India is the largest trade partner of Nepal with more than half of the country’s trade in undertaken with the Southern neighbour. In the last five years, more than 61 per cent of Nepal’s exports have been to India. Besides the geographical proximity and traditional and cultural ties, having a bilateral preferential trade agreement since 1950. Nepal-India Treaty of Trade was last revised in 2009 and was renewed in 2016. The Treaty covers only goods trade, and provides for exemption from basic customs duty and quantitative restrictions imports of listed primary (including agricultural) goods on a reciprocal basis. Also, the Treaty ensures access for Nepali manufacturing products, except for alcoholic beverages; perfumes and cosmetics with non-Nepali/non-Indian brand names and cigarettes and tobacco to the Indian market free of customs duties.
Export Procedures to India
Export procedure to India from Nepal is similar to all other foreign countries. Since there is no GSP applicable for Nepali products, Certificate of Origin would suffice. Check Guide to Export for details.
In India only those trades that have obtained an Importer and Exporter Code (IEC) number from Directorate General of Foreign Trade are entitled to undertake imports, so make sure your trading partner in India has that IEC number.
Likewise, all imported goods must meet the terms of the Article 11 of the 1962 Customs Act, the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act and the EXIM policy in force. Goods that do not fall under the purview of the EXIM policy are generally confiscated or may be reimbursed in exchange for the payment of a fine.
Certain goods are prohibited under the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992. Here is the list of Restricted Items of Import
Exporting Samples to India
Samples for non-commercial use are allowed in case the goods are supplied free of charge.
For duty free clearance, the value of individual sample should not exceed INR 5000/- and aggregate value should not exceed INR.60 000/- per year or 15 units of samples in a year. However, the Prototypes of engineering goods can be imported even if the value is more than INR 5000/-.
The Central Board of Excise & Customs- CBEC is the apex body for customs matters. Click here to calculate applicable customs in India for particular products.
Standards, Certifications and Labelling Requirements
The standards followed in India are generally in line with international norms and most are harmonised with International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) standards. However, imports of some 109 products are subject to compliance with specified Indian quality standards. To remain compliant with the law, manufacturers of these products must obtain certification from Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) before exporting such goods to India.
Labelling requirements in India require that all imported pre-packaged commodities, intended for direct retail sale, must carry the following declarations on the label:
- Name and address of the registered importer.
- Generic or common name of the commodity packed for import.
- Net quantity in terms of standard unit of weights and measurement – in metric.
- Month and year of packaging in which the item is manufactured, packed or imported.
- Maximum retail sales price (MRP) at which the goods, in packaged form, may be sold to the end consumer.
For detailed information visit India Trade Portal
You can contact Nepal-India Chamber of Commerce and Industry for more information on trading with India.