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How to ship from India to New Zealand

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India and New Zealand have a strong trade relationship with a significant volume of goods being shipped between the two countries. While there are no existing free trade agreements (FTAs) signed between New Zealand and India, India remains a longstanding trading partner. According to official statistics from New Zealand, the trade between the two countries is worth nearly NZ$2.2 billion. Exports to India amount to NZ$1.1 billion while imports into New Zealand are tallied at NZ$1.1 billion. While it’s no surprise that New Zealand products remain popular overseas, it’s important to note the increasing demand for Indian products back home. This, in part, can be attributed to the fact that Indians made up the second-largest share of New Zealand's international student count.

Tapping into this trend, your business can benefit greatly when importing items from India, which can include an assortment of products, from textiles to Indian snacks to festive goodies. And with an import business, understanding the steps to take when shipping goods from a country is necessary for smooth customs clearance. 

We outline what you need to know when shipping products from India to New Zealand.

Prohibited and restricted goods 

Exported goods from India are categorised into three categories: freely exportable, restricted and prohibited. These categories are based on the Indian Trade Clarification (ITC), which uses the Harmonised System of Nomenclature (HSN) coding to classify goods for export.

Items that are prohibited from exporting out of India include but are not limited to:

  • Wild animals and their products

  • Ivory and rhino horn

  • Beef, meat products, and poultry

  • Live animals (except silkworms and bees)

  • Certain plants and plant products

  • Rare and endangered species of plants and animals

  • Indian antiquities and art treasures

  • Precious and semi-precious stones

  • Gold and silver (other than ornaments)

  • Currencies (other than Indian currency)

  • Firearms, ammunition, and explosives

  • Pornographic materials

  • Counterfeit currency and goods

  • Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances

These will be confiscated at Indian customs, and you may have to pay a fine or fulfil other penalties, if any. 

You may ship restricted goods out of India as long as you have obtained the necessary permits and licences to clear these goods at custom. These include but are not limited to:

  • Chemicals

  • Drugs and pharmaceutical products

  • Ores and minerals

  • Certain electronic equipment

  • Semi-processed animal products such as skins and hides

  • Firearms and ammunition

  • Endangered species of flora and fauna

  • Pure sandalwood

  • Family planning devices

  • Seeds of all forestry species

  • Rice bran

  • Vintage motorcycles and their parts

  • Artworks and antique

Under the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992, goods that are not listed as prohibited or restricted are considered freely exportable. However, the free exportability of these goods is subject to any other laws that may be in force at the time of export. It's important to note that goods not listed in the Schedule are presumed to be freely exportable without any conditions. This is in accordance with the rules, notifications, public notices and circulars issued under the Act from time to time.

Do note that your imported goods must also comply with the New Zealand customs laws post-shipping before they’re allowed to enter the country.

Licences and permits

One of the important licences to obtain is the export licence to ship restricted items from India to New Zealand. To determine which category your product falls into, you can refer to the ITC and obtain the necessary licence. The issuance of the licence involves a careful review of the information provided in the exporter’s request. The export policies related to terms and regulations are provided in Schedule II of the ITC-HS code. Export licences in India are issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

To obtain an export licence, certain key documents are required, which include:

  • ANF-1 form with the exporter and importer profiles

  • ANF-2N form for the export licence application of restricted items

  • A copy of the purchase orders, import orders or contractual agreements between the exporter and importer

  • Receipt of the application fee

  • PAN card

  • Identity and address proof

  • Bank certificate

To apply for an export licence from DGFT, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Online ECOM Application section under services on the DGFT website.

  • Select 'Restricted Export Item'.

  • Complete the application online and include all the necessary details.

  • Send a copy of the application and the mandatory documents in PDF format to

Other licences or permits you may require include the:

  • Importer-Exporter Code (IEC): This is indicated in the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) and can be filed online via the DGFT website after filling out the ANF 2A form.

  • Registration cum membership certificate (RCMC):  You’ll need to obtain the RCMC if you’re shipping products that are registered with an agency authorised by the Government of India.

Shipping documents

When shipping goods from India to New Zealand, there are several important documents that need to be prepared and submitted to the appropriate authorities. These include:

  • Commercial invoice cum Packing List: The Indian customs have merged these into a single document. The invoice indicates the value of the products while the packing list details the distinct items in a parcel.

  • Shipping bill: It provides details on the goods being exported, applicable charges such as freight, insurance, and commission as well as duties and taxes that apply to the courier of goods. It is issued by the Indian Customs Electronic Gateway (ICEGATE).

  • Certificate of origin: It is an affidavit submitted with the commercial invoice that states the manufacturing destination of the goods.

  • Inspection certification: Exporters must have their products certified for their quality.

  • Insurance certificate: A document that confirms that insurance has been obtained to cover the cost of the goods being shipped.

You’re advised to find out the necessary documents you’ll need when you import the goods into New Zealand. Often, the same documents will apply.

Packing your goods

Proper packaging is essential for international shipments to ensure that goods arrive at their destination safely and without damage. Before you ship from India to New Zealand, settle on the right packaging materials based on the type of goods being shipped. Different types of packaging materials, such as bubble wrap, foam and corrugated boxes, are available and should be selected based on the level of protection required. To avoid damage during transit, goods should be packed tightly and secured with tape, and fragile items should be wrapped in protective material. Proper labelling and clear markings on the package can also help ensure safe and efficient delivery.

Prepare to ship your courier from India to New Zealand with DHL Express

We understand that when it comes to global shipping, time is of the essence for businesses to succeed, which is why at DHL Express, we provide fast and efficient international express delivery solutions. With our expansive global network and decades of experience, we have the expertise to handle your import requirements, whether you're shipping bulk liquids or preparing a wine delivery. We’ll tailor our services to meet all of your specific shipping needs, providing you with a personalised package that ensures your goods are delivered securely and promptly. Rely on us to navigate the necessary permits and licences required when sending parcels from India and make your shipping experience hassle-free. Sign up for a DHL Express business account today and experience the benefits of our comprehensive services for your importing needs.