Importing from India: Procedure | How to import from India? | Documents required

How to import from India?

In this article, you can find the step-by-step process of Importing goods from India. First, you will get the answer of why India is so important if anyone imports goods? Then you will find step-by-step process of how you can import from India. In the last you, will find list of documents required for importing something to your country. 


Article Rating

Reading Time: 00:07:12

Why Import from India?

Agriculture produce
The country is home to vast agro-ecological diversity.

  • India is the world’s largest producer of milk, pulses, and jute.
  • Second-largest producer of rice, wheat, sugarcane, groundnut, vegetables, fruit, and cotton.
  • One of the leading producers of spices, fish, poultry, livestock, and plantation crops.

Worth $2.1 trillion, India is the world’s third-largest economy after the US and China. As per WTO’s Trade Statistics, the share of India’s agricultural exports and imports in the world agriculture trade in 2017 was 2.27% and 1.90%, . 
India is a major contributor to the global food basket as it have agro-climatic conditions and the rich base of natural resources help. Apart from fulfilling domestic demand, Indian agricultural produce that includes horticultural produce, and processed foods exported to more than 100 countries in the world including the US, countries in the Middle East, and the EU.  
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the smooth functioning of the agriculture sector was ensured by issuing relevant guidelines. There was a considerable improvement in the food grain production and the COVID-19 induced movement restrictions worldwide did not affect India’s agri-exports as they did with other commodities. 
Manufactured goods
Like China, India’s economy is in a growth period, so costs of manufacturing are very low compared to elsewhere in the world. As a seller, this presents you with an opportunity to buy very low-cost products from Indian manufacturers and sell them to make profit in your own country. 

Step-by-step process of importing from India

Step 1: Get familiar with the local rules and regulation of your country 

Before starting the imports from India, first get familiar with rules and regulations of importing country. The rules and regulation are specific to the product you want to import. Visit official government website/office of customs and commercial affairs department for details. The name of department may differ from different countries. 

Step 2: Apply and get an import license.  

When you are Familiar with the rules and regulation, apply for import license. Maybe in your country only one license is enough for both import exports, or you can get an individual license for import. When you get the import license, move to the next step that is a search for an exporter in India. 

Step 3: Search for an exporter in India and send inquiry  

India is an excellent and inexpensive choice for importing. Unfortunately, India has a bit of a reputation for shady business practices. Caution is required when dealing with any new supplier, but when dealing with overseas suppliers, you should be extra vigilant. Always take the steps to ensure that your supplier is legitimate. If an exporter in India is genuine they must have the following documents:  

  • Incorporation certificate of LLP/Company 
  • Import Export code (IE CODE)  
  • Preferable, the exporter is a member of Export Promotion Council (EPC) 
  • If you’re dealing with cooked food item the exporter must have FSSAI license 

 If you are looking for genuine exporter you can also contact us. We will help you in exporting goods from India as we Indiwise are genuine merchant exporter in India. In case we don’t have the product you’re looking for we can help you in finding the best exporter for that product. We will not charge any commission for help you in finding the best exporter for you, if you like you can buy me a coffee.  
The starting point for any Export Transaction is an inquiry. An inquiry for product should, inter alia, specify the following details or provide the following data:
Size details — Std. or oversize or undersize.
Drawing, if available
Sample, if possible
Quantity required
Delivery schedule
Is the price required on FOB or C&F or CIF basis
Mode of Dispatch — Sea, air, or Sea/air
Mode of Packing
Terms of Payment that would be acceptable to the Buyer – If the buyer proposes to open any Letter of Credit, any specific need to be complied with by the Exporter
Is there any need of Pre-shipment inspection and if so, by which agency
Any Certificate of Origin required — If so, from what agency.

Step 4: Check Quotation / Proforma Invoice

After studying the inquiry, the exporter will provide a Quotation / Proforma Invoice to the Buyer. Now the buyer needs to check for rates and price in proforma invoice, if you satisfied with the price, place order.  

STEP 5: Order placement

If the offer is acceptable to you in terms of price, delivery and payment terms, then place an order. Give as much data as possible (specifications, Part No., Quantity etc.)

Step 6: Write a Sales Contracts / Purchase order

If seller meet your requirements then start furnishing Sales contract / PO. To keep your business secure, when dealing with a supplier in India, draft a detailed sales contact. Incoterms will ease the negotiation. 
Sales contracts outline everything involved in a supplier-importer relationship, including: 

  • The shipment rates involved in shipping from India
  • Each and every component of the product
  • Expectations for both parties
  • Identification of the buyer, seller, product, etc.
  • Delivery instructions 
  • Details of communication
  • Warranties 

When drafting your contract, consult experts to ensure that it is written properly. It may also be necessary to enlist the help of a translator as well. 

Step 7: Order acceptance

Exporter will accept the terms of sales contract / PO and acknowledges receipt of the order, giving a schedule for the delivery committed. 

Step 8: Choose How You Will Transport

Depending on your home country, you may choose between, air freight or sea freight or even trucks for countries like Nepal. You should be very mindful of the shipping timing and which mode of transport is more efficient and inexpensive.

Step 9: Payment

The exporter will confirm about the shipping of item / loaded on ship now you have to release payment for the order as per your payment terms.  
It is advisable to pay exporter on time as delayed payment will lead to poor business relationship. On the other hand, if you have already done some business with that exporter then you can give some advance payment as these some small steps will improve your relation with the exporter, and you may get some discount on your next order but only pay as per the payments terms.  
Now in rest of the steps, step 1 will help here as when the goods reached importing country, then the laws of that country will applicable. Some formalities left are custom clearance, pay tax as applicable etc.  

Certifications and documentation for imports in Importing country

The documents required to take delivery of imported cargo in importing country which need to be submitted with customs officials  for the clearance process based on the product importing, multilateral trade agreements, bilateral or unilateral trade agreements, and other trade policies of importing country government and also depends up on the nature of goods importing (General goods, Personal effects, Dangerous goods, Livestock etc.).  

Yet, the following documents required to import goods to importing country in general: 

  • Import License, if applicable (To be obtained from government agency of Importing country.) 
  • Purchase order or Letter of Credit 
  • Commercial Invoice cum packing list 
  • Pro forma Invoice 
  • Bank Import documents in Importing country 
  • Bill of Exchange   
  • Insurance Certificate 
  • Certificates of Inspection, if applicable:  Some importers demands exporter (seller) through LC or Purchase order to inspect export goods to importing country by an internationally recognized inspection agency like SGS, BVQI, or other Quality inspecting agency Etc. 
  • Certificate of Origin issued by competent authority of origin country of goods. 
  • Customs Entry document (specified by Importing country customs) prepared by importer’s customs broker or Importer 
  • Customs bond if applicable for specific goods importing to Importing country or to claim import benefits from Importing country government 
  • Customs declarations wherever applicable:  Importing country import customs clearance declarations as per specified format of importing country’s government. 
  • Legal Undertaking (LUT) if applicable to claim import benefits from importing country government or to import specific products.
  • ATA CARNET/Temporary shipment certificate if applicable 
  • Weight Certificate, if applicable. 
  • Certificate of Analysis, if applicable.  The buyer may insist the seller to enclose certificate of analysis of the goods.  The certificate helps import country customs authorities to confirm the product imported to importing country. 
  • Certificate of Free Sale, if applicable.  If goods are not commercially involved, a certificate of sale is attached by exporter along with goods dispatched. 
  • Consular Invoice if applicable:  Some importing countries insist embassy attested documents which is mandatory at importing country to customs clear goods. 

Documents required for customs in Importing country for specific products 

  • Dock Receipt and Warehouse Receipt if applicable 
  • Health Certificate if applicable 
  • Certificate of Health or Sanitation if applicable 
  • Generic Certificate of Origin if applicable 
  • Ingredients Certificate if applicable 
  • Inspection Certificate if applicable 
  • Pre-Shipment Inspection certificate if applicable 
  • Phytosanitary Certificate/quarantine certificate if applicable 
  • Dangerous Goods Certificate if applicable 
  • Radiation Certificate if applicable 
  • Electronic Export Information if applicable 
  • Product manual or Product catalog if applicable 
  • Certified Engineer’s Report if applicable 
  • Chartered engineer’s certificate if applicable 
  • Product specification certificate 
  • Halal Certificate if applicable 
  • Fisheries Certificate if applicable 
  • Fumigation Certificate if applicable 
  • ISPM 15 (Wood Packaging) Marking certificate if applicable 
  • Other specified documents if applicable 
  • Electronic Export Information if applicable 
  • Certificate of Health or Sanitation if applicable 
  • Details of payment and compensation 

If you have any question, or want to say something about this post, feel free to comment down below in the comments box.

👇 Share this information use social icons to spread on social media

Leave a Reply