Importing from India

India is one of the fastest developing countries globally, while its economy is one of the most industrialized. Even though India imports more products than exports, importing from India to Europe remains popular. The most crucial for India are the car, iron and steel, aluminum, apparel, and textile industries. We discuss this country’s primary export goods, what European entrepreneurs import from there, and how to import from India.

What can I import from India?

Europe is the third largest trading partner of India. Our exports to and imports from India showed an upward trend and increased between 2010 and 2020 by 12.5%. In 2019, import from India to Europe was 39.6 billion euro, and in 2020 it declined to 33 billion euro. However, we can still see that entrepreneurs are interested in goods from India. It’s worth mentioning that our import from India exceeds export to this country.

What does India export?

  • Oil refined products
  • Medicines
  • Diamonds
  • Rice
  • Jewelry articles and parts thereof, of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal
  • Cars.

What is imported from India to Europe?

  • Chemical industry products
  • Mechanical and electrical devices
  • Common goods and goods made of common metal
  • Agricultural products (tobacco, tea, coffee, and tea essences and extracts).

What is imported from India to the US?

  • Pearls, precious stones, metals, coins
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Machinery, nuclear reactors, boilers
  • Electrical and electronic devices
  • Organic chemicals
  • Textiles.

Importing from India – Importer’s obligations

Import from India can become a beneficial investment for European entrepreneurs. However, one should remember that the import process requires proper preparations and knowledge. Below, we present all the crucial issues that must not be overlooked when importing goods from India.

How to start importing?

Before starting to import, there are a few steps that every entrepreneur needs to overcome to import products to the EU. The first of them is opening a business. Owning a registered company is necessary to carry out the import process.

Proceeding, one needs to apply for an EORI number. All entrepreneurs performing any customs operations in the EU are obliged to obtain it. It’s a number unique for every company that is granted only once. The application for an EORI number is submitted electronically, and it’s free of charge procedure. Remember, without this number you can’t carry out any import operation. Simultaneously, the Customs Office will stop your goods.

Importing from India to the EU – Duty rates

Before importing from India, one must check duty rates for the chosen products. Payment of customs and tax duties is an integrated part of every import process. To check tariffs for goods from India, you can use TARIC – an utterly free tariff system. Moreover, you can also find other essential data in the system, e.g., HS codes, anti-dumping duties, and others.

The duty on imports from India appears under “Erga Omnes”.

Duty rates for some of the products from India:

  • T-shirts, singlets and other vests, knitted or crocheted, of cotton (6109100010) – 12%
  • Tracksuits, ski suits and swimwear, knitted or crocheted, of cotton (6112110000) – 12%
  • Jerseys, pullovers, cardigans, waistcoats and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of wool (6110113000) – 12%
  • Women’s or girl’s blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses of silk or silk waste (6206100000) – 12%
  • Diamonds, whether or not worked, but not mounted or set (7102100000) – 0%
  • Articles of jewelry and parts thereof, of other precious metal, whether or not plated or clad with precious metal (7113190000) – 2.50%

Documents for importing from India to the EU

One of the crucial issues when importing is correct documentation for goods imported into the EU. The one responsible for assuring all the necessary documents is always the importer. Some of the documents are mandatory for all products, independently from their specification or purpose of use. On the other hand, some products require additional certificates or other documents or markings.

Therefore, it’s important to get acquainted with proper regulations for your products that are valid in the European Union. These are, e.g., New Approach Directives and harmonized norms, but also EU regulations.

Obligatory documentation for importing from India:

  1. Commercial Invoice (received from a supplier)
  2. Certificate of Origin (received from a supplier)
  3. Bill of Lading, B/L, BOL – in case of maritime transport
  4. Air Waybill (AWB) – in case of air transport
  5. Packing List (P/L)
  6. Customs value declaration
  7. The single administrative document – SAD (received after the customs clearance).

Additional documentation for importing from India (dependent on a product’s specification):

  1. CE Certificate, Declaration of Conformity, Test Reports – for electronics, electrical appliances, medical devices, toys, and many others
  2. CITES permit or certificate – for specimens of fauna and flora
  3. Fumigation certificate – for unprocessed wooden products, e.g. pallets
  4. and others.

Shipping goods from India

Goods from India can be shipped via sea or air freight. Sea transit is the most popular method not only on this route but also in international trade in general. Importers tend to choose this option due to its relatively low price and the possibility of transporting products in containers. In the case of sea transport, one must decide between two available options: FCL (Full Container Load) or LCL (Less Container Load) transport. However, it would help if you kept in mind that sea freight is the slowest way to deliver your goods.

Check the differences between FCL and LCL.

The most important seaport in India is Nhava Sheva Port. It handles over half of the entirety of container loads in this country (more than 42 million TEU). It’s both the largest international port in India and one of the biggest in the world. Goods may also be transported by sea, e.g., from the Mumbai Port Trust, which is mainly for bulk cargo transportation. However, most of them are directed to the Nhava Sheva Port mentioned above.

When it comes to air freight, it’s the fastest and safest form of transport. Even so, it’s not as often used as sea freight, mainly because of the high prices. It works primarily to deliver products that must reach their destination as fast as possible, e.g., food, flowers, or medicine. It’s often chosen also for valuable cargo, such as jewelry, luxury cars, and others of this kind.

Indira Gandhi International Airport is the biggest airport in India, located in Delhi, and handles the most cargo out of all airports in this country. Another airport is Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai. It’s the second busiest airport in India.  

Transport from India

Import from India – Summary

  • Import from India to Europe remains popular.
  • European entrepreneurs import from India mainly textile industry products, mechanical and electrical devices, and common goods and goods of common metal.
  • Before importing from India, one must open a business and obtain a unique EORI number.
  • Duty rates for goods from India can be checked in the TARIC system.
  • Remember that an importer’s duty is to take care of the mandatory documentation of goods’ customs clearance.
  • You will transport your products from India via sea or air.
  • Visit our website to get a shipping quote from India.