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. chris Royal
    chris Royal 3 May, 16 at 11:08 pm

    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

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 4 May, 16 at 7:19 am

      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.

      • Nirmal
        Nirmal 9 Jun, 16 at 5:13 am

        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.

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 9 Jun, 16 at 7:24 am

          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.

          • Nirmal
            Nirmal 9 Jun, 16 at 1:23 pm

            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.

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 9 Jun, 16 at 1:30 pm

              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).

  2. 'Bidisha Kulshrestha
    'Bidisha Kulshrestha 29 Apr, 16 at 4:09 am

    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

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 29 Apr, 16 at 8:01 am

      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
        'Bidisha Kulshrestha 30 Apr, 16 at 12:45 am

        Thanks so much, Anil. Really appreciate your reply.

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 30 Apr, 16 at 7:23 am

          You are welcome.

  3. smit
    smit 21 Mar, 16 at 11:21 pm


    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 ?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 22 Mar, 16 at 5:11 am

      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
        smit 23 Mar, 16 at 12:33 am

        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

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 24 Mar, 16 at 7:22 am

          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?

          • smit
            smit 24 Mar, 16 at 11:20 pm

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

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 25 Mar, 16 at 7:28 am

              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
                smit 25 Mar, 16 at 11:38 pm

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

                • Anil Gupta
                  Anil Gupta 30 Apr, 16 at 7:23 am

                  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.

              • Harry
                Harry 13 Oct, 16 at 9:46 pm

                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

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 24 Mar, 16 at 2:52 pm

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

          Just check if it helps you.

    SAVIT KASTURIA 9 Mar, 16 at 2:57 am


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Mar, 16 at 8:22 am

      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.

        SAVIT KASTURIA 10 Mar, 16 at 12:02 am

        They are sending through courier agencies

          SAVIT KASTURIA 10 Mar, 16 at 12:03 am

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

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 10 Mar, 16 at 5:58 am

          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.

          • SAVIT KASTURIA
            SAVIT KASTURIA 10 Mar, 16 at 9:53 pm

            1 HOW TO PAY,
            2.WHERE TO PAY
            3. WHOM TO PAY
            4 WHETHER TO PAY OR NOT

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 11 Mar, 16 at 9:05 am

              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.

  5. Vajahath khan
    Vajahath khan 5 Mar, 16 at 4:46 am

    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.

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 6 Mar, 16 at 7:24 am

      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.

  6. mukemeka
    mukemeka 18 Feb, 16 at 1:46 am

    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?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 18 Feb, 16 at 9:14 am

      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
        mukemeka 18 Feb, 16 at 9:57 am

        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?

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 18 Feb, 16 at 3:25 pm

          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
            mukemeka 19 Feb, 16 at 10:31 pm

            Thank you very much for your help!

            • Arjun Reddy
              Arjun Reddy 8 Jun, 16 at 9:43 pm

              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
          Arjun Reddy 8 Jun, 16 at 9:44 pm

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

  7. Prasad
    Prasad 10 Feb, 16 at 2:59 am

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

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 10 Feb, 16 at 6:34 am

      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.

  8. Nitish Singh
    Nitish Singh 20 Jan, 16 at 11:00 pm

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

  9. Pratap Mahanta
    Pratap Mahanta 28 Nov, 15 at 8:42 pm

    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 worth $159.9 but I paid through PayPal so it cost me total ₹10,810 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 ₹1275 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
      guna 17 Dec, 15 at 5:05 am

      Hi friend I need to buy xiaomi products from china so please suggest to me how much need to paid please mail me

  10. Pratap Mahanta
    Pratap Mahanta 28 Nov, 15 at 8:17 pm

    Hello Sir really this is a very helpful forum. I know if someone import anything then how they worried about custom duty even I was also going through this situation anyway I would like to share about my experience.

    1- I purchased Elephone P8000 from worth $159.9 but I paid through PayPal so it cost me total ₹10, 810 and it send through Singapore Post to Chennai from China on 13th September 2015 and mark as gift. And it received at custom office Chennai on 18th September 2015 and I received on 1st October but I had to paid ₹1275 custom duty. I gave a attached file below details of custom.
    2 – Again I ordered Tempered glass for this phone from worth $5 but it’s custom free.