Import and Export Through Courier

The facility of imports and exports by courier mode is permitted to those courier companies that are registered under Customs. These courier companies are called ‘Authorized Couriers’. The courier parcels are normally carried by cargo/ passenger aircraft. On the case of clearance through Land Customs Stations (LCS), another transport mode is used. Both are permitted to file the Courier Import Manifest. The facility of courier clearance under manual mode is available at customs airports in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Calcutta, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Cochin, Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Land Customs Stations at Gojadanga and Petrapole. The courier clearances of the electronic mode of Customs clearance is soon set to be made operational at Delhi and Mumbai airports.

Categories of Goods Allowed Import Through Courier

Except for certain categories, all goods can be imported using the courier mode. The exclusion of certain types of goods is done based on the fact that these require specific conditions that have to be fulfilled under any other Act or rule or regulations like testing of samples etc. on reference to the relevant authorities or experts before their clearance. In certain cases, due to additional compliance requirements, the assessment and clearance process takes time. These goods that are not eligible under this scheme, which envisages Customs clearance on a fast track basis. Moreover, air terminals and LCS are not equipped to handle certain goods. The following categories of goods are not permitted to be imported through courier mode.

  • Precious and semi-precious cargo.
  • Animals and plants.
  • Perishables.
  • Publications that contain maps depicting incorrect boundaries of India.
  • Precious and semi-precious stones and gold or silver in any form.
  • Goods under the Export Promotion Schemes including EOU Scheme.
  • Goos the exceed the weight limit of 70 kgs imported through courier under manual mode. However, under the electronic mode, no restriction regarding the weight has been provided.

Clearance of goods under the EOU Scheme is permitted under electronic mode.

Categories of Goods Allowed Export Through Courier

All gods are permitted to exporters through courier except for the following excluded categories.

  • Goods attracting any duty on exports.
  • Goods that are exported under Export promotion schemes, such as Drawback, DEPB, DEEC, EPCG, etc.
  • Goods where the consignment value is more than Rs. 25,000 and transaction in foreign exchange are involved (the limit of Rs. 25,000 does not apply when G.R. waiver or specific permission has been obtained from the RBI).

Import and Export of Gems and Jewellery

Import of gems and jewellery including samples provided by EOUs or SEZ units is allowed through courier. Similarly, the export of cut and polished diamond, gems and jewellery under any scheme of FTP from EOUs, SEZs or DTA is permitted through courier subjected to the condition that the cost of each export consignment under such export is not more than Rs. 20 Lakhs.

Procedure for Clearance of Import Goods

For facilitating Customs clearance, the goods that are imported through courier are classified into the following categories.

  • Documents that mentions any message, information or data recorded on paper, cards or photographs containing no commercial value that do not attract duty or subject to any prohibition/ restriction on their import or export.
  • Any bonafide commercial samples and prototypes of goods that are supplied free of charge of a value not more than Rs. 50,000 for exports and Rs. 10,000 for imports that are not subjected to any prohibition or restriction on their import or export and which does not involve the transfer of foreign exchange.
  • Any of the bonafide fit articles for personal use of a value not more than Rs. 25,000 for a consignment in case of exports and Rs. 10,000 for imports that are not subjected to any prohibition or restriction on their import or export that does not involve the transfer of foreign exchange.
  • Goods containing a declared value of up to Rs. 1,00,000 and dutiable or commercial goods having a declared value of more than Rs. 1,00,000

Various Customs declaration forms have been prescribed under the Courier Regulations for manual mode, simplified Bill of Entry has been mentioned for clearance of goods. These goods are assessed for duty on merits like other imported goods, and exemption, wherever available, can be imported when it is claimed.

  1. Courier Bill of Entry-III for documents.
  2. Courier Bill of Entry-IV for samples and free gifts.
  3. Courier Bill of Entry -V for commercial shipments upto a declared value of Rs. 1 Lakh.

The courier regulations for manual code stipulate for certain categories of import, a regular Bill of Entry that is prescribed in the Bill of Entry Regulations, 1976 has to be filed. This includes

  1. The goods that are imported under the EOU Scheme.
  2. Goods that are imported under DEPB, DEEC and EPCG Schemes.
  3. Goods that are imported against the license that is issued under the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992.
  4. Goods that are imported by a related person defined under the Customs Valuation Rules, 1988.
  5. Goods for which the concerned officer files a Bill of Entry.
  6. Goods having a declared value of Rs. 1 Lakh and above.

Asper the courier regulations for the electronic mode, the forms prescribed for filing Customs declarations are as follows.

  1. The Courier Bill of Entry-XI (CBE-XI) for documents in Form B.
  2. The Courier Bill of Entry-XII (CBE-XII) for free gifts and samples in Form C.
  3. The Courier Bill oF Entry-XII (CBE-XIII) for low-value dutiable consignments in Form D.
  4. The Courier Bill of Entry-XIV for other dutiable consignments in Form E for import consignments.

Procedure for Clearance of Export Goods

For exporting goods, the Authorised Courier has to file Courier Shipping Bills with the respective officer of Customs at the airport or LCS in prior to the departure of flight or other modes of transport. Different forms have been prescribed for the export of documents and other goods. The Authorised Courier has to present the export goods to the concerned officer for inspection, examination and assessment. For certain export goods, a regular Shipping Bill as mentioned in the Shipping Bill and Bill of Export Regulations 1991, has to be filed. These Shipping Bills are processed at the Air Cargo Complex or the STP or EOUs or EHTP and then with the permission of Customs, the goods that are handed over to the courier agency for onward dispatch. The goods for which this procedure applies are given below.

  • Goods from EOUs/ STPs/ EHTP.
  • Goods that are exported under DEPB/ DEEC/ EPCG/ Drawback Schemes.
  • Goods that require a license for exporting under the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992.

As per the Courier Regulations for electronic mode, the forms for siling Customs declarations for export goods are

  • Courier Shipping Bill-III (CSB-III) for documents in Form G.
  • Courier Shipping Bill-IV (CSB-IV) for goods in Form H.