There is no predefined definition of personal import. In general a personal import is a direct purchase of foreign goods from overseas mail order companies, retailers, manufacturers or by an individual for the purpose of personal use.
Forms of Personal Import are:
There are two forms of personal import:
Direct Personal Import: An importer himself/herself places orders to foreign mail order companies, retailers or manufactures and imports directly from them.
Indirect Personal Import: An importer places orders to an import agent and imports goods via the agent.
In any case, since personal import is direct trade with foreign countries, a buyer must understand the various rules and regulation while importing such goods. For importing any good in India, a buyer must check the item in the ITC-HS code in order to know weather the item is free to import, restricted or prohibited.
Importance of IEC Number for Personal Import
Import Export Code Number or IEC number is not required for import of items for personal use.
Import of Baggage
While travelling passengers are allowed to carry certain items with them, which are governed by the Baggage Rules 1998. Baggage Rules contain separate concessions for resident tourist and person transferring their residence to India. Special provisions have also been made for unaccompanied baggage and application of the rules to the members of the crew.
Items that can not be Imported for Personal Use
There are certain items that can not be imported for personal use. These items are listed below-
Vegetables and seeds exceeding one pound
Books, magazines, journals and literature
Items which has been Canalised under the Indian Exim Policy (2007) or Foreign Trade Policy.
Arms and ammunitions
Consumer electronic items, except hearing aid and other life saving equipments
Import of items by Registered Courier
For the purpose of taxation, import of goods by registered carrier is not included under the Baggage Rule Act (1998). Under a new system of assessment, the clearance of goods is governed by the Courier Imports and Exports Regulation Act (1998).
Import of items by UN Officials
UN Officials and its authorized agencies are exempted from payment of custom duty under the United Nation Act (1947).
Import of items by Indian Professionals
All the rules and regulation for the import of goods and item by the Indian professionals is mentioned in the Rule 5 and Appendix C of the Baggage Rule (1998).
Import of Samples
All samples are allowed for import mentioned in the ITC-HS Classification of export and import items are allowed without a license. However items like vegetables, seeds, bees, and new drugs are not listed under free import and need a special license.
Samples of tea not exceeding Rs. 2000 (CIF) in one consignment is allowed without any authorisation form the Custom or Tea Board of India. An individual is also free to bring a sample of worth Rs- 75,000 (except for gems and jewellery) and Rs- 300,000 for the samples of gems and jewellery.
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