Update: There seems to be a lot of confusion and questions in regards to whether or not custom duties are completely removed. From what we understand, the standard custom duties which are applicable to goods will still be applicable. However, earlier there was a limit of Rs. 2000 on products above which Govt would charge a flat rate of 41.492 percent. Now, that limit has been increased to Rs. 50,000/-.
Bottom-line is that buyers will now not have to pay the flat-rate fee of 41.492 percent which was applicable earlier (for products that cost less than Rs. 50,000)
Update 2: Here is one of our readers explaining in detail what has changed
Have you have ever though of importing your favourite gadget but then dropped the idea because of the hassle of dealing with the customs and paying heavy duties? If yes, then this is a very pleasant news for you. In a recent notification, dated 12 August 2016, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has revised the custom duties provision on all items including electronics goods.
Under the previous provision under the Clause 3(1)(i)(h) of Foreign Trade, no custom duty was charged on import of goods having c.i.f. up to Rs. 2,000. The same has been revised to Rs. 50,000 now.
How It Affects The Masses?
We all know that a lot of goods especially electronic items retail for a much lower price outside India. For instance, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge costs $620 on Amazon.com right now which translates to Rs. 41,506 at current exchange rates. Similarly, HTC 10 costs $605 i.e. Rs. 40,510 at current conversion rates.
On the other hand, the Galaxy S7 Edge costs Rs. 55,900 on Flipkart while the HTC 10 costs Rs. 48,500 on Amazon.in.
This is huge difference in price tags of both the phones. The story doesn’t just end here. Same is true for laptops and TVs as well. Fortunately with this new amendment now you can import these items at much cheaper cost.
Earlier for importing anything above Rs. 2,000 you had to pay approximately 18% custom duties over the c.i.f. (cost, insurance and freight) of the mobile phones being imported. For laptops and computers the custom duties was 14.712% and was a whopping 28.852% for TVs, as mentioned on Labnol. As a general rule of thumb please remember that the c.i.f. is 2-3% of the total cost of the product.
With this new amendment it has become extremely affordable to import goods in India for personal use.
Would It Affect Imported Gadget Prices On Online Marketplaces?
The short answer is not by much.
As it is clearly mentioned, the c.i.f. limit for importing goods without incurring any custom duties is Rs. 50,000 for personal use. So those who import goods in bulk for business won’t be benefitted under this amendment. That means that very few sellers (those who sell only a couple of items) might be able to offer these imported goods at reduced prices.
But you can always import anything yourself and save a lot of money. Can’t you?