Ship from Australia to India with this guide

4 Mins Read
facebook sharing button
twitter sharing button
linkedin sharing button
Smart Share Buttons Icon Share

India is the sixth largest economy in the world, and is prime with business opportunities for overseas SMEs. With a reliable shipping partner, Australian businesses can tap into a share of this market.

India is one of the key drivers of the global economy. Thanks to a combination of factors, it is a promising export market for Australian e-commerce businesses. India has a large growing population, with over half of its people born after 1980. The size of India’s young demographic makes for an interesting and compelling market for future e-commerce consumer trendspotting. Australian e-commerce businesses should start now by offering customers the option to ship from Australia to India. Here, we’ve put together a shipping guide for businesses to reference easily.

Popular products to ship to India from Australia

Wondering what does Australia export to India to better your chances of sustained e-commerce sales in your international target market

Popular products in the Indian online retail market to consider selling are:

  • Clothing and apparel

  • Fashion accessories

  • Beauty products

  • Home decor items

  • Toys and games

  • Books

What to look out for when shipping from Australia to India

1. What items are prohibited by India customs

When it comes to conducting trade in India and shipping your e-commerce products internationally, such as to India from Australia, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, make sure that the product is allowed into the country. India has very specific customs regulations regarding what can and cannot be shipped into the country. You can refer to the current complete list of restricted items for import in India on the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) website. Most items are also subject to import duties and taxes. All cultural artefacts must be registered with the Archaeological Survey of India. Alcohol and tobacco products are subject to special import regulations.

Prohibited goods include: 

  • Antiquities

  • Animal original products and meat

  • Wildlife products

  • Counterfeit and pirated goods

  • Narcotic and psychotropic substances

  • Chemical weapons

  • Aero models

  • Pornographic and obscene materials

  • Maps and literature where Indian external boundaries are shown incorrectly

Image showing discover app on a mobile screen

Sign up to the Discover newsletter

  • Fortnightly insights, tips and free assets
  • We never share your data
  • Shape a global audience for your business
  • Unsubscribe any time
Image showing discover app on a mobile screen

Restricted goods include: 

  • Firearms and ammunition

  • Live bird and animals, including pets

  • Plants and their produce e.g. seeds, fruits

  • Endangered species of animals and plants, both alive or dead

  • Gold and silver, other than ornaments

  • Vintage products, replicas of antiques or weapons

  • Medicines and drugs

  • Sand and soil

Using the list of prohibited and restricted items for import in India as a guide ensures your e-commerce business focuses on products that can actually cross the border. By familiarising yourself with the customs regulations before shipping, you can be sure that your shipment arrives smoothly and without any delays. 

2. India customs tax

India customs duty is a tax charged on goods imported into the country. The customs duty in India is levied at the time of import by the Indian Customs authorities. There are two types of customs duty in India, basic customs duty and additional customs duty. 

Basic customs duty is levied on all imported goods except those which are exempted. Additional customs duty is levied on a few specified goods. Your shipped goods may also incur an integrated goods and service tax (IGST). When shipping to India, you’ll need to work out how much the total customs duty is based on the classification of the goods. Gifts and gold are common shipments, with basic customs duty and IGST charges on gifts and on gold at 7.5%. Customs duty rates depend upon the type of product, its origin and its classification. Tariffs and import duties are subject to constant change, so it is best to keep up to date on the latest regulatory compliance in India

3. Shipping documentation for export

When shipping goods to India, being aware of the required shipping documentation is helpful in facilitating a seamless experience. 

Shipping documentation includes:

  • Airway bill: This contains important information about your shipment, such as the shipper’s and receiver’s address and details, shipment details, and payer account number.

  • Commercial invoice: The value of the goods being shipped must be listed, as well as any applicable taxes and insurance

  • Signed packing list: It should include the details of the content of each package if the shipment has more than one box.

  • Shipping manifest: It contains the name and address of the consignee, and the port of destination.

  • Purchase order: This entails the proof of payments for shipments that have purchases by private individuals, such as for e-commerce orders.

  • Signed and stamped Non-objection Form (N-Form): This is required if the receiver is located outside of Mumbai

  • Goods like cosmetics or electronics may require additional declaration forms. 

Failure to provide accurate and complete shipping documentation can result in customs clearance delay, as well as additional fees. As such, it is important to be familiar with the requirements before shipping goods to India.

Fast and reliable shipping from Australia to India with DHL Express

India is poised to be a lucrative and growing market for Australian e-commerce businesses. As a leading logistics carrier, DHL Express facilitates business activity between India and Australia with seamless shipping. We understand foreign trade relations in India and can help assure that this crucial aspect of your shipping process is taken care of with close attention to the details. 

Take your business to greater heights by venturing into the India market with DHL Express. Register for an account today to get started.


Any regulatory information contained herein is for informational purposes only and DHL assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information. DHL does not provide specific regulatory or legal advice to the public and you are encouraged to seek your own legal or compliance counsel.