Textiles, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods
Last updated on 05/06/2015
If you have any questions about the following information, please contact Maria D'Andrea-Yothers at the U.S. Department of Commerce- Office of Textiles and Apparel at 202-482-4058 or click here for e-mail access.
**The following information is provided only as a guide and should be confirmed with the proper authorities before embarking on any export activities.**
Import Tariffs - India
|India's ad valorem duty rates are levied on the c.i.f. (cost, insurance and freight) value of imports. India levies specific duties on many textile and apparel products in Rupies per square meter, kilogram, or piece. In cases where the item is subject to both ad valorem and specific duties, Indian Customs charges whichever calculation results in a higher duty. |
India: Tariffs (percent ad valorem) on Textiles, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods
(1) Certain products are subject to alternate rates of duty with an ad valorem and specific Rupies per unit duty component.
| Tariff Rate Range (%)|
10 - 15
10 - 20
|-other vegetable fiber|
10 - 12.5 (1)
|-other vegetable fiber|
10 - 12.5 (1,2,3)
|Non Woven Fabric|
including: bed, bath, kitchen
(2) Certain fabrics in HS chapters 52, 54, 55, and 58 have been identified as upholstery fabrics and are subject to lower per unit specific duty rates. For the effective rates of duty on specified varieties of woven fabrics, see note at end of chapter 52 of the Indian Customs Tariff.
(3) There is a full exemption of duty on aramid yarn, thread and fabric for manufacture of bulletproof jackets for the armed forces.
For more detailed tariff information, go to the Central Board of Excise and Customs website, hold mouse over "Customs" at the top > click on "Tariff 2015 -16 or use the Customs Duty Calculator also under the "Customs" tab. Also see the Current Situation of Schedules of Members on the World Trade Organization website.
While the Indian government publishes customs tariffs rates there is no single official publication that has all information on tariffs and tax rates on imports. Moreover, each Indian State levies taxes on interstate trade and commerce, which adds to the confusion. Effective April 2005, the Indian government implemented a Value-Added tax (VAT) system meant to replace the inter-state taxes, but implementation is not yet universal in all the States.
The standard rate of tariff is the statutory duty published in the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act. Import tariffs and other duties are revised by the Government of India in the annual budget in February of each year. However, the applied tariff rate can differ from the published statutory rate due to exemptions, which lower the standard rate for certain users, and tariff adjustments notified in the Gazette of India, which may lower or raise the standard rate. Therefore, the on-line tariff schedule may not always show the most recent tariff rates.
Additional Import taxes and charges--
- Additional Customs Duty (AD): This duty is typically referred to as Countervailing duty (CVD) and is levied on the assessed value of goods plus basic customs duty. Goods that fall into this category are imported goods that have similar goods manufactured in India. The general AD is 12.5% as of March 1, 2015
- Special Additional Customs Duty (SAD): This duty is levied at the rate of 4% of the basic and the excise duty on all imports.
- Customs Education Cess: The current rate is 3% of the basic customs duty and the AD.
- Customs Handling Fee: The Indian government assesses a 1% customs handling fee on all imports in addition to the applied customs duty.
Tariff rates, excise duties, regulatory duties, and countervailing duties are revised in each annual budget in February, and are published in various sources, including BIGs Easy Reference Customs Tariff edition. A copy of this book is kept at the USA Trade Information Center in Washington DC and more specific information from this guide is available to U.S. Companies by calling 800-USA-TRADE.
While the Indian government publishes customs tariffs rates there is no single official publication that has all information on tariffs and tax rates on imports. Moreover, each Indian State levies taxes on interstate trade and commerce, which adds to the confusion.
Samples/Temporary Entry--General Exemption No 14 of the Customs Tariff allows import of goods for display or use at fair, exhibition, demonstration, seminar, congress and conferences, subject to specified conditions. The U.S. Commercial Service of the American Embassy assists U.S. companies with temporary entry of their product and other display items for trade events enter India duty free for up to 6 months through its Customs Clearance Guarantee service. Indian Customs also accepts ATA Carnets issued under the Exhibitions and Fairs Convention in a limited number of ports of entry.
ATA Carnet--An ATA Carnet or "Merchandise Passport" is a document that facilitates the temporary importation of products into foreign countries by eliminating tariffs and other import taxes or charges normally required at the time of importation. For more information or to apply for an ATA Carnet, see the United States Council for International Business website.
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Import Documentation/Procedures (India)
|Imports of certain items must be imported through specified ports. Apparel must be imported through Jawaharlal Nehru Port Mumbai. |
Preshipment inspection is required for certain textile and clothing articles. Imports of textiles, textile articles, woollen textiles and woollen blended fabrics must have a pre-shipment certification from a Textile Testing Laboratory accredited to National Accreditation Agency of the Country of Origin (i.e., the exporting country).
For more information on local customs rules and regulations:
Central Board of Excise and Customs - CBEC
Directorate General of Foreign Trade - DGFT
|For information on common export documents, such as transportation documents, export compliance documents, certificates of origin, certificates for shipments of specific goods, temporary shipment documents, and other export-related documents, see the Export.gov webpage on Common Export Documents. |
For more information on import procedures and documentation requirements, see the Country Commercial Guides (CCG) in the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library (enter your country of interest in the "country" field, and enter "Country Commercial Guide (CCG)" in the "Report Type" field. Some market research reports are available only to U.S. companies and U.S. students/researchers that are registered with Export.gov.
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Import Restrictions (India)
|Prohibition on textiles containing AZO and other hazardous dyes--The importation of textiles and textile articles is permitted subject to the condition that the products do not contain any of the hazardous dyes, such as AZO, whose handling, production, carriage or use is prohibited by the Government of India under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. A pre-shipment certification is required declaring that the shipment is free of azo-dyes. The pre-shipment certificate must be from a textile testing laboratory accredited to the National Accreditation Agency of the country of origin, certifying that the products do not contain any of the prohibited dyes. View a list of banned dyes in the attached PDF below. |
Worn or used clothing and textile products--All second hand goods are restricted for entry into India and may be imported only in accordance with the provisions of the Import Policy guidelines Import Policy guidelines Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020 (http://dgft.gov.in/exim/2000/downloadftp2015-2020.htm). “Units in the Special Economic zone will be allowed to sell worn clothing in the Domestic Tariff Area to the extent of 15% of the cif value of imports made in the previous year” (source: Compendium on Import Policy of India) Pre-shipment inspection is required for imports of certain types of second-hand textiles. Certificates of cleanliness, countersigned by a practicing physician in the country of origin, are required for shipments of used clothing. The letters “M.D.” must appear after the signature.
Used or new rags and worn out articles of textile materials may be imported "in completely mutilated form without a licence subject to the condition that mutilation must conform to the requirement specified by Customs Public Notice or Trade Notice" (source: Compendium on Import Policy of India)
|U.S. Export Restrictions:|
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the U.S. Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, and international narcotics traffickers and their agents in accordance with U.S. foreign policy and national security goals. The OFAC website includes summaries of sanctions programs for various countries and the “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” (SDNs) list of entities and individuals with whom U.S. persons may not conduct business and whose property must be blocked if under the control of a U.S. person.
The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in the U.S. Department of Commerce is responsible for implementing and enforcing the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which regulate the export and re-export of most commercial items. BIS maintains the Denied Persons List, which consists of individuals, and companies that have been denied export and re-export privileges by BIS, and the Entity List, which consists of foreign end users who pose an unacceptable risk of diverting U.S. exports and the technology they contain to alternate destinations for the development of weapons of mass destruction
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Standards - India
Labeling - India
Labels must be in Hindi (Devnagiri script) and in English.
Bureau of Indian Standards - BIS
All prepackaged goods imported into India must bear the following labeling declarations:
a. Name and address of the importer
b. Generic or common name of the commodity packed
c. Net quantity in terms of standard unit of weights and measures. If the net quantity in the imported package is given in any other unit, its equivalent in terms of standard units shall be declared by the importer. See Size Labeling information below.
d. Month and year of packing in which the commodity is manufactured or packed or imported and
e. Maximum retail sales price (MRP) at which the commodity in packaged form may be sold to the ultimate consumer. This price shall include all taxes local or otherwise, freight transport charges, commission payable to dealers, and all charges towards advertising, delivery, packing, forwarding and the like, as the case may be.
All declarations may be:
- Printed in English or Hindi on a label securely affixed to the package, or
- Made on an additional wrapper containing the imported package, or
- Printed on the package itself, or
- May be made on a card or tape affixed firmly to the package and bearing the required information prior to customs clearance.
Products must be labeled in the country of origin (before shipment) in compliance with the Indian rules. The shipment must arrive at the port of entry already adequately labeled. If the label is found not complying with the requirements, the products cannot be cleared and the importer will not be given a chance to correct the label. However, it has been reported that it is possible to negotiate some exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
When goods are so small or are of a shape or character that marking of the country of origin on the goods themselves would be impossible, impractical, or unduly costly, or if such marking would adversely affect the quality of the goods, the country-of-origin notation may be applied on the wrapper, container, or attached label.
The following classes of goods must be marked with the country of origin on the goods themselves: piece goods of cotton, silk, staple fiber yarn and wool, including mixture piece goods, i.e., piece goods made of different kinds of yarns or piece goods made of yarns spun of mixtures of different kinds of textile fiber.
Textiles Regulation 1988, which was extended in 1998 to cover imported textile products, imposes strict safety and marking guidelines on fabrics and other textile products that are sold in the home market. The regulation requires all tops, yarns, and fabrics to have the statutory markings prescribed in the government notification and states that such markings should in no way mislead consumers. Cloth, for example, must be marked with the name and address of the manufacturer, a description of the cloth, sort number, length in meters and width in centimeters, and washing instructions. Manmade fiber cloth must also indicate whether the cloth was made from spun or filament yarn, the month and year of packing, and the exact composition of the cloth. The marking must appear on the face plait of each piece of cloth and on every alternate meter of the cloth at a height not exceeding 2.5 centimeters from the selvage. Word and letter markings must be made in Hindi, Devinagary script, and English (in capital letters) with international numerals. The height of characters must not be more than 0.5 centimeter for tops, yarn, and cloth; 0.25 centimeter for packed yarn, and 3 centimeters for bales or cases.
- Shirts and similar garments: neck size in steps of one centimeter
- Bush-shirts and similar garments: chest size in steps of five centimeters
- Underwear intended to cover upper part of the body: chest size, in steps of five centimeters
- Underwear intended to cover lower part of the body: waist size in steps of two centimeters and length in steps of five centimeters
- Trousers and similar garments, women’s or men’s: waist size, in steps of two centimeters and length in steps of five centimeters
- Coats, overcoats and similar garments: chest size in steps of one centimeter and if stretchable the limits of stretching in centimeters
- Socks and similar garments: foot size, in steps of one centimeter and if stretchable the limits of stretching in centimeters
- Sweaters, cardigans and similar garments: chest size in steps of five centimeters
- Hats, caps and other headgear: circumference of head in steps of one centimeter
- Sarees, dhoties, shawls, handkerchiefs, bed-sheets, pillow covers, towels and napkins: dimensions (length and breadth)
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Intellectual Property Rights - India
Applications for patents may be submitted to the Controller General of Patents, Design, and Trade Marks - CGPDTM by nationals of any country. The Patent Office, under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion - DIPP at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, performs the statutory duties in connection with the granting of patents. Applicants who are non resident or have no domicile or no place of business in India, must employ a patent agent to file the patent application.
The registration of a trademark is also conducted at the CGPDTM. The CGPDTM maintains a public trademarks database.
Proprietors of designs may file for protection in India only if they have a business address in the country. If that is not the case, they may file an application through an attorney or agent. The application may be filed at the patent offices in Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, and Mumbai.
Copyright owners may file an application with the Registrar of Copyrights either in person or through a representative. A separate application must be filed for each piece of work.
See the India IPR Toolkit on the STOPFAKES.gov website.
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|For information on protecting your trademarks, patents and copyrights:|
Market Information - India
See the Government of India Ministry of Textiles, which is responsible for policy formulation, planning, development export promotion and trade regulation in respect to the textile sector.
The India Business Center - IBC at the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration provides specialized assistance to U.S. exporters.
Government Procurement-- See Global Procurement Opportunities for U.S. exporters.
Many ministries announce tenders specific to their ministry on their own websites.
India's procurement system comprises an array of entities at various levels of Government (central, state, and local) in addition to numerous central public sector enterprises (CPSEs). There is no central agency responsible for framing policies or regulating public procurement at a national level and no common legislation governing procurement at different levels of government and by CPSEs.
The various ministries or departments have full power to make their own arrangements for the procurement of goods. However, if they do not have the required expertise to procure goods, procurement may be done through the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal - DGS&D, the central purchase organization, with the approval of the competent authority.
Tender notices are generally publicized through the Indian Trade Journal. Also see the Tenders India website, the Indian Government tenders information system, which is the central source for government and public sector procurement, tenders and notifications issued by the Central and State governments and other public bodies across India for goods, services and works. Organizations that have their own website must publish their tender notices and inquiries on those websites. Central government organizations that do not have their own website must post the notices on the National Information Centre - NIC website.
The Office of Defense Cooperation - ODC within the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi works with the Commercial Service in New Delhi to assist U.S firms by providing contact details of Ministry of Defense and Military Service offices that are the main purchasers of foreign defense goods for India and offer advice on strategies for defense related sales.
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