Export to India

20 years of strong economic growth have helped bring India, a country historically divided across many lines, together. With an urban middle class of over 250 million, India is predicted to be the world’s third-largest economy and largest middle-class consumer market by 2030, with a strong demand for European products.

In 2006, trade between India and Ireland stood at €700 million; in 2012, it reached €2.3 billion. More than 130 Enterprise Ireland client companies are currently exporting to India.

Sources: DHL, Enterprise Ireland, GOV.UK, McKinsey Global Institute

For more detailed information when trading with India, download our India Fact Sheet.



India Fact Sheet (3 MB)

Read more detailed
information about India

DHL Facts

Locations: 242

Gateways into the Country: 5

Number of Service Centres: 45

DHL Delivery Zone: 7

Vehicle Fleet: 405

India: Country Profile
Population: 1.2 billion Exports from
US$ 313.2 billion (2013 est.)
Area: 3,287,263 sq km Export Commodities: Petroleum products, precious stones, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, vehicles, apparel
Currency: 1 rupee (INR) = 100 paisa Top Export Destinations: USA, Germany, UK, Australia, UAE, Canada, South Africa, France, Japan, Nigeria, New Zealand
GDP: US$ 4.9 trillion (2013 est.) IMPORTS INTO INDIA
Time Zones:  UTC +5:30; no summertime observed Imports into
US$ 467.5 billion (2013 est.)
Languages: 22 official languages including Hindi, English, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayam, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Maithili Import Commodities: Crude oil, precious stones, machinery, fertiliser, iron and steel, chemicals
Ethnic Groups: Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3% Top Import Origins: China, Hong Kong, USA, Germany, Italy
Transit Times
The times provided for
dutiable shipments
are based on the time
expected for Customs
in India to clear
the shipment. This is
contingent upon the
value of the shipment.
Destination Non-Dutiable Shipment Dutiable Shipment
New Delhi 2 days 3 days
Calcutta 2 days 3 days
Mumbai 2 days 3 days
Bagalore 2 days 3 days
Chennai 2 days 3 days
  • Further Information

    DHL can assist you with trading with India. Contact the DHL Express team on 1890 725 725

    DHL Customer Services is also available on 1890 725 725

  • Duty Free Allowance

    INR 10,000

Essential Customs Information

For an estimate of landed costs (duties, taxes and other import fees) for shipments going to India use the free and interactive DHL Express Trade Automation Services (TAS) tool, TAS also provides information on regulations compliance and trade documentation.

All goods shipments to India require Know Your Customer (KYC) documentation to be presented to Customs; otherwise shipments will go into Customs Bond until the documentation is presented. KYC is recognised by the Indian government as a form of identification. Go to to upload your KYC (includes listing of suitable KYC copy document types).

The shipper needs to be registered with India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and provide an IEC (Importer Exporter Code), a unique 10-digit number issued by the DGFT.

A GATT Declaration is required for shipments valued above INR 100,000. Evidence of value must accompany the document.

A Letter of Authority is required so that DHL can act on the receiver’s behalf. DHL can keep this on file for future imports.

Duty exemptions may apply by virtue of specific circulars/notifications by Indian Customs. The receiver needs a valid Import Export Code (IEC) number unless the items are shipped for genuine personal use.

An NOC (No Objection Certification) is required for certain imports.

If shipper and receiver are the same or related (other than for unaccompanied baggage), additional declarations and/or paperwork will be required or the shipment will not be cleared. Return to Origin (RTO) will not take place.

Prohibited items specific to the India:

The list below is in addition to DHL’s standard list of prohibited items.

  • Asbestos
  • Dangerous goods, hazardous or combustible materials
  • Firearms, parts of
  • Gambling devices
  • Hardback or paperback books for non-commercial use containing pornography / objectionable content / content against India
  • Ivory
  • Maps depicting political boundaries of India not conforming to the Indian Government’s boundaries (includes such maps featured in hardback or paperback books for non-commercial use)
  • Pornography

Restricted items specific to the India:

Annual reports, 8mm / 16mm / 35mm films, manuscripts, entertainment films, printed or manuscript music, promotional or training films and video cassette tapes
Subject to Central Board of Film Certification (Censor Board’s approval).

Alcoholic beverages, coffee, industrial equipment, medical samples, medical or dental supplies & equipment and oil products
Subject to destination controls and import licence requirements. Receiver needs to provide necessary paperwork.

Antiques, coal & firewood, furs, military equipment, plants & plant products, precious metals & stones, tobacco and works of art
To be shipped only if the receiver holds a special import permission or licence from the Government of India. Declare correct market value.

Audio cassettes, computer tapes, jewellery containing previous metals and / or precious or semi-precious stones, perishables and sports equipment
Subject to government controls. Confirm contents very clearly in the invoice; do not give vague descriptions. Please contact DHL Customer Services before shipping.

Blank forms, booklets & brochures (non-advertisement), calendars, journals, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, pamphlets and shipping schedules
Maximum quantity: 5 pieces.

Blank invoices and business cards
Maximum weight: 1 kg (2.5 lb)

Bunker oil samples (for analysis)
May require Ministry of Environment and Forests approval.

Cards or photographs with commercial use or value, data & information on paper, technical drawings and works of art
Send as goods.

Cash & cash-like instruments (credit cards, valid travellers cheques)
Send as goods.

Computer software, labels and price tickets for garments
Receiver to provide paperwork for duty exemption.

Seeds, including cotton seed
Licence to import, Phytosanitary Certificate and NOC from the Plant Quarantine Department required for clearance. Goods for human/animal consumption: receiver to provide NOC from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Credit cards & credit card blanks (NI)
Acceptable only if cards are not activated.

Drugs: Prescription
Declare if drugs are ‘Life Saving’ on the invoice and waybill. Must be accompanied with a copy of prescription or receiver must provide a copy of the prescription. Provide NOC from Assistant Drug Controller (ADC). Invoice needs to include manufacturer’s name, batch number and expiry details. Special clearance charges and duties may apply. Receiver may have to contact the Drug Controller Office.

Diplomatic material & diplomatic mail
Send in a diplomatic pouch or clearly mark as ‘DIPLOMATIC MATERIAL / MAIL’. Diplomatic mail: can travel as documents. Diplomatic material: should travel as goods; can be cleared duty free only if the consulate or diplomatic mission provides duty exemption documents and applicable paperwork.

Fabrics, fabric samples and textile articles, including garments
Requires NOC from the Textile Committee Office prior to clearance. Provide laboratory test reports from internationally accredited testing agencies (e.g. SGS, Lloyds Register, Bureau Veritas) to help reduce delays and warehouse charges.

Fire extinguishers and ship spares
Formal clearance required; receiver to provide requisite paperwork.

Foodstuffs, including grain samples
Receiver needs to provide NOC from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Items can be sent for testing.

Gifts and samples
Confirm in the invoice that the items are gifts or samples. Standard duties apply.

Hardback or paperback books for non-commercial use
Maximum quantity: 5 pieces.

Printed or manuscript music and technical manuals
Subject to Central Board of Film Certification (Censor Board's approval).

Non-hazardous liquids or chemicals
Require MSDS/Certification of Analysis (COA) in English. Receiver to provide necessary paperwork for clearance. Declare correct value.

Only to be shipped by or consigned to an Embassy, Consulate or other regulatory body; need to be accompanied by an original letter from the Embassy or Consulate. India Customs will decide on authenticity on a case-by-case basis.

Personal effects
The receiver must be an individual (e.g. not a hotel or exhibition centre). Unaccompanied baggage shipments will be sent as baggage cargo. Shipper and receiver’s name needs to be the same. Only used personal articles will be cleared duty free. The shipper/receiver needs to be present and provide their passport for clearance. Clearance charges of INR 1,500 will apply in addition to duties, warehousing and local taxes.
Personal effects that are not unaccompanied baggage: shipper and receiver name cannot be the same. Items not in original packaging or otherwise used will be subject to import restrictions.

Photographs part of business reports and price lists
Must be postcard-sized and business-related only. Maximum quantity: 10 pieces.

May require an NOC from the regulatory body in India.

Radar equipment (transmitters / receivers), radios & radio equipment or parts and telecommunications equipment
If radio frequency signals and range exceed 4800 MHZ: receiver to provide Wireless Planning Commission (WPC).

Used or refurbished items (computers, laptops, printers, mobile phones, machinery, equipment, tools, etc.)
Subject to import restrictions; ship only if the receiver provides written confirmation to clear shipment and compliant paperwork.

For animal products including skins and leather goods, non-prescription drugs / pharmaceutical intermediaries and raw materials for cosmetics, seeds and other plant materials imported for propagation, shipments entering Bangalore packed with solid wooden packing material, temperature-controlled or Worldwide Medical Express (WMX) shipments and x-ray machines please contact DHL Customer Services before shipping.