Here Are Easy Ways to Ship a Parcel From Singapore to India

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India is emerging as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and presents a wealth of investment opportunities for Singapore businesses. According to Statista, its real gross domestic profit grew 8.95% in 2021 compared to the previous year. Along with the other BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India, and China – India’s economy has strengthened over the last few decades. This makes it an ideal market to conduct trade with. Economic liberalisation, a massive population and a burgeoning middle class are several other reasons to consider India as a target market.

However, to start successfully shipping to India, understanding the customs regulations of the country is key. Moreover, India is particularly careful about the goods entering their country, as well as the legitimacy of the importer.  So, you should expect a round of in-depth checks when it comes to courier service from Singapore to India. DHL Express makes the ideal courier service choice to help you assist in this comprehensive customs process and simply the delivery of your goods. We make sure that your shipment reaches the destination country on time and in an undamaged condition.

If you’re looking forward to knowing how to send parcels to India from Singapore, then you’re in the right place. Here’s our comprehensive guide on India’s regulations and what you need to know before shipping your goods from Singapore.

Why ship to India? 

According to an India Imports from Singapore report by Trading Economics, Singapore exports an estimated S$12.76 billion to India in 2020, while India imports an estimated S$8,487.20 billion from Singapore as of June 2022. To demonstrate the close ties between these countries, Singapore is also the fourth largest exporter of goods to India.

It is evident that the relationship between Singapore and India has always been strong and cordial. For business merchants in Singapore looking to utilise this relationship to their advantage, consider establishing contact with local retailers, shipping and distributing products here. If you’re looking to effectively send parcels to India from Singapore, first understand India’s customs regulations, shipping restrictions, the list of prohibited and restricted goods and the essential documents required for a smooth courier service.

India's trade policy and regulations

It's important to keep in mind the items you can and cannot ship out of Singapore and into India. If proper prior research is not carried out, you might face delays in your shipments or have them rejected.

Main exports from Singapore to India

  • Petroleum products

  • Electronic and Machinery equipment

  • Iron and Steel products

  • Inorganic chemicals and miscellaneous chemical products

  • Mechanical appliances among others

Prohibited exports from Singapore

  • Rough diamonds

  • Meat products

  • Rhinoceros horns

  • Animals

  • Chemicals

Prohibited imports into India

  • Antiquities

  • Narcotic and psychotropic substances

  • Counterfeit and pirated goods

  • Wildlife products and human skeleton

  • Aero models

  • Maps and literature where Indian external boundaries have been shown incorrectly

  • Pornographic and obscene materials

  • Chemical weapons

Prepare to ship your parcel from Singapore to India

When preparing your shipment, take note to create your DHL air waybill and prepare a shipping invoice. By remembering these steps, you are presenting accurate information such as the actual value of your package and avoiding clearance delays. 

However, suppose you are shipping restricted items, such as fire extinguishers or a part of a ship, you will need a formal clearance and your consignee to provide the necessary paperwork in order for the goods to be allowed into India. Do also ensure that your consignee has prepared all necessary paperwork to avoid delay or transit time.

1. Know Your Customer (KYC) & Power of Attorney (POA)

Being aware of who your consignee is, is of paramount importance when shipping products to India. Here are some key points to note:

  • It is a must for the consignee to upload the KYC and POA in www.dhlindia-kyc.com in order for the parcel to clear customs.
  • Consignee’s name and address on the KYC document must match with the AWB and invoice details.
  • Failure to upload KYC will result in the shipment not being cleared with no option for service recovery. All imports attract duty. Duty exemption, if any, will need specific duty exemption notification of IN Customs.
  • The consignee should have a valid Import Export Code No. (IEC), and the exemption is only for import by individuals for personal use.


2. Check if your goods are controlled or restricted

Check if your goods are categorised as controlled or restricted goods in Singapore. To check if a good is restricted, search up the description, Harmonised (HS) code or CA product code in the Singapore Customs Database. If a good is subjected to control, check in on the CA to receive full details on their licensing requirements. We dive into the details below:

Alcoholic Beverages

  • Technically the recommendation for alcoholic beverages must be as under, “If content is a free gift, then a maximum of 1 litre bottle is permitted.”

  • For the rest of the cases, the consignee must provide State Excise permission to import them into India. Hence, it is better to ship the goods only after the consignee provides a written communication that they have the necessary import approvals.

  • You also need to note that some of the states in India have a ban on the consumption of alcoholic beverages. So, before shipping them, ask the consignee to confirm whether the destination state has a ban or not.

Coal & firewood, Plants, Animal fur, Tobacco Products

  • You need special import permission or licence from the Government of India if you are sending items like coal and firewood, animal fur, antiques and work of art, plants as well as tobacco and tobacco products. But remember, they can only be shipped if the consignee confirms the possession of the government licence.

  • The shipper must declare the correct market value of the shipment, failing which, it will be seized by the customs with a fine and penalty imposed on both the consignee as well as DHL. Then, neither your shipment will be delivered nor an RTO will be done.

Used or refurbished goods

  • Used or refurbished goods are restricted unless approved by INCOG. A gap in its description, value, content, address or multiple pin codes being provided will result in disposal at the destination with no option for return. Compliance to IN laws is shipper’s and receiver’s responsibility only. Shipper’s executed invoice in English is acceptable; handwritten or foreign language is not acceptable.

Fabrics & Textile articles

  • All fabrics (including samples and swatches) or textile articles are subject to NOC from the textile committee office prior to the physical clearance of shipments. Shipment of textile, fabric, or garment being sent to IN should ideally have a laboratory test report from any internationally accredited testing agencies viz.: SGS, Lloyds Register, Bureau Veritas, etc. This will help reduce delays and warehouse charges.


  • Foodstuffs like grain or perishable items like fruits, flowers, or vegetables are subject to government controls. You can expect a delay of 2 - 6 working days in clearance.

  • Additionally, a NOC is required from the FSSAI (food department), which can only be processed at Bombay, Delhi, and Chennai gateways.

  • The consignee is to provide the necessary paperwork for NOC. Also, some items can be sent for testing by FSSAI, which can cause an additional delay of 10-15 days.

Drugs (with & without prescription)

  • Medicines/drugs consigned to individuals will require Form 12B to be provided by the consignee. Refer to https://cdscoonline.gov.in/CDSCO/Drugs_Personal.

  • Narcotic / Phototropic medicine/drugs must be shipped to India only if the consignee provides import licence & proper identity and address of shipper is available at origin as it will be important in case Regulatory authorities need to contact the shipper.

  • Non-compliance to import of Narcotic / Phototropic has severe repercussions. All medicine/drugs require No Objection Certification from the Assistant Drug Controller in India.

  • Manufacturer's name, batch number & expiry details should appear in the invoice. Special clearance charges will be applicable.

  • Absence of import permission/ licence will result in the shipment being abandoned with no option for return.

Used /Refurbished / Secondhand Goods

  • For sending Used /Refurbished / Secondhand Goods, consignee needs to arrange approval from the Ministry of Environment and Forest from India.

  • Import licence is mandatory for Consumer goods (example computer, laptop, printer, mobile, television, etc.). Do not send such shipments if it is consigned to an Individual. Non-adherence will result in seizure by regulatory authorities. Fine & penalty will be levied on Consignee & DHL. Return or re-direction of shipment will not be permitted.


  • If you are sending a passport, it should either be shipped by the embassy or a regulatory body or should be consigned to the embassy or regulatory body. In any case, it should not be shipped from an individual to another individual. Further, Indian customs will decide the authenticity on a case-to-case basis.

  • An original letter of the embassy should be accompanied with your package. Then, the copy of the letter will be scanned in DHL imaging systems. Failure to comply will result in the shipment not reaching the consignee.


  • Importing cosmetics is subject to destination controls and import licence requirements. Expect clearance delays for 2-6 working days. For that, the consignee should provide necessary paperwork for non-prescriptive drugs/pharmaceutical intermediaries or raw materials/ cosmetics.

  • The NOC is required from the ADC (Additional Drug Controller), which can only be processed at BOM, BLR, DEL and MAA gateways.

  • The consignee should provide the necessary paperwork for NOC. Manufacturer's name, batch number, and expiry details should appear in the invoice. Examples of cosmetics commonly sent are make-up stuff (mascara, blush, eyeliner) or skin care products.

Computer software

  • If you’re shipping computer software, then the consignee must provide the necessary paperwork for duty exemption.

Mobile phones, Accessories, & Components

  • If you are shipping mobile phones, accessories or its components, then specify the brand name, model number, and IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity) on the shipping invoice. If they are refurbished mobile parts, then they are not permitted for import into India. Failure to comply will result in your shipment being destroyed with no option for RTO.

Telecommunication equipment

  • To import telecommunication equipment like a laptop or an iwatch, which has RF (radio frequency) signals and a range of more than 4800 MHZ, a WPC licence will be required (Wireless planning commission) from the consignee. It can be shipped only if the consignee confirms the procession of the licence.

3. Prepare documents for cargo clearance

Regardless of what you’re shipping from Singapore to India, do not forget to create your DHL air waybill. To make sure that the journey of your parcel is smooth and easy, you also need to prepare a shipping invoice. It will give an actual value of your shipment and prevent clearance delays caused due to incorrect or vague information of your package. For instance, if you are shipping fire extinguishers or part of a ship to India, then a formal clearance is needed and for that, the consignee must provide the necessary paperwork. If the consignee fails to show the paperwork, then it will impact the transit time of your shipment.

Note: All non-document imports into India need consignee’s KYC (Know Your Customers) & POA (Power of Attorney). The consignee name & address on KYC document must match with the waybill & Invoice. Consignee to use www.dhlindia-kyc.com to upload KYC & POA. KYC gap/Failure will result in Shipment not being cleared with no option of return of shipment to origin.

  • Ensure consignee contact number / email address is written on AWB 

  • If shipper has these information, to indicate the Receiver’s VAT/GST # as well consignee ID #, or Passport #, IEC, PAN etc  on the waybill

  • Consignee must provide POA (Power of Attorney) and KYC (Know Your Customer) documents in order for clearance to start. Without these 2 paperwork, shipment cannot be cleared.

  • Consignee can upload this paperwork via www.dhlindia-kyc.com (to be done by consignee only) 

It is your duty to carefully pack your shipment if you want it to reach India in an unspoiled condition. Once you have packed your shipment, your last and final step is to schedule your shipment collection before you hand over your parcel to DHL Express. You can do that by either calling our Customer Service or scheduling a pickup from MyDHL+ or by self-lodging the shipment to any DHL Express retail store near you.

4. Proper packaging of parcels

To ensure your shipment reaches India in optimal conditions, package your goods properly. This involves choosing boxes of appropriate sizing, filling voids with foam peanuts and labelling your package correctly. After packing your shipment, schedule your shipment collection before you hand over your parcel to DHL Express. You can do so by contacting our customer service, arranging for a pickup from MyDHL+ or dropping off your shipment at any DHL Express stores within your vicinity. 

Use DHL Express to effectively ship from Singapore to India

To provide you with a seamless courier service from Singapore to India, DHL Express handles customs clearance and completion of declarations for you. Enjoy these added advantages when you choose DHL Express too:

  • Network coverage of over 220 countries and territories

  • Simpler and safer shipping process with DHL Express’ shipping tools, MyDHL+, and ODD (On-Demand Delivery)

  • Receive actual-time updates of their shipment and its clearance statuses

  • Flexible delivery options

  • Package collection time is as per the customer’s choice

  • 24/7 customer support

With extra time to spare, take this opportunity to familiarise yourself and understand the customs duty charges for the different types of goods. In doing so, you can enjoy a smooth clearance without delays and risk not losing your money when shipping to India. Create a business account with DHL Express now to also take advantage of hassle-free shipping services from Singapore to India and stay assured that your shipment will cross the border quickly and smoothly.