Import of Samples

Import of Samples into India

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Import of Samples into India

In international trade, it is often necessary to send samples of goods manufactured in one country to another country for being shown or demonstrated for customer appreciation and familiarization and for soliciting orders. This article is intended for traders to help with the procedures for the import of Samples into India.

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Legal Provisions – Import of Samples

In November 1952 a convention to Facilitate the Importation of Commercial Samples and Advertising Materials was concluded in Geneva. India was party to it and has accepted its recommendation and implemented its provisions through Notifications. The notifications issued in this regard enable duty-free import of genuine commercial samples into the country for smooth flow of trade.

General Provisions for Import of Samples into India

  • Bonafide trade samples can be imported provided these have been supplied free of charge. t is, however, not to be used as a means to avoid paying Customs duty through repeated imports of samples in smaller lots.
  • The consignments meant for distribution to different parties in India can also be imported together for the convenience of transport, if the packets are marked and addressed to different persons in India.

Eligible Person to Import Samples

The following type of person can import samples to India. These can also be brought by the representatives of manufacturers abroad either as a part of their baggage or through post or courier. They can also be sent by manufacturers/ traders abroad to the above parties in India

  • Trade and Industry
  • Individuals
  • Companies
  • Associations
  • Research Institutes or Laboratories

Type of Samples can be imported

  • Samples of all types of goods namely consumer goods, consumer durables, or prototypes of engineering goods or goods used in connection with securing export orders can be imported.
  • High equipment, machinery, including agricultural machinery and its accessories can also be imported.

Note: Goods prohibited under Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992 are not allowed to be imported as samples e.g. wild animals, wild birds and parts of wild animals and birds, ivory, arms and ammunitions, and narcotic drugs.

Know more about the Export of Goods Through Post

Limit of Value of Samples for Duty-Free Import

Measures to consider while importing samples from a foreign country is as follows:

Value of individual sample

For duty-free clearance, the value of the individual sample should not exceed Rs. 5,000/- and aggregate value should not exceed Rs.3,00,000/ per year or 50 units in a year.

Value of prototypes of engineering goods

The prototypes of engineering goods can also be imported even if the value is more than Rs. 5,000/-. Such goods up to Rs. 10,000/- can be imported without payment of duty if the said goods are rendered useless as merchandise by a suitable process.

If the value exceeds Rs. 10,000/-, the said goods are to be re-exported within 9 months or such extended period as the Assistant Commissioner of Customs may allow.

Import of High-value goods

High-value goods are to be imported by depositing duty with the Customs and giving an undertaking for their re-export within 9 months. The deposited duty is refunded when the machinery is exported back.

Duty Payable in India for Import of Samples

The following clarification may be necessary on the above guidelines

  • The value of any item imported during a year should not exceed 50 units of the said item or Rs. 3, 00,000. However, if more than one product is being imported into India the value limit is increased proportionately.
  • In case samples are consigned to many consignees by one foreign company, but they are being sent at the same time through some Port/ Airport, it shall not be changed to duty if the limit of Rs. 5,000/- per unit each adhered to.
  • The consignments meant for distribution to different parties in India can also be imported together for the convenience of transport, if the packets are marked and addressed to different persons in India.
  • The value of Rs. 5,000/- is the export value of the goods excluding locally refundable taxes in the country of dispatch.
  • In case of free samples of Rs. 5000/-, it does not include freight or courier charges. If it is above Rs. 5000/- freight and insurance charges would be added to calculate the duty payable in India.

The Requirements for Importing High-Value Samples

Machinery that are prototypes of engineering goods orders can be imported duty-free upto the value of Rs.10, 000. The one condition is that it might be imported either for further manufacture or for use as capital goods for export production or in connection with securing export.

  • These goods are normally defaced or made un-saleable by punching, cracking, marking with indelible ink, etc.
  • For customs clearance, the importer has to furnish a Bank Guarantee (or) need to deposit the duty payable and he/she should furnish an undertaking that these would be re-exported within 9 months of import.
  • For high valued machinery, the importer has to give an undertaking that these are utilized for demonstration at the places which are declared
  • . The Customs authority may also seal the machinery during its journey from the port of importation to the place of demonstration and it is unsealed only at the place of operation or place of demonstration.

Duty-free Import of Samples

Duty-free import of samples is permitted under the following provisions/schemes

  • Goods supplied free of charge to the visiting public at the event as samples, for individual use or consumption can be imported duty-free
    Sample can be imported for Government of India sponsored events viz. trade and industry fairs
  • Samples of goods manufactured by EOUs can be imported duty-free
  • Machinery that is prototypes of engineering goods, imported either for further manufacture or for use as capital goods for export production or in connection with securing export orders can be imported duty-free upto the value of Rs.10,000/-. These goods are normally defaced or made un-saleable by punching, cracking, marking with indelible ink, etc.

Import of samples by Commercial Traveller

A commercial traveler of a foreign country is eligible to carry bonafide samples if the value of each of the items is not more than Rs.5,000/- per unit. He is also not required to produce the IEC code at the time of clearance of these goods.

  • The traveler must declare that these goods are meant for securing export orders or guidance of exporters, that the total value does not exceed Rs.3,00,000/- per item during the 12 months, and that he has not imported more than 50 units of the said goods within the last 12 months.
  • He also undertakes that he would not sell these goods and if he sells he will pay the duty leviable on those goods.

Re-export of Failure Samples

The samples have to be re-exported within 9 months. However, the Assistant/Deputy Commissioner of Customs may under special circumstances extend 9 months for a further reasonable period.

  • If the value of a sample does not exceed Rs.10000 the same shall be rendered useless as merchandise by any suitable process, then the samples can be re-exported within nine months of import. The period may be extended by the Assistant Commissioner of Customs or Deputy Commissioner of Customs;
  • If the value of a sample exceeds Rs.1000, the same shall be re-exported within nine months of import or such extended period as may be allowed by the Assistant Commissioner of Customs or Deputy Commissioner of Customs;
  • The importer has to execute a bond in a prescribed form with a surety as prescribed by the Assistant Commissioner of Customs to enforce the re-export procedures.

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Renu is experience content writer specialised in compliances and company rules.