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.
What are Samples
The Commercial samples are basically the specimens of the goods which are imported by the traders in India to know its characteristics and usage and assess its marketability in India . These samples are also brought by the representatives of Manufacturers abroad to show if to prospective customers in India , to persuade & convince them of the need, efficacy and suitability of these goods for the Indian market.
Who Can Send/Import
Samples can be imported by the trade, industry, individuals, Companies, Associations, Research Institutes or Laboratories. These can also be brought by the representatives of manufacturers abroad either as a part of their personal baggage or through post or courier. They can also be sent by manufacturers/ traders abroad to above parties in India .
What Can be Sent
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. Similarly, high equipment, machinery, including agricultural machinery and their accessories can also be imported.
Limit of Value of Samples
For duty free clearance, the value of individual sample should not exceed Rs. 5,000/- and aggregate value should not exceed Rs. 60,000/- per year or 15 units in a year. 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. Where the value exceeds Rs. 10,000/-, the said goods are to be re-exported within a period of 9 months or such extended period as Asstt . Commissioner of Customs may allow. 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. The following clarification may be necessary on the above guidelines
The value of any item imported during a year should not exceed 15 units of the said item or Rs. 60,000/-. However, if more than one product is being imported into the India the value limit is increased proportionately. Similarly, 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 convenience of transport, if the packets are clearly 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 like VAT 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 .