How to export to India from Indonesia

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India is a key destination for Indonesian exports, with a strong bilateral trade relationship between the two countries. The export of Indonesian goods to India has grown significantly in recent years. According to the United Nations’ COMTRADE database, Indonesia exported approximately US$13.29 billion of goods to India as of July 2023.

This export surge is driven by the increasing demand for Indonesian products in the Indian market. Indonesian businesses have capitalised on India's growing population, rising middle class, and appetite for quality goods. Indonesian products and commodities have found a receptive market in India, from textiles and garments to automotive parts, palm oil, and consumer electronics.

Understanding import duties and taxes in India

When shipping goods from Indonesia to India, navigating the customs clearance process is important. Understanding the import duties, taxes, and tariffs associated with your products is crucial for accurate charges calculation and compliance. India has specific regulations and procedures to ensure smooth importation and protect its domestic industries. To ensure a hassle-free customs clearance process, it's essential to be well-informed about the following aspects:


India has actively pursued Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with various countries, including Indonesia, to enhance economic cooperation and facilitate trade. These agreements aim to reduce or eliminate customs duties on specific goods, creating favourable conditions for businesses engaging in international trade. The ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement (AIFTA) is one such agreement that holds significance for international shipping from Indonesia to India.

The AIFTA was signed between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India. It aims to promote trade and investment by providing preferential tariffs for eligible products traded between member countries. As a member of ASEAN, Indonesia benefits from the provisions of the AIFTA when exporting goods to India. Under the AIFTA, tariffs for 75% of the goods between ASEAN countries and India are eliminated. For more than 10% of the product lines, ASEAN is committed to reduce the tariffs below 5%. Top export goods from Indonesia, such as palm oil, coal, rubber, hydrocarbon reserves, and pulp and paper, may enjoy reduced or zero customs duty rates when entering the Indian market. 

2. HS Codes

The Harmonized System (HS) Codes are internationally recognised codes used to classify goods for importation. Each product is assigned a unique HS code, which helps determine its category, characteristics, and associated customs duties and regulations.

Familiarising yourself with the right HS code for your products when shipping from Indonesia to India is crucial in ensuring your goods are categorised correctly for customs purposes. When exporting goods to India, customs authorities use HS codes to determine the applicable customs duties, taxes, and any additional charges, regulations or restrictions that may apply. Each HS code is associated with a specific duty rate or tariff schedule. HS codes also play a crucial role in trade documentation, such as commercial invoices and shipping declarations. Including the HS code on these documents clarifies and clarifies the nature of the goods being shipped. It helps customs authorities, overseas shipping agents, and other relevant parties accurately identify and process the goods, reducing the risk of delays or misunderstandings during customs clearance.

3. Goods categories: Taxable and non-taxable

India categorises export and import goods into various classes, including taxable and non-taxable items. Products are classified based on their nature and purpose, and this classification determines the applicable customs duties and taxes. While some goods may be exempt from duties and taxes, others may attract substantial charges. Consider these key points about taxable and non-taxable goods categories:

  • Taxable Goods: Some goods are subject to customs duties and taxes when exported to India. The rates vary based on the HS code and the specific product category. It's important to be aware of the applicable tax rates to accurately calculate the costs associated with importing your goods. Some examples of taxable goods imported from Indonesia to India include:
    • Electronics and electrical equipment
    • Motor vehicles and automobile parts
    • Textiles and clothing
    • Machinery and mechanical appliances
    • Chemicals and pharmaceuticals
  • Non-Taxable Goods: Certain goods may be exempt from customs duties and taxes in India. These exemptions are usually granted to promote specific industries, encourage trade agreements, or support government initiatives. Understanding whether your products fall under non-taxable categories can help you plan your shipping charges effectively.
    • Essential medicines and medical devices
    • Books, newspapers, and educational material
    • Renewable energy products
    • Humanitarian aid and relief goods

It is important to note that the specific taxability of goods may vary based on factors such as product specifications, country of origin, and applicable regulations. For a more comprehensive list of taxable or non-taxable goods and their corresponding Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates, please visit the official website of the Indian Ministry of Finance.

Familiarisation with India’s import restrictions

India has specific policies, laws, and regulations concerning prohibited and restricted goods. These regulations aim to protect public health, national security, and the environment. It's crucial to be aware of the goods that are prohibited or restricted from importation from Indonesia into India to avoid any legal issues or delays. Here are some examples of prohibited and restricted goods:

  • Wild animals and their by-products
  • Asbestos and asbestos-containing products
  • Cigarettes and tobacco products
  • Counterfeit currency and fake coins
  • Firecrackers and fireworks
  • Hazardous waste materials
  • Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
  • Obscene or immoral materials
  • Used electronic and IT goods

You can view this entire list of prohibited goods for Indonesian export to India.

Preparation of the necessary documents

Accurate and complete documentation is vital for a smooth customs clearance process when importing goods from Indonesia to India. It is crucial to provide these documents accurately and ensure they include precise and truthful information about your products, their value, and their origin. To ensure compliance with Indian customs regulations, it's important to prepare the following essential documents:

  • Commercial invoice: The commercial invoice provides details about the goods being shipped overseas, including their description, quantity, value, and terms of sale. It serves as proof of the transaction between the exporter and the importer.
  • Packing list: The packing list provides a detailed breakdown of the contents of each package or shipment. It includes information such as each item's quantity, weight, dimensions, and packaging details. This document helps customs authorities verify the contents of the shipment.
  • Air Waybill: The air waybill is a transportation document that serves as evidence of the contract of carriage between the shipper and the carrier. It contains information about the shipment, such as the consignor, consignee, and the details of the goods transported.
  • Import licence or permit (if applicable): Certain goods may require an import licence or permit to enter India. These are the relevant Indian authorities that can issue these licences or permits and ensure compliance with specific regulations or quality standards:
    • The Ministry of Defense - For defence-related items
    • The Department of Electronics - For computer and computer-related systems
    • The Department for the Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Technical Support Wing - For organised sector units registered under the department, not including computers and computer-based systems
    • The Director General of Foreign Trade - For small-scale industries that are not covered above
  • Certificate of Origin: The certificate of origin is a document that identifies the country where the goods were produced. It may be required to determine the eligibility for preferential treatment under trade agreements such as the AIFTA.

Global shipping from Indonesia to India through DHL Express

When it comes to international shipping to India, partnering with DHL Express offers numerous benefits that can streamline your shipping process and ensure a seamless experience. With DHL Express, you can enjoy competitive and transparent shipping rates and charges, whether in bulk or per kg. Here are some key advantages of choosing DHL Express for your shipping needs:

1. Cost-effective shipping

DHL Express provides competitive shipping charges from Indonesia to India, helping you manage your shipping costs effectively. To plan and budget your shipments accurately, you can access transparent pricing information, including DHL Express courier charges. Whether you need to ship small packages or larger consignments, DHL Express offers cost-effective solutions tailored to your specific requirements.

2. Reliable and efficient service

With DHL Express as your shipping partner, you benefit from a reliable and efficient service. DHL has a proven track record in the logistics industry and offers a global network that ensures your shipments from Indonesia reach their destination in India on time and in excellent condition. You can trust DHL Express to handle your goods with care and provide end-to-end tracking, keeping you informed about the progress of your shipments throughout the journey. 

3. Customs expertise

Shipping from Indonesia to India involves navigating customs procedures and regulations. DHL Express has extensive expertise in customs clearance, ensuring that your shipments comply with Indian customs requirements. By partnering with DHL Express, you can leverage their knowledge and experience to minimise delays and avoid potential customs issues, making your shipping process smoother and more efficient.

4. Flexible shipping options

DHL Express offers a range of flexible shipping options to cater to your specific needs. Whether you require express delivery for time-sensitive shipments or more economical options for less urgent packages, DHL Express has you covered. You can choose the shipping service that aligns with your timeframe and budget, allowing you to meet your customers' expectations and maximise your business opportunities in India.

Partner with DHL Express and open a business account to gain access to cost-effective shipping solutions, reliable service, customs expertise, and flexible options. You can rely on DHL Express to handle your overseas shipments efficiently, providing peace of mind and allowing you to focus on growing your business and serving your customers confidently.