A Guide On Shipping to India

Sending a parcel to India is a quick and easy process. By following this guide, you can avoid any delays and get your parcel as quickly as possible to its destination. To make things really easy for you, we have split the guide into easy-to-navigate sections. Just click an icon to jump to the section you need, or read from the top.

What's on this page?

Customs Clearance And Paperwork

Each country maintains its own list of prohibited and restricted items, and India is no exception. This means you need to check your item isn’t on either list – so check with the Indian Central Board of Excise and Customs, or a more complete list.

The most important addition to your parcel is the customs paperwork, which is automatically provided when you book with us. This needs to be completed clearly and accurately.

The customs document lists the packaged items you are sending and their total value. This information is then used by the customs authority to apply the correct tax and duty. This fee is not applied by the courier, but by the customs authority receiving your shipment.

The amount you have to pay is based on a combination of factors; including the reason for export, the type of product and the value of the items. This is a bill normally paid by the receiver of the parcel; if you would like to pay it instead, contact customer support and we can arrange this.

High-value goods for re-sale can attract higher tariffs on duty and tax than sending a gift, which won’t be sold. All packages being sent outside of the EU need this documentation, so it is very important you fill it out correctly.

Shipments to India come with an expected delivery transit time of 2-4 days. We recommend customers ship a few days prior of any deadline to ensure your delivery arrives on time; long distance international shipments can face delays, especially at customs.

ParcelHero Tip: To avoid any additional delays make sure you include the full details of the recipient of your parcel. This should include a mobile number, email address, postal address and a second contact number if possible. Our enhanced insurance options are ideal for high value, rare or sentimental shipments – just be aware you will need to prove the value on any items you claim.

Prohibited & Restricted Items

All nations maintain a list of restricted or prohibited items. We recommend customers remain aware of the shipping restrictions and prohibitions for all recipient countries, especially India, in order to avoid delays and additional fees. Sending a document, however is exempt from any restrictions, duty or tax.

What Items Are Prohibited and Restricted in India?

Prohibited Restricted
Pornographic and obscene materials Second Hand Goods
Maps and literature where Indian external boundaries have been shown incorrectly. Medicine, regardless of quantity
Ivory Used Electronics

The above table reveals a a few key items that are both prohibited and restricted in India, the full list can be found on the Indian customs web pages.

Importing into countries like India can be problematic due to their tight restrictions and bureaucratic delays. South Africa, China, USA and Russia are also very similar – we highly encourage customers complete all shipping documents with accurate information to ensure minimal delay.

Can I Send Electronics to India?

If you are shipping certain electronics then you will need to make sure you have a few additional details on your parcel. One example is mobile phones, which will need to have their IMEI number clearly displayed to clear customs.

For used electronics, such as computers or CRT Televisions, a No Objection Certificate (NOC) is required from the Ministry of Environment and Forest. This is a letter that states the Ministry has no objection to the import of the relevant item. This is normally the responsibility of the receiver, not the sender.

Can I Send Medicines to India?

As medicine is a restricted item you will need a few additional documents to accompany them. In order for any parcels containing medicines to clear customs, a No Objection Certificate is required from the Assistant Drug Controller of India. You will also need to include the scientific name of the drug on the customs paperwork, not the trade name.

If your medicine is for personal use then you will need to send this form with your parcel. If you are sending it for any other reason, then please consult the medicinal import rules further before sending your package. In majority of cases, you are restricted to just 100 medicinal items, unless you are a retailer.

What are our courier prohibitions?

These items are prohibited from being shipped with a courier.

Sending Gifts & Personal Effects To India

Sending a gift has remained a favourite when wishing to show someone they are still in your thoughts, regardless of where they are. However, as with any international delivery what you can and cannot send overseas is subject to restrictions. For example, you cannot send perfume via courier as it is flammable and is subsequently banned by courier companies.

When sending a gift abroad your package may be subject to gift exemptions, which can reduce the total amount of duty and tax applied to your parcel. The gift exemption for India is listed at INR 10,000, for both gifts and business samples. However, you can only ship 10 samples of the same item per shipment.

In most circumstances the recipient of the parcel is responsible for paying any duty or taxes on the shipped items. However, if you are sending a gift (or any item, for that matter) you can contact our customer care team and request the charge to be reversed and sent to you, instead.

What Food Can I Send to India?

  • Foods must be in the original manufacturer’s packaging.
  • Food packaging must be sealed and not tampered with in any way.
  • Food label must list all ingredients.
  • Foods must have a shelf life of longer than 6 months from the date of shipping.
  • All foods that have a shelf life of less than 6 months will be classed as perishables, and cannot be sent via courier, even if store bought.

Shipments of food require a No-Objection Certificate from the Food Safety authorities in India.

For further information read our Do’s and Don’ts on Shipping Food Abroad.

Remote Area Shipping

India is a vast and wonderfully unique part of the world with some of the most diverse geography and landscape imaginable. It also retains a wide array of remote areas that can be problematic when shipping a parcel to India. A remote area is defined by how difficult it is to service the area and how far it is from the nearest delivery depot.

For this, a remote area surcharge is applied by the courier and is automatically included in your Instant Quote final booking price. The fee is calculated by applying £0.40 per kg to the total distance needed to travel, or the standard remote area fee – whichever is the greater.

To find out if your location is classed as remote, here is an example of the DHL Remote Areas list.