How to Send Used Mobile to India by USPS Fedex from USA

Mobile to India custom duty with GST Tax, paid by buyer or receiver. Sending used mobile from USA by USPS (Fedex delivery) in India. Process for courier custom clearance, sample custom forms. Receiver's PAN Card, Passport size Photograph and ID proof needed for custom clearance. No custom duty on gift up-to 10k INR.

Written by Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta          Updated  2 Jun, 19

  97    


Mobile to India Custom Duty and GST Tax?

GST Tax is charged on imported goods including mobile and is part of custom duty. The most updated GST rate is mentioned in this article for mobiles.

This is my own experience about sending a used smartphone by postal mail from USA to India with USPS (United states Postal Service) as the shipping company.

You can easily send any used or new mobile phone like iphone, Google pixel or Samsung note or Samsung S10 from USA to India.

Sending Mobile to India by USPS with Fedex delivery

Which mailing service is reliable, cheap, fast and offers custom clearance in India?
Fedex is most expensive with the cost for 1 LB package around $116.
UPS has price tagged at $109.
USPS starts their pricing from $61.45 for priority mail international.

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

Most of the people would use the USPS priority mail service but I would not recommend it. Instead, use USPS’s another product named ‘Global Delivery Express‘. This service uses Fedex delivery in India. Fedex India takes the pain of custom clearances on your behalf.

USPS Global Delivery Express costs $108.80 with insurance, tracking and 3-5 day guaranteed delivery in India (They use Fedex to deliver in India instead of India Post).

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

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

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

Documents to Send for Indian Custom Clearance

You need to pay customs duties and taxes when smartphone bought in US reaches India.

Don’t worry, you will get a call from the Fedex India where a delivery boy will contact you immediately with the documents that you need to furnish. In our case, the Fedex delivery person hand-delivered the list of documents to be submitted with instructions on 3rd day itself and that too after 5 PM.

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

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

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

 

Documents From Indian Receiver

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

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

#1 Fedex KYC form (sample)
#2 Fedex Checklist (Sample)

 

#3 Fedex Authorization Letter

For getting your package cleared by Fedex on your behalf

You can easily send the KYC form, checklist and other scanned copies of documentary proof by email kycdocs@mail.fedex.com with subject as your FEDEX AWD number.

Fedex AWD Number

You will find Fedex AWD number on the top of document demand letter. See sample above.
Remember, this is NOT same as USPS tracking code that you would have got in USA.

Custom Duty, GST Tax in India

Here is the break up for this case:

This custom duty percentage keeps changing from time to time as government revises the tax rate. When I had shipped it, there was no GST tax applicable.
But, now, GST tax rate is charged. The current custom duty and tax rate is documented here for your easy reference.

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

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

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

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

Cost of Sending Used Phone to India

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

Add to this, the cost of custom duty as charged as you can see the final hit to your pocket.

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 to send mobile to India?

Any person abroad can send gifts to India. 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.

Time to Ship Mobile to India from USA?

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

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

Sales Tax on Imported Goods/mobile in India?

There is no sales tax charged by India on importing goods at this time.


Finance USA
 



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  97 Useful Questions & Answers

  1. Jay Garrick
    Jay Garrick 8 Mar, 18 at 7:38 am

    Thanks for the write up. I just ordered s9+ for someone in India. I live in USA. I was concerned about the procedure to send it from here but i wasn’t aware that one has to go through all of these forms. Any other services that is more convenient specially for the receiver ? because i don’t want them to run behind filling forms and then get a suprise charge at the door when the guy comes to deliver. Thanks !

     

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 8 Mar, 18 at 8:14 am

      Well, all the forms can be emailed if you use the Fedex service. Fedex in India is pretty good. They call the receiver ahead and ask for sending the all the docs online. The process is pretty easy if the receiver submits all the required docs.
      With Fedex, you can pay for the estimated custom duty too while sending from USA. Otherwise, the receiver will have to pay cash when the fedex delivery guy comes home to deliver.

      I do not know of any other service that can help you with paperwork in India.

       

      • Jay Garrick
        Jay Garrick 10 Mar, 18 at 9:05 am

        Ok, thanks for the information Anil. I was reading on it and it seems it’s best to just order from indian online store to their house saving all these hassles and money. Would you know the best indian online retailer for doing this ? flipkart ? Want to order directly from samsung website but don’t think that’s an option in india. Thanks

         

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 10 Mar, 18 at 10:01 am

          I have used Flipkart and Amazon both in the past to order electronics. Usually the seller with best reviews is what I choose.

          The only caveat is: The item delivered has NOT been satisfactory.

          1. Once I ordered Samsung LCD TV from Flipkart. The TV had issues with screen on top left corner which went un-noticed by my parents. They are not that electronic savvy to identify such issues.
          2. The second time I chose Amazon.in thinking that they will probably have kept better checks in place to avoid fraud. They also disappointed me when I ordered an Acer laptop.
          My family did not notice but when I visited India, i found out that they had NOT given original ACER adapter and charger with the laptop. It was some local Chinese rip-off adapter. So, they really ditched and it was too late to return.

          I do not want to demotivate you, but I don’t really rely on Indian online shops. They are not mature enough like we have them in USA. The third party sellers on their platform try to sell at lower price (even with high ratings) but they will definitely try to extract that money by sending defected product.

          So, if you really shop there, try to buy from flipkart or Amazon from their own inventory. Like ‘sold and shipped by Amazon’ tag.

           

          • Jay Garrick
            Jay Garrick 30 Jun, 18 at 1:21 pm

            Really sorry for the lateeee reply but yes, thank you very much for this insight.

             

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 30 Jun, 18 at 2:35 pm

              No problem. Glad you responded 🙂

               

  2. Jay Garrick
    Jay Garrick 8 Mar, 18 at 7:39 am

    Thanks for the write up. I just ordered s9+ for someone in India. I live in USA. I was concerned about the procedure to send it from here but i wasn’t aware that one has to go through all of these forms. Any other services that is more convenient specially for the receiver ? because i don’t want them to run behind filling forms and then get a suprise charge at the door when the guy comes to deliver. Thanks !

     

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 8 Mar, 18 at 8:15 am

      Well, all the forms can be emailed if you use the Fedex service. Fedex in India is pretty good. They call the receiver ahead and ask for sending the all the docs online. The process is pretty easy if the receiver submits all the required docs.
      With Fedex, you can pay for the estimated custom duty too while sending from USA. Otherwise, the receiver will have to pay cash when the fedex delivery guy comes home to deliver.

      I do not know of any other service that can help you with paperwork in India.

       

      • Jay Garrick
        Jay Garrick 10 Mar, 18 at 9:06 am

        Ok, thanks for the information Anil. I was reading on it and it seems it’s best to just order from indian online store to their house saving all these hassles and money. Would you know the best indian online retailer for doing this ? flipkart ? Want to order directly from samsung website but don’t think that’s an option in india. Thanks

         

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 10 Mar, 18 at 10:02 am

          I have used Flipkart and Amazon both in the past to order electronics. Usually the seller with best reviews is what I choose.

          The only caveat is: The item delivered has NOT been satisfactory.

          1. Once I ordered Samsung LCD TV from Flipkart. The TV had issues with screen on top left corner which went un-noticed by my parents. They are not that electronic savvy to identify such issues.
          2. The second time I chose Amazon.in thinking that they will probably have kept better checks in place to avoid fraud. They also disappointed me when I ordered an Acer laptop.
          My family did not notice but when I visited India, i found out that they had NOT given original ACER adapter and charger with the laptop. It was some local Chinese rip-off adapter. So, they really ditched and it was too late to return.

          I do not want to demotivate you, but I don’t really rely on Indian online shops. They are not mature enough like we have them in USA. The third party sellers on their platform try to sell at lower price (even with high ratings) but they will definitely try to extract that money by sending defected product.

          So, if you really shop there, try to buy from flipkart or Amazon from their own inventory. Like ‘sold and shipped by Amazon’ tag.

           

  3. Nilesh S. Bahir
    Nilesh S. Bahir 5 Mar, 18 at 1:18 am

    Thanks for posting this article. I want to send my mother in India, my old iPhone 6 128 GB ( early 2015 model ). It’s not in the best condition but not being used either. I could not figure out what price it will be evaluated by the customs in India. I am certain that one can buy it in the USA for around $150 sold by individuals. What kind of documentation we need to provide to the customs to assert on the reality of the phone’s today’s price in the USA ( exporting location ) .. It would not be fair if they assess it at $700 ! I understand there’s no right or wrong answer, but If I declare a value around $120 , is that something that is likely to be accepted by customs ? I would not send the phone if the total cost ends up being around 5000 since one can get a decent phone in india for that price.. Thanks in Advance for any thoughts if you have on my query.

     

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 5 Mar, 18 at 7:14 am

      There is no official way of finding the value that customs will assess.
      In my case, i just figured the market value as you have also done and then just decreased it by $50 :). Customs did not change that value either.

      So, as long as you have mentioned a fair value, i do not think they challenge it. In your case, just keep the value as $100 and use the process as mentioned above to send it to India by postal mail. You should be good.

       

      • Nilesh S. Bahir
        Nilesh S. Bahir 7 Mar, 18 at 11:45 am

        Thanks Anil for taking time to reply. I think you have helped me here quite a lot. Have a good one.

         

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 7 Mar, 18 at 1:32 pm

          You are welcome. I am glad it helped you.

           

      • Peter
        Peter 26 Apr, 18 at 12:11 pm

        Anil, i intend ordering a vintage speedometer from Ebay for $95. Do you think i should ask the seller to lessen its value in the declaration or will $95 be enough to not attract any customs duty?

         

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 26 Apr, 18 at 12:21 pm

          Custom duty has to be paid irrespective of the amount declared, if you are getting it shipped.

           

          • Peter
            Peter 26 Apr, 18 at 12:22 pm

            Thanks !!

             

  4. Nilesh S. Bahir
    Nilesh S. Bahir 5 Mar, 18 at 1:19 am

    Thanks for posting this article. I want to send my mother in India, my old iPhone 6 128 GB ( early 2015 model ). It’s not in the best condition but not being used either. I could not figure out what price it will be evaluated by the customs in India. I am certain that one can buy it in the USA for around $150 sold by individuals. What kind of documentation we need to provide to the customs to assert on the reality of the phone’s today’s price in the USA ( exporting location ) .. It would not be fair if they assess it at $700 ! I understand there’s no right or wrong answer, but If I declare a value around $120 , is that something that is likely to be accepted by customs ? I would not send the phone if the total cost ends up being around 5000 since one can get a decent phone in india for that price.. Thanks in Advance for any thoughts if you have on my query.

     

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 5 Mar, 18 at 7:15 am

      There is no official way of finding the value that customs will assess.
      In my case, i just figured the market value as you have also done and then just decreased it by $50 :). Customs did not change that value either.

      So, as long as you have mentioned a fair value, i do not think they challenge it. In your case, just keep the value as $100 and use the process as mentioned above to send it to India by postal mail. You should be good.

       

      • Nilesh S. Bahir
        Nilesh S. Bahir 7 Mar, 18 at 11:46 am

        Thanks Anil for taking time to reply. I think you have helped me here quite a lot. Have a good one.

         

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 7 Mar, 18 at 1:33 pm

          You are welcome. I am glad it helped you.

           

  5. Partha Goswami
    Partha Goswami 5 Feb, 18 at 10:45 pm

    DHL gives me update it ask RS 4090 as custom total product value including shipping is RS 7000

     

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 6 Feb, 18 at 8:02 am

      ok. thanks for the information.
      Which mobile and how much does it cost?

       

    • souvik sett
      souvik sett 6 Feb, 18 at 10:19 am

      For a 7000 product more than half is custom charge???? (:o

       

  6. souvik sett
    souvik sett 5 Feb, 18 at 12:16 am

    If my client send me an used iphone as gift, then how the price will be calculated? He sent a galaxy s5 by USPS first class mail. That just disappeared. Even after 9 months I didn’t receive any call. I went to our head post office, they even don’t know. Now I asked him to use USPS global, reading your blog.
    Will there be any custom charge? Please help.

     

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 5 Feb, 18 at 8:14 am

      Yes, there will be custom duty that you will have to pay in India.
      The duty will be calculated on the amount that the sender mentions on the export form (that he will fill in US when mailing it through USPS).

       

      • souvik sett
        souvik sett 5 Feb, 18 at 9:03 am

        Thanks sir for your response. So if my client set the value as doller 0 or 1, then? As it’s a gift so is there mandatory to mention price?

         

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 5 Feb, 18 at 12:46 pm

          They can mention the value as zero but, customs in Indian is smart.
          They will take the final decision as to believe you or not.

          If they decide that yes, it is a gift, then you are good and do not have to pay any duty.
          But, if they decide that you are trying to do it intentionally, they may charge you penalty too.

           

          • souvik sett
            souvik sett 5 Feb, 18 at 1:57 pm

            That’s a used phone of him. Not a new one. Then please tell me the process.

             

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 5 Feb, 18 at 3:18 pm

              I know that you are talking about used phone. The article above is also about used phone.

               

            • souvik sett
              souvik sett 5 Feb, 18 at 9:21 pm

              Ok. Then lets see what happens. He may use fedex.

               

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 6 Feb, 18 at 8:01 am

              For USPS global service, USPS does not do it themselves. You only book it with USPS, then they give it to Fedex and they take care of the transportation part.

               

            • souvik sett
              souvik sett 6 Feb, 18 at 9:11 am

              I think that is best, isn’t it?

               

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 6 Feb, 18 at 10:29 am

              I have used USPS global pay and that’s very good service.
              Fedex directly charges more than USPS. So, it is better to go through USPS 🙂

               

            • souvik sett
              souvik sett 6 Feb, 18 at 11:03 am

              Thanks. I’ll recommend it. I’m worrying on custom, how much they charge….

               

  7. Partha Goswami
    Partha Goswami 31 Jan, 18 at 1:23 pm

    anil. nice writeup. I ordered one at $99+$22 shipping coming VIA DHL lets see what would be custom duity

     

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 31 Jan, 18 at 2:31 pm

      Sure.

       

  8. Sagar Desai
    Sagar Desai 8 Jan, 18 at 9:00 am

    how much is the duty on used laptop of $1200? i am planning to purchase it from EBAY USA. also does USPS have virtual address so that i can order it to that address and they will forward it to my Indian address.

     

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 31 Jan, 18 at 2:31 pm

      I don’t think USPS provides forwarding service.
      Duty should around 25%.

       

  9. manish
    manish 2 Jan, 18 at 1:34 am

    Sir my Parcel have My current address and my registered address is different,,, Is it cumpulsory to have same delievery address as my registered address??

     

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 2 Jan, 18 at 9:02 am

      What do you mean by ‘registered address’?
      Parcel would be delivered at the address written on the package.

       

      • Manish
        Manish 3 Jan, 18 at 1:11 pm

        They r saying that the address proof in my id (that is submitted with kyc form) must match the address written on the invoice(shipping address)…… and my shipping address is different from my registered address( address written on Id proof) …

         

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 3 Jan, 18 at 1:56 pm

          Which courier company is this?
          You can submit your ID with your current ‘Shipping address’ and they should be able to deliver it there then.

           

          • Manish
            Manish 4 Jan, 18 at 12:10 am

            Fedex ie… I don’t have any id for my current shipping address…

             

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 4 Jan, 18 at 8:25 am

              That’s a mistake then. You are trying to use your registered ID with fedex to deliver stuff to someone other. As per your documents, In Fedex and government eyes, you are the importer, but, you are trying to deliver stuff at some other address.
              How can they do it? They technically need documents to prove that the new ‘Shipping address’ does belong to you.

               

            • Peter
              Peter 26 Apr, 18 at 12:08 pm

              Hi Anil, thanks for this detailed article. I have the same issue as Manish, my aadhar card is of my parents house (which is now leased out to someone) but my shipping address is where i reside at present and don’t have any id proof. Will a leave / license house agreement, Income Tax returns, be convincing enough proof?

               

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 26 Apr, 18 at 12:11 pm

              Well, you have to ask Fedex if they will accept the docs you mentioned as proof.
              These are the acceptable proofs that i know of:
              Any one of the following:
              Voter ID card
              Passport’s first and last page
              Driving License
              Bank Statement
              Ration Card
              Aadhar Card

               

            • Peter
              Peter 26 Apr, 18 at 12:19 pm

              Thanks for the prompt reply. For the case that they don’t accept the proofs i currently have…any advice on how to procure an item from Ebay given my current status?

               

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 26 Apr, 18 at 12:22 pm

              Sorry, I do not know.

               

            • Peter
              Peter 26 Apr, 18 at 12:47 pm

              Thanks again for the reply. Is the same custom clearance / KYC protocol followed by Indian Speed Post if i choose USPS priority mail service?

               

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 26 Apr, 18 at 1:23 pm

              I am not sure of Indian Speed Post. I have never used it.

               

            • Prithvi Raj
              Prithvi Raj 6 Jan, 18 at 8:15 am

              Submit something like Electricity bill or some utility bill along with PAN card. This is India, you can do 100 manipulations, think.

               

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 6 Jan, 18 at 9:52 am

              Thanks Prithvi. You are right.

               

  10. sandesh lavti
    sandesh lavti 3 Dec, 17 at 12:54 pm

    A friend of mine bought a laptop for me from USA to India.
    Laptop motherboard got dead. It’s expensive & not under warranty in India.
    So I have to send it to USA get it fixed n my friend will courier me to India.
    Is there any way to avoid indian customs? I’m sending it for repairs.

     

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 3 Dec, 17 at 8:31 pm

      I am.not really sure if you can avoid duty here.
      The only way I can think of is the real repairs bill provided by the laptop company.
      That bill can explain how the customs.

      I have not heard any such case before though.

       

    • AlwyN
      AlwyN 31 May, 18 at 12:28 pm

      If you can show its inovoce then it would not be calculated in customs duty

       



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