• Hello and Welcome to HiFiVision.com - an online community for the home entertainment and tech enthusiasts!

    If you would like to ask a question, participate in a discussion and view attachments please Register yourself.

Customs import duty question.

AV Cables

Congruence

New Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2019
Messages
2
Points
1
Location
Chennai
Hey guys! I stumbled upon an old thread here regarding a horror story of customs duty on an old second hand tuner from ebay uk.

This post is not related to any audio components, I need some input on customs behaviors.

On the old thread, I read second hand electronic items are banned. Does it mean they'll just discard it, and charge me a fine?

The item I want to order online as an individual, not a company is an old analog mixing console that has depreciated in value over the years. It used to be approx 5,500$ new around 2002 time I believe. The unit I found online is being sold for 800$. I want to know if ordering this will attract a fine of some sort. Also, I'd be spending quite a bit on shipping charges as it will come all the way from the US. So I don't want to commit the purchase before I understand what I'm getting into.
So say they decide to let it through,
1.do they charge a percentage on the original value or the current sale value? Or do they just have their own calculations for used items?
2.In case of a penalty charge, will they base it on their valuation of the item or is there a standard?
3.Will they release the unit after payment of penalty?
4.If the penalty is too high and I can't pay, am I allowed to not pay it and *sigh* let go of the mixer?

If this is not an advisable venture please let me know, I will not order the mixer as it's too valuable to rot away in some warehouse or be destroyed(it has vintage circuits on it from the 80s, 90s).
 

Nikhil

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
3,285
Points
113
Location
Hyderabad
Welcome to the forum!

Customs behaviour is erratic but mostly in favor of them charging you the maximum duty. The only way you can get away with import of second hand items is to have all your paperwork in order which will not be the case in your situation as you most likely do not have an import licence. As an individual you will be assessed a penalty (normal procedure) and duty will be charged as per the item category.

Max duty charges is about 43% of the Invoice value. This is assuming 35% duty + max 8% penalty.
Key here is what is the Invoice value (price) of the items assesed

Customs officials have access to massive database of price data including everything we have online. So they are most likely to find any information online about the original price and charge you duty on that value. You could take a risk and see if they will accept your price but it is the low percentage scenario.

Hope this helps.

Regards



.
 

Congruence

New Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2019
Messages
2
Points
1
Location
Chennai
Hi Nikhil, thank you for your valuable input!

So as I understand from your post, getting a just duty valuation on the invoice amount is highly unlikely for me as an individual importing used electronics.

I don't have access to an import license but what if I'm able to find an AV vendor who has an import license and is willing to import it for me with some added fees? Does this license have to be specific to audio mixing boards? Are there any unusual procedures involved in import of used electronic items with a license? Is the duty calculated on the invoice amount now or is that still up to the customs officials?
If you don't have answers to these questions, can you please point me to some resource that could contain the answers? Or am I better off getting in touch with a lawyer who specializes in import/export?

Thank you for your initial response. I will not attempt to import the mixer on my own, seems like a costly and uncertain venture.
 

Rud31

Active Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
260
Points
28
Location
Delhi
I have a similar query. I ordered SMSL AD18 from AliExpress and chose FedEx for shipping. It's tentative delivery date is 22 November. In past whenever I ordered from Aliexpress, it was delivered through Indian Post without any customs hassle. Due to different logistics provider this time around, will there be Customs issue involved?
 

yogibear

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
1,891
Points
113
Location
Jaipur
I have a similar query. I ordered SMSL AD18 from AliExpress and chose FedEx for shipping. It's tentative delivery date is 22 November. In past whenever I ordered from Aliexpress, it was delivered through Indian Post without any customs hassle. Due to different logistics provider this time around, will there be Customs issue involved?

Yes, very likely. Be ready with submission of plethora of KYC documents. Only left to be submitted would be your "Marriage Certificate" !!!
 

gowmara

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2017
Messages
127
Points
18
Location
Coimbatore
You will be charged custom clearance broker charge + additional 40% custom tax for item + shipping
 

sdk

Active Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2014
Messages
156
Points
28
Location
Mumbai
Yes, very likely. Be ready with submission of plethora of KYC documents. Only left to be submitted would be your "Marriage Certificate" !!!
It took me a week to fulfill all the demands by Aramex KYC

Then the parcel came

Duty was Rs 100
Aramex charged me Rs 140 as their charges!

Best not to use any of the major courier companies except Gati, that too only of the seller is using that to ship
 

Rud31

Active Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
260
Points
28
Location
Delhi
Damn! That's a bummer. Well, it's still in transit and hasn't reached shore yet so will keep you guys posted as things develop.
 

yogibear

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
1,891
Points
113
Location
Jaipur
Damn! That's a bummer. Well, it's still in transit and hasn't reached shore yet so will keep you guys posted as things develop.

Now, Its best to get all your documents self attested soft copies ready to be emailed. They will never tell you duty and other charges in advance and will literally blackmail you until you surrender to their demands of submission of almost all legal documents you own.

Mine was NuTubes import from Japan and imported through my company and I had to submit every Damn document that belonged to me and my company !!! And the courier was FedEx !!!
 

Rud31

Active Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
260
Points
28
Location
Delhi
What all documents should I be looking for? I mean, I'm a student, living in a rented room.
 

Dr.Lakshay

Active Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2017
Messages
462
Points
43
Location
Ghaziabad
Now, Its best to get all your documents self attested soft copies ready to be emailed. They will never tell you duty and other charges in advance and will literally blackmail you until you surrender to their demands of submission of almost all legal documents you own.

Mine was NuTubes import from Japan and imported through my company and I had to submit every Damn document that belonged to me and my company !!! And the courier was FedEx !!!
True. FedEx literally sucks. I experienced it once and will never think of using it again for importing anything. I paid 500 bucks as custom clearance fees + customs for a product that was well below the duty free limit of 2000rs with a proper invoice!
 

yogibear

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
1,891
Points
113
Location
Jaipur
What all documents should I be looking for? I mean, I'm a student, living in a rented room.

In your case call them in advance and check. I know what all they will ask and may be even a copy of rent agreement as address proof if it’s not on your Adhaar card. Pan card too and invoice copy. Everything should match with shipping address details. You may get charged penalties too as IEC is required too and now we have IGST too !!!

Don’t wish to scare you but these guys can go to any extent...

Foreign Post Office staff tells me “ it’s a sin to import” ! It’s your biggest mistake !
 

Rud31

Active Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
260
Points
28
Location
Delhi
Hmmm
Will see what happens once it reaches India. Thanks for the heads up.
Don't understand why I didn't face such issues earlier when I bought many other ChiFi amps from Aliexpress? It took time but everything was delivered to my room without any extra cost or documentation.
 

Dr.Lakshay

Active Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2017
Messages
462
Points
43
Location
Ghaziabad
Don't understand why I didn't face such issues earlier when I bought many other ChiFi amps from Aliexpress? It took time but everything was delivered to my room without any extra cost or documentation.
Exactly my thought. Instead of giving you a peace of mind, hassle free and smooth experience for a premium, they give you hassles and it feels like they are extorting money!
 

dillihifi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
985
Points
63
Location
DELHI
Actually it is the other way around. The premium services go according to the rules and so everything that is needed to be done are done and then they also charge a service charge on top of it. Further customs office also thinks that these are valuable packages or are being ordered in an official capacity therefore they have more scrutiny. Whereas in case of normal post first is many times the official is not bothered to scrutinise the same and it being an govt. entity it doesn't bother with timelines and if the papers are in order or not. Many officials also feel that the articles may not be that valuable or ordered by individuals and so they are viewed more leniently . There has been cases where customs duty has been levied on articles delivered by post offices so it all depends on luck.

Now the govt. has allowed the import of 2nd hand electronics but would require clearance. Further the only hassle free legal way you can bring them is through your personal effects though in many cases they just arrive even when import of 2nd hand electronics were banned.
 

frend2001

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
465
Points
63
Location
Indore, India
So here's what I have experienced in last 6 months.

I have ordered 4 different shipements all orgininating from Japan.

First one was a Sansui amplifier weighting about 26 kgs. I choose the cheapest shipping at that time UPS. It arrived in India within 3 days and then was stuck in customs for 15 days. Not much help was given by UPS customer care. Finally received a call from UPS that customs has assessed the value to be higher then declared value( I did declare actual price paid).

I was asked if I agreed to assessed value, in case I didn't they asked me to come personally and talk to DG - Customs and present my case.

Having no option I agreed to assessed value which was double of what I paid as I was advised by a customs clearing agent that the shippers are often mishandled resulting in damage. So that was first case. Ended up paying 23k as duties for item worth 11k INR ( 14k was shipping ).

Clearing agent told me to always prefer EMS as it's relatively smooth in custom matters.

FedEX, DHL, UPS have difference dept. or vendors that deal with clearance and they don't bother much with your individual case. They always follows the rules and demands (although erratic) of customs and charge you quite high for their clearing services.

So coming to next case, I imported a TT. It was shipped by EMS. No hiccups, arrived in a week at doorstep. Duty @ 42% calculated on CIF.

Third item again from EMS, Duty @ 42% calculated on CIF.

Ditto for fourth item, again an amplfier. Bulky shipper of 26kgs by EMS. No hiccups, duty @ 42% at CIF.

So the lesson I learned is :

1. Always use EMS if possible.

2. Do not think that customs have not idea about item or it's fair price.

3. Don't meddle with declared value or try to declare as gift. Customs officials will really drag you thru mud for that.

4. Peace of mind prevails. You have to pay the price of item you buy. I mean don't try to evade duties.

5. For single items imported usually clearance is little less by the book, else if you follow the rules you can't import non BIS electronics in India. You
also can't use used electronics ( they are specified what can be imported and what can't be)

6. 2 way Radios, transmittors, drones are a big no. Almost certainly will be held by customs. Look up the list at customs website to have
understanding about the limits.

7. Be prepared for surprises. I mean I had to shell out more duty then the CIF in first case.


Hope this helps. These are my personal experiences and observations. I urge you to use your good judgment.
 

Rud31

Active Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
260
Points
28
Location
Delhi
So the attached screenshot is of it's current status. So is it all good ? Capture+_2019-11-21-18-17-56.png
 

yogibear

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
1,891
Points
113
Location
Jaipur
Its now with customs and expect to hear soon from FedEx for KYC and duty payments on delivery.
 

Rud31

Active Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
260
Points
28
Location
Delhi
Got the call today in the Morning, asking for fulfillment of KYC with FedEx. How should I go about it?
Capture+_2019-11-22-10-58-12.png
 
Top