INSTRUCTION No. – 09/2017-Customs

F. No. 528/41/2017-STO (TU)
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
(Central Board of Excise & Custom)
(Tariff Unit)

North Block, New Delhi
Dated: 5th July, 2017

All Pr. Chief Commissioners/Chief Commissioners of Customs/Customs (Preventive)
All Pr. Chief Commissioners /Chief Commissioners of Customs and Central Excise
All Pr. Commissioners/Commissioners of Customs/Customs (Preventive)


Subject: Import of gifts and other goods for personal use through Courier -regarding

Kind attention is drawn to Notification No. 50/2017-Customs dated 30.06.2017 wherein under SI. No. 608, a concessional rate of 10% BCD has been provided on all goods classified under heading 9804 subject to the conditions prescribed in the notification. Attention is also invited to ITC (HS) Classification of Export & Import Items, of DGFT, wherein, under sub-heading 98049000, it is prescribed that all dutiable articles intended for personal use are restricted with condition that their import is subject to value limit of Rs. 2000/- (CIF) and other conditions as specified in clause 3(1) (i) of Foreign Trade (Exemption from Application of Rules in Certain Cases) Order, 1993.

2. Reference has been received in the Board that seeking clarification as to whether the above concessional duty @ 10% is applicable to goods imported through courier (heading 9804) where the value of the said goods is above Rs. 2000/-. It has been further mentioned that there is no uniformity of practice in the field formations on this issue as different airports are following different practices.

3. Board has examined the issue in detail. It is observed that:

a) ITC(HS) and First Schedule of the Customs Tariff Act are generally harmonized.However, due to recent changes in the First Schedule of the Customs Tariff Act vide Finance Act, 2017. the scope of the heading 9804 in the Tariff has been changed. As a result, heading 9804 of ITC (HS) and Customs Tariff are not fully aligned.

b) Note 4 of Chapter 98 of the ITC (HS) provides that heading 9804 is taken not to apply to goods imported through courier, however such Note does not exist in Customs Tariff Act for the Chapter 98.

c) In such situations in the light of Hon’ble Apex Court Judgment in the case of Commissioner v. M.K. Shipping & Allied Industries Pvt. Ltd. – 2015 (322) E.L.T. A326 (S.C.), for the policy condition classification under ITC (HS) should prevail and for the duty purpose classification under Customs Tariff Act should be taken into account.

d) In view of the principle enunciated at c) above and keeping in mind the Note 4 of Chapter 98 of the ITC (HS), the policy restrictions against heading 9804 in ITC (HS) therefore become otiose as far as imports through courier are concerned. In other words, import policy for imports through courier have to be examined in conjunction with the policy conditions prescribed against individual headings where the said goods are likely to be classified.

4. Therefore, in view of the above discussion and to have uniformity, it is clarified that:

a) Policy conditions in heading 9804 ITC (HS) will not be applicable to imports through courier: and

b) imports through courier will be eligible to concessional rate of 10% Basic Customs Duty [Sl. No. 608 notification No. 50/2017-Customs] provided that the goods are intended for personal use, and are exempted from any prohibition in respect of the imports thereof under the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992 (22 of 1992).

Yours faithfully,

(Piyush Bhardwaj)

More Under Custom Duty


  1. James Williams says:

    My brother sent across to India a birthday gift for my young daughter, via private courier (Aramex was the courier company in India). It was listed as ‘Game and DVDs’ with value of 30 GBP (less than 3000 rupees) and they charged me 1800 rupees customs (1400 plus plus). HS Code used by customs was 98049000 which shows on the indirect taxes website as “works of art, collectors pieces and antiques”‘ – which is wrong as well! Is this justified? (for a gift, non-electronic item, and much less than 5000 Rs. which I heard was the minimum for such customs tax).

    Will it make a difference if he sent by Post Office instead? (that’s what my brother used before and there was no customs charge)

    Is there any way we can claim the amount back? (of course I had no choice but to pay on receipt else they would not hand it over).


  2. Georgy Abraham says:

    Customs are basically daylight robbery. I can confirm that they are charging 78% on all imported goods whether online shopping or gifted from someone. The most heartbreaking fact about this is that , if you decide to return it, the customs will auction our product and sell it off to gain their duty. All of them corrupt bastards. Every single one of them. On my way to the post office to pay Rs 2750 on a pair of Earphones that i ordered from singapore for Rs 3500. India is seriously pathetic

  3. Naazneen says:

    My husband has sent Some food items through aramex from U.K to me in India THY ARE charging me 10,300 duty on it?i read that food items upto 50,000 rs are non taxable .
    Can someone help me on this?
    Thank you

  4. Nishant K says:

    Whatever you all are saying about 78% duty is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.
    Today I contacted UPS India for duty enquiry towards UK shipment if a music instrument, they said it is currently “77.28% for personal international shipment”, which is heart breaking.
    I called thrice and all customer care executive told same rate.
    So basically it is “take it or leave it” thing.

  5. Tilak Sarkar says:

    I just imported a used stereo amplfier for personal use from Japan. Fedex says, Custms duties have changed to 78% for individual imports like this. Is this true ? I cannot believe it !

    1. Yumnam Khagendra Singh says:

      Tilak i am facing the same problem with fedex kyc, i am so mad right now, they are looting their own people.

      1. Roan says:


        Private couriers I believe will charge customs on all personal imports. They will hold your items for days as I had read somewhere and charge you warehouse fees. You should ask them a challan copy if they are paying this duty to customs or not

  6. Ismailkhan says:

    Please my help maine united kingdom se ek mobile kharida tha pehle dowan 4000 liya fir tag ka rs 2000 liya fir bima ka 4000 liya fir improt lancec ka 3000 liya par abhi costam air entry ka 4000 mang raha please my help my con 8290956483

      1. Gulnaz says:

        How to do that? I’m also imported few days ago a used mic for personal use from UK. Aramex says, Customs duties have changed to 78% for individual imports. And they included even shipping cost, so it become double.

        BCD 35% + SW Srchrg 10%+ IGST 28%, total 78% +80% extra for shipping cost, it was 5000 and now they charging almost double.

        So what is real custom duty? Please help us, those looks too high

  7. Kunal Dahale says:

    what is the correct procedure to pay duty under protest in such cases where package for personal use is in post office. and all they have is custom duty challan given by customs to post. in my case only signature is provided by customs assessment office and name and stand of office is not provided on challan. i have imported stylus pen of which assessed value is 8000 Rs. duty on it is 3400Rs. under hs code 84716090 input device cannot be levied so much duty as far my reading.should be 18% IGST according to duty calculator on

  8. Suresh says:

    Please help. I ordered a couple of masks, tubes and filters worth around 180 USD in November, 2017 from an ecommerce site in the USA. The package from the online shop was sent by USPS. The Customs duty of Rs. 5872/- has been applied against cost (BCD, Cess and IGST of 10%, 3% and 28%) when delivered by India Post yesterday. This is under category 98049000. This was meant only for my personal use as part of the CPAP machine I use. I paid the money after protesting to the Post Office staff who didn’t understand anything but kept repeating that I should pay up or else the package will be returned to the US principal.

    Please help.

      1. Kunal Dahale says:

        Mr Suresh,
        can u explain the procedure to pay duty under protest. how did you get protest acknowledgment?
        i have also been charged with BCD 10%,
        IGST 28%,
        social welfare surcharge Rs.80,
        FOB is UDS 89,
        rate of exchange 73.65 ,
        CIF = FOB x 1.22 (what is this 1.22) = 1 09, assessed value brought up to Rs.8028
        POstal fee Rs.30 and Total duty Rs. 3378.

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