB & iPhone 64 GB Plus models:

 iPhone XRiPhone XSiPhone Max
Basic Price (USD)7499991099
Sales Tax (@6.5%)496571
Free Shipping to US address*000
Fedex/UPS – Standard shipping – 1 pound packet126126126
Transit Insurance (@2% of declared value)162123
Total (USD)9401,2111,319
Total (INR)(1 USD = INR 70)65,80084,77092,330

* Assuming Apple offers free shipping or you pick up 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

Mobile Phone Custom Duty, Taxes in India

Indian Customs duties and GST tax are due when you import mobile phone under the cell phones category.

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.

All 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.

 All in INRiPhone X (R)iPhone X (S)iPhone Max
ACIF value (Total cost to send from USA)65,80084,42092,330
BLanding Charges (1% of CIF)658844923
CSub-total (A + B)66,45885,26493,253
DCustom Duty (BCD – 20%)13,29217,05318,651
ESub-total (C + D)79,7501,02,3171,11,904
FGST Tax – 12%9,57012,27813,428
GAll other cess and charges000
HTotal (E + F + G) Final cost to you89,3201,14,5951,25,332
GTotal Customs (H – A)23,52030,17533,002

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 34% of the CIF value as customs charges.


If the total cost (CIF) in INR is 60,000 for a mobile, then add about 34% of 60,000 as custom taxes and charges.

Final price would be: 60,000 + 20,400 (34% of 60,000) = 84,400.

Who can send Mobile as gift to India from USA?

Any person can send mobile as a gift to India. It can be your business associate, friends, relatives, companies abroad can send mobile as gift to India. 
No relationship proof is required.

Who pays the Custom Duty on imported iPhone in India?

The Indian receiver is required to pay the custom duty and taxes on imported mobile.

How do we pay custom duty on iPhone imported from USA?

You can pay iPhone custom duty yourself at airport or your shipping company can pay and then you can pay them.

When the shipment reaches India, your postal company like Fedex 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 package. 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.

How much time does it take to get iPhone from USA in India?

The mail company can take 3 to 10 days to deliver your mobile from USA to India. There can be delays caused by custom checking in India.

Is there any GST Tax on imported mobile in India?

GST tax is applied on imported mobile phones in India including iPhone.
GST is short form of Goods and Services tax.

Is there any Sales Tax on Imported Mobile in India?

Sales tax is not charged on imported mobile phone in India.

Can I mark Mobile as Gift to Avoid Custom duty in India?

You cannot avoid Indian custom duty by marking mobile package as a gift when shipping to India.

What is the custom free limit of Gift package to India?

Only gifts up-to INR 10,000 worth of single package are allowed as custom free in India.
The value of 10K is converted value after applying USD to INR exchange rate. 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.

I won the iPhone Online, Do I have to Pay custom Duty When receiving it in India?

You have to pay custom duty on mobile phone while receiving it in India even when you won it in any online competition or lottery or anything.

Can I carry iPhone in My pocket to Avoid Indian Customs Duty?

You can carry new iPhone in your pocket but custom duty is required to be paid if the total value is greater than 10,000 Indian rupees.

You can carry mobile but if you do not declare it on customs form, you may have to pay penalty if you are caught.

How much GST is charged on Imported Mobiles in India?

You have to pay 12% GST tax on imported mobiles in India.

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.

I would suggest to buy directly from India. If you carefully understand the calculations, you are approximately paying about 34% extra for the phone, if you import.


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  413 Useful Questions & Answers

  1. Rahul Vijay
    Rahul Vijay 27 Nov, 15 at 2:40 am

    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?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 27 Nov, 15 at 3:54 am

      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
        Rahul Vijay 27 Nov, 15 at 11:24 am

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

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 27 Nov, 15 at 11:27 am

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

          I am not sure though.

          • Rahul Vijay
            Rahul Vijay 27 Nov, 15 at 11:31 am

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

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 27 Nov, 15 at 8:15 pm

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

      • Prasad
        Prasad 10 Feb, 16 at 3:01 am

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

  2. Rishitesh Ahuja
    Rishitesh Ahuja 18 Nov, 15 at 2:01 am

    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 ?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 18 Nov, 15 at 8:09 am

      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
        Rishitesh Ahuja 18 Nov, 15 at 2:10 pm

        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

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 18 Nov, 15 at 9:46 pm

          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
            Rishitesh Ahuja 21 Nov, 15 at 11:36 am

            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.

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 21 Nov, 15 at 11:44 am

              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
                RishiteAhuja 24 Nov, 15 at 8:30 am

                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.

                • Anil Gupta
                  Anil Gupta 24 Nov, 15 at 8:50 am

                  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.

                  • Vishal Kumar
                    Vishal Kumar 19 Aug, 16 at 9:13 pm

                    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 :*

                • sumeet
                  sumeet 21 Mar, 16 at 12:17 pm

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

  3. Rishitesh Ahuja
    Rishitesh Ahuja 18 Nov, 15 at 1:59 am

    Hi Anil
    One of my relatives sent me an iphone 6s worth $800 from USA to Delhi. 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 ?

  4. Monika Patel
    Monika Patel 3 Nov, 15 at 8:28 pm

    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 🙂

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 4 Nov, 15 at 10:35 am

      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..

  5. VEnkat
    VEnkat 3 Nov, 15 at 4:54 am

    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

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 3 Nov, 15 at 8:12 am

      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 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.

  6. amit yadav
    amit yadav 2 Nov, 15 at 1:14 am

    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
      amit yadav 2 Nov, 15 at 1:15 am

      Please share information on blog or my perosnal mail id on

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 2 Nov, 15 at 5:26 am

      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.

      • S Alam
        S Alam 10 Nov, 15 at 5:39 am

        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

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 11 Nov, 15 at 3:13 pm

          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.

  7. Aman Nirwana
    Aman Nirwana 26 Oct, 15 at 10:27 am

    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

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 26 Oct, 15 at 7:47 pm

      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.

  8. Raja
    Raja 26 Sep, 15 at 6:29 pm

    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??

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 26 Sep, 15 at 6:43 pm

      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.

  9. Navnish Nigam
    Navnish Nigam 3 Sep, 15 at 9:18 am

    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

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 3 Sep, 15 at 9:33 am

      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
        Navnish Nigam 4 Sep, 15 at 12:31 pm

        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
          kk 8 Sep, 15 at 9:56 am

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

          • Navnish Nigam
            Navnish Nigam 9 Sep, 15 at 8:19 pm

            Sure. I will

            • kk
              kk 12 Sep, 15 at 11:21 pm

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

              • Navnish Nigam
                Navnish Nigam 13 Sep, 15 at 1:13 am

                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
                  kk 13 Sep, 15 at 5:04 am

                  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
                    Navnish Nigam 13 Sep, 15 at 8:04 am

                    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.

  10. Anil Kumar
    Anil Kumar 30 Aug, 15 at 7:31 am

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

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 30 Aug, 15 at 12:14 pm

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