import regulations

Import Regulations

Before we get to the regulations themselves, here are some terms, knowing which will come in handy;
Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF): When importing anything from abroad, this is the basic cost that you will have to cater to, being the cost of the commodity itself, the cost of the freight and the insurance that will safeguard what you have purchased. This amount is payable by the buyer once the commodity reaches the designated airport/port. This amount would, naturally, be in the currency of the exporter nation. So if you’re buying something from the United States, it would be in Dollars.
Assessable Value (AV): Once the commodity arrives at the designated airport, it’s value in Indian Rupees is calculated based on the Harmonized System (HS) code. Over this amount are then added any duties or taxes as per the regulations.
Since alcohol is in the State list under the seventh schedule of the Constitution of India, laws and regulations are often different in different states, however, there are certain central laws as well. All customs and duties are applied cumulatively, and therefore, the compounded sum will be more than the sum of all the taxes and duties independently.

Below is the general process for all wine that is imprted to India;

  1. To the CIF is added a levy for 1%, which generates the AV
  2. Next is added the central custom duty, which is 150% of the AV, and an additional 4% over that, making it 160% cumulatively. This is the Customs Paid Price (CPP)
  3. To this is added the importer’s margin, let’s assume it’s a maximum of 20%. This now amounts to the Importer’s Price (IP)
  4. The importer then hands it over to the state where it is destined to be sold and thereon, the levies vary from state to state

Let us take, for instance, a State ‘X,’ and analyse the process that would generally have to be followed:

  1. The liquor label needs to be registered for one financial year, i.e., April to March.
  2. Then comes the Excise Policy and levied is the Vend Fee, which is a state levy.
  3. Next is added the distributor’s margin.
  4. The retailer then adds his margin on top of the distributor’s price.
  5. Finally, Value Added Tax (VAT) is added to the entire amount.

Below is a list of levies charged at the Mumbai customs;

  1. Wine / Beer / Champagne up to US$ 25 per case – 260.6% of the CIF
  2. Whiskey / Cognac / Brandy / Gin / Rum / Vodka up to US$ 10 per case – 547% of CIF; Over US$ 10 to US$ 20 per case – 416.12% of CIF
  1. Wine / Beer / Champagne over US$ 25 and up to US $ 40 per case – 208.06% of CIF
  2. Whiskey / Cognac / Brandy / Gin / Rum / Vodka over US$ 20 and up to US$ 40 per case – 286.34% of CIF
       Alcoholic drinks over US$ 40 per case
  1. Wine / Beer / Champagne – 146.26% of CIF 
  2. Whiskey / Cognac / Brandy / Gin / Rum / Vodka – 234.84% of CIF
* 1 Case = 9 liters

Below is a list of levies charged at the Delhi customs;

All goods put up in bottles, cans or any other packing, for ultimate sale in retail and having a CIF price
  1. Not exceeding US$ 25 per case – 75% of CIF
  2. Exceeding US$ 25 but less than US$ 40 per case – 50% of CIF or US$ 37 per case, whichever is higher
  3. Exceeding US$ 40 per case – 20% of CIF or US$ 40 per case, whichever is higher


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