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Custom Duty In India

Custom Duty Basics

Import duty and taxes are due when importing goods into India whether by a private individual or a commercial entity.  The valuation method is CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight), which means that the import duty and taxes payable are calculated on the complete shipping value, which includes the cost of the imported goods, the cost of freight, and the cost of insurance.  Some duties are also based on quantity measurements.  In addition to duty, imports are subject to other
taxes and charges such as landing charges, countervailing duty, CESS, and education CESS.


Duty Rates

Duty rates in India can be ad valorem (as a percentage of value) or specific (rupees per unit).  Duty rates vary from 0% to 150%, with an average duty rate of 11.9%.  Some goods are not subject to duty (e.g. laptops and other electronic products).

Sales Tax

There is no sales tax in India for imported goods.

Minimum thresholds

There is no minimum threshold in India, i.e. all imports regardless of their value are subject to duty and taxes.

Other taxes and custom fees

• Landing charges (1% CIF)
• Countervailing duty (5% (CIFD + Landing charges))
• CESS (3% Countervailing duty)
• Education CESS (3% (Duty + Landing charges + countervailing duty)

Type of Customs Duties

Basic customs duty

Basic customs duty levied u/s 12 of Customs Act is generally 10% of non-agricultural goods, w.e.f. 1-3-2007.

Countervailing Duty (CVD)

·    CVD equal to excise duty is payable on imported goods u/s 3(1) of Customs Tariff Act to counterbalance impact of excise duty on indigenous manufactures, to ensure level paying field.

·    CVD is payable equal to excise duty payable on like articles if produced in India. It is payable at effective rate of excise duty.

·    General excise duty rate is 10.30% w.e.f. 27-2-2010 (10% basic plus 2% education cess and SAH Education cess of 1%).

·         CVD is payable on assessable value plus basic customs duty. In case of products covered under MRP provisions, CV duty is payable on MRP basis as per section 4A of Central Excise.

·    CVD can be levied only if there is ‘manufacture’.

·    CVD is neither excise duty nor basic customs duty. However, all provisions of Customs Act apply to CVD.

Special CVD

Special CVD is payable @ 4% on imported goods u/s 3(5) of Customs Tariff Act. This is in lieu of Vat/sales tax to provide level playing field to Indian goods. Traders importing goods can get refund. CVD is not payable if goods are covered under MRP valuation provisions/

Education Cess

Education cess of customs @ 2% and SAH Education cess of 1% is payable.

Total duty

Total import duty considering all duties plus education cess on non-agricultural goods is generally 26.85%

Other duties

NCCD has been imposed on a few articles. In addition, on certain goods, anti-dumping duty, safeguard duty, protective duty etc. can be imposed. Cess is payable on some goods imported/exported.

Safeguard duty

Safeguard duty can be imposed if large imports are causing serious injury to domestic industry. In addition, product specific safeguard duty on imports from China can be imposed.

Anti dumping duty

bulletAntidumping duty is leviable u/s 9A of Customs Tariff Act when foreign exporter exports his good at low prices  compared to prices normally prevalent in the exporting country.
bulletDumping is unfair trade practice and the anti-dumping duty is levied to protect Indian manufacturers from unfair competition.
bulletMargin of dumping is the difference between normal value (i.e. his sale price in his country) and export price( price at which he is exporting the goods).
bulletPrice of similar products in India is not relevant to determine ‘margin of dumping’.
bullet‘Injury margin’ means difference between fair selling price of domestic industry and landed cost of imported products. Dumping duty will be lower of dumping margin or injury margin.
bulletBenefits accruing to local industry due to availability of cheap foreign inputs is not considered. This is a drawback.
bulletCVD is not payable on antidumping duty. Education cess and SAH education cess is not payable on anti-dumping duty.
bulletIn case of imports from WTO countries, antidumping duty can be imposed only if it cause material injury to domestic industry in India.
bulletDumping duty is decided by Designated Authority after enquiry and imposed by Central Government by notification. Provisional antidumping duty can be imposed. Appeal against antidumping duty can be made to CESTAT.

Calculations of customs duty

General customs duty rate for non-agricultural goods s 10%. Total customs duty payable w.e.f. 27-2-2010 is 26.85% as excise duty rate is generally 10%
Assessable value = CIF Value of imported goods converted into Rupees at exchange rate specified in notification issued by CBE&C plus landing charges 1% (plus some additions often arbitrarily and whimsically made by customs)

Calculation of customs duty payable is as follows -

Duty %
Total Duty
Assessable Value Rs


Basic Customs Duty
Sub-Total for calculating CVD '(A+B)'


CVD  'C' x excise duty rate
Education cess of excise - 2% of 'D'
SAH Education cess of excise - 1% of 'D'
Sub-total for edu cess on customs 'B+D+E+F'


Edu Cess of Customs – 2% of 'G'
SAH Education Cess of Customs - 1% of 'G'
Sub-total for Spl CVD 'C+D+E+F+H+I'


Special CVD u/s 3(5) – 4% of 'J'
Total Duty

Total duty rounded to


Notes – Buyer who is manufacturer, is eligible to avail Cenvat Credit of D, E, F and K above.

A buyer, who is service provider, is eligible to avail Cenvat Credit of D, E and F above. .

A trader who sells imported goods in India after charging

Vat/sales tax can get refund of Special CVD of 4% i.e. ‘K’ above

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