What Are The Import Duties in India?

When a country exports or imports a product or service, it must pay a customs duty. Well-known import duty is a tax levied on products and services entering a country, while taxes levied on leaving a country are known as export duties.

When a country exports or imports a product or service, it must pay a customs duty. Well-known import duty is a tax levied on products and services entering a country, while taxes levied on leaving a country are known as export duties.

Import Taxes in India

The GST (Goods & Services Tax) is a new tax system adopted by the Indian government. It was an entirely novel set of taxation regimes whereby users must hand over money at the point of purchase.

Central tax, service tax, value-added tax, state tax, Etc. were all added to the tax structure, making it more complex than needed. They were levied on services and goods, but currently, only one tax – GST – remains.

The value of the object being imported or exported, or some other metric such as weight or volume, is typically used to determine the amount of this tax. When customs fees are levied, the government receives a monetary gain. They could also be put in place to shield an industry against cheaper imported alternatives. Customs charges can be effective when applied to the rising costs of imported goods.

Importing countries’ consumers pay the majority of customs fees and taxes. Buyers will indirectly fund government expenses if the tax is included in the final price. Products sold within a country might be affected by customs duties since they reduce competition and, in turn, drive prices down.

Different Categories of Indian Customs Duties

Almost everywhere, imports are subject to a customs fee or tax. They are as follows:

  • CVD ( Countervailing duty)
  • Anti-dumping Duties
  • Special CVD and Other Customs Fees
  • BCD ( Basic customs duty)
  • Protective Duty

They apply to nearly everything brought into the country. However, items on the second schedule are subject to export tariffs. Essential medicines and agricultural goods are exempt from customs taxes. The tax rate for manufactured products is 15%. The transaction value is used to calculate the customs duty.

In addition, they are subdivided into numerous taxes, such as:

Basic Customs Duty

Products entering the country are subject to the fee, which originates from Section 12 of the Customs Act of 1962. This fee is determined by the Customs Tariff Act of 1975, Schedule 1.

Extra Customs Duties

Goods listed in Chapter 3 of the 1975 Customs Tariff Act are subject to this levy. Its tax rates are comparable to the central excise duties levied on goods made in India.

Educating levies

It’s a 2% tariff plus an extra 1% “education tax” to fund government programs.

Protection Duties

This tax has been established to protect domestic industries and consumers from foreign competition. The tariff commission will set the rate.

Anti-Dumping Duty

This fee is assessed whenever a commodity is imported at a price lower than its current market worth.

Safeguard Duties

Officials at customs have determined that allowing this particular commodity to export would damage the national economy. Hence they have imposed this restriction.

Learn How to Figure Out Your Import Tax!

The ad valorem approach establishes the amount of customs charges owed on imported goods. An item’s value is determined by Rule 3  of the Rules of Customs Valuation in 2007. The CBEC (Central Board of Excise & Customs) website features a handy import duty calculator for use with Indian customs. In 2009, as part of its electronic and computerized service initiative, India unveiled a web-based solution under ICEGATE.

The acronym ICEGATE stands for “Indian Electronic Interchange Gateway,” the official name for the country’s customs website. Additionally, it is a system that facilitates the computation of duty rates, the certification of shipping bills and products for export and import, online payments, and the validation of import and export permits. Products’ values and the customs duty that constitutes the bulk of the charge on them serve as the basis for IGST export and import.

Customs Duties Payments

Paying your customs duty online is easy and takes just a few minutes.

  • Sign in to the ICEGATE online payment gateway
  • Type the IEC (import-export code).
  • Next, proceed to the online payment.
  • In this section, you’ll specify the specifics of the outstanding challans.
  • To make a payment, choose the financial services or payment method and the challan to be paid.
  • The link has been clicked, taking you to the bank’s online payment system.
  • Put down some cash.
  • The confirmation of your payment will load, and you can print it off as proof of purchase.

Services Imports Within the GST System

The only services a provider offers outside of India subject to the GST Act 2017 are those related to importing. That specific spot on the map within India is where these services are offered to customers. Only services delivered in the ordinary course of business are eligible for consideration under section 7(1)(b) of the Central govt goods and services Act of 2017.

Therefore, it is incorrect to refer to such services as a supply if they are not reimbursed. You can still consider the import of services as the supply even if you haven’t had your business tested.

A registered taxpayer’s acquisition of services from a relative or a business associate is regarded as a supply under the requirements of CGST Act I, 2017, even if the purchase was made free of charge.

Merchandises and services imported from other countries are subject to GST because they are considered interstate goods. Tax is due on a duty drawback basis by anyone importing services or goods.

Input tax credit

In the Goods and Services Tax (GST) framework, the IGST levied on registered imports can be claimed as an input tax credit. Importers can use the input credit to offset the tax burden incurred while supplying items for export.

The GST Compensation Cess is an additional advantage that an importer may receive before passing it along to other suppliers in the supply chain. Importers can claim ITC for IGST and GST compensating cess by including their GSTIN (GST registration number) on the entry bill. It will take a significant financial outlay to import the entire system, but the payoff will be swift.

The GST for Exporters

Before the introduction of GST, the duty was also charged on shipments abroad. All supplies leaving India for destinations outside the country will now be taxed at 0% under the new regime. It means exporters do not have to pay the Goods and Services Tax. When exporting products or services to a foreign country, taxpayers registered as taxable are eligible for a refund.


You have gained a thorough understanding of the Indian import tax system. You should first consider the import tax before moving about import/export. Also, you could be hit with severe penalties if you try to save money on taxes by using illegal methods.


Mr. Mehul Goyal is a professional DGFT Consultant – Advance Authorisation Scheme with experience of more than 30 years and specialized in the field and is offering DGFT Consulting Services all over India.  He is working with many importers and exporters even before DGFT was instigated in the markets.