How to Import a Laptop into India from the US for Personal Use?

Last Updated at: Aug 16, 2022
import a laptop
India is considering hiking import duties by 5%-10% on more than 50 items including smartphones, electronic components and appliances in the upcoming budget 2021. The move to increase import duties is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s self-reliant India campaign .


A lot of people purchase electronic products such as laptops and iPods from the US and have it shipped to India. People do this because the American market offers better prices in some cases, and also to obtain higher quality products. However, performing a laptop import from the USA isn’t as easy as it sounds due to customs and taxation norms. But, there are ways in which you can import a laptop from the USA and not have it cost a fortune in duty. Let us now take a closer look at how to conduct a laptop import from the USA, and how customs duty works for such products. 

  1. How to import a laptop from the US to India via Amazon

  2. How else can we import laptops from the USA into India?

  3. Example of the process of laptop import from the USA 

  4. Do people have to pay duty to import laptops from the US to India?

How to import a laptop from the US to India via Amazon

One of the best ways to perform a laptop import from the US is to buy one on Amazon. This service provider offers international shipping on most of their processes, making the process a lot quicker and simpler. This also allows you to bypass issues, such as shipping address miscommunication, delayed shipment, and customs duties. While these problems still exist even when you purchase a laptop from Amazon, they will handle them for you. 

All users have to do in such cases is order the product, provide your address, and pay for it. However, to do so, users will have to toggle the AmazonGlobal Eligible option from the left-hand side of the page. You will also have to provide your KYC details during the check-out stage, as packages without a clear KYC ID will not clear customs. Users can provide their driver’s license, Aadhaar ID, voter ID or PAN card for this purpose. The three shipping options available are as follows;

  1. AmazonGlobal Standard, which takes around 9 to 12 business days
  2. Further, AmazonGlobal Expedited, which takes around 5 to 10 business days
  3. AmazonGlobal Priority, which takes around 2 to 4 business days

How else can we import laptops from the USA into India?

Another method using which users can perform a laptop import from the US is by relying on international shipping agencies, such as BorderLinx. These companies provide users with a temporary shipping address within the US and then forward the parcel to India. The cost of shipping they charge will include everything from the tax charges to the customs duty, leading to a surge in the total price of the laptop.

If not, another viable option would be to ask a family member or a friend who lives in the US to get it for you. In this option, the friend or relative will order the laptop to their local address and then bring it down with them the next time they visit India. However, there are several variables here, as you need to have a willing friend or relative, and they should be coming down to India in the near future. In case all of this works out, this is the safest method, as it prevents you from having to worry about taxes and customs duties. However, you can bring only one laptop this way, and will have to open the package and declare it at customs.

Another alternative is to use crowd-sourced shipping services that rely on people flying out at suitable dates to carry the required item. The most popular platform of this nature is Manyship, and their services are very economical, costing only around $50 extra. However, the problem here is that you will have to wait till you find suitable people at the right time who are willing to do this.

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Example of the process of laptop import from the USA

Let us take a look at how one of these services work:

Imagine you shipped a laptop, weighing roughly 12 pounds, to an American address using XoticPC or Shopusa for $74. These services will send a photo of the product once it arrives at their warehouse and then ships it to India via UPS within three days. The carrier will clear customs on your behalf at minimal rates, roughly around INR 1,600. Once the package arrives in India, the team will contact you, verify your KYC documents and then deliver it to your communication address. The total expense in such a case will be

  1. Laptop Price + Shipping ($1000 + $79) = $1079
  2. Insurance amounting to 1.125% of $1079 = $12
  3. Cost+Insurance+Freight = $1091
  4. Total = CIF + Lading (1% of CIF) ($1091 + $0.01*1091) = roughly ₹74488
  5. Customs Duty on Laptops = 0%, as all taxes except Basic Customs Duty, is covered in IGST amounting to 18% for the HSN Code 8471which is used for Laptops and PCs
  6. IGST of 18% amounts to ₹13,407.

Do people have to pay duty to import laptops from the US to India?

As per the new rules, any adult who has stayed for over three days overseas can bring a laptop back to India as a part of their baggage without additional duty. However, such an individual will be able to bring back only one laptop as their personal property without paying extra duty. Hence, the import duty for the first laptop brought back is zero, while the second one will draw customs duty.

Export Certificate: All high-value goods such as laptops taken out from Indian when someone goes abroad can be brought back in free of duty if the individual obtains an export certificate. Customs issues this certificate for individual products when the person goes abroad.

Import of Second-hand Equipment: The Indian government exempts second-hand electronic peripherals such as printers, monitors, and storage units from duty as per the First Schedule of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975. However, this is viable only if they are received as a donation to the following institutions;

  • Central/state/union territory government school
  • Non-commercial educational institution
  • Registered charitable hospital.
  • Public library.
  • Publicly funded research and development organisation
  • Central/State/UT government-run community information centre or adult education centre

Hence, the significant steps to import a laptop from the USA are as follows;

  1. Get a US-based address through a freight forwarding company, such as ShopUSA 
  2. Choose that as your shipping address when purchasing the laptop.
  3. Generate a shipment request and complete the payment process.
  4. Track the shipment and ensure the carrier handles the customs duty payment
  5. Receive the laptop at your doorstep

Usually, the customs duty on a laptop is 28% and can be split as follows;

  • 10% BCD
  • 2% Edu Cess
  • 1% HEdu Cess
  • 28% IGST

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