Planning to ship a pebble smartwatch to India


scarezebra

Well-Known Member
Adept
Since pebble has started free worldwide shipping worldwide. I was planning on getting one for myself. I wanted to know how the process works in terms of customs and duties.

I have used global shipping just once before(ebay) and the product (a phone case) never reached me :p

Main query I have is regarding the customs and duties. The website says the following "International shipments may be subject to additional taxes and import fees (VAT). Contact your local customs officials for more information." - So where exactly the are these taxes and import fees collected? Will it calculated at checkout or will I have to pay it later?

I am a bit wary of going through this process and if anyone has any experience then it would be great if they could guide me here. :)

Thanks in advance
 

indy1811

Well-Known Member
Veteran
If it is going to arrive via normal post then the post office will pay the customs on your behalf and collect the amount from you before delivering the package. Same applies for DHL, Fedex etc. Stuff usually gets held up at customs only if the inspector feels the item is undervalued or if the invoice is missing.
 

phoenix844884

The Analyst
Veteran
For consumer items your nearest port of import and customs will decide how much they will charge you. Although there are guidelines instructing them how much duty to charge, IMO it's very arbitrary. You might get away with not paying a penny or you might be paying close to 10% of invoiced amount. Then the package is sent on it's way to your local post office, and the post man delivering the shipment will collect the duty.

That is the usual scenario. In the off chance that your shipment lands in the hands of a finicky customs official you might have to submit more proof of purchase like an invoice and photo ID.
 

varung14

New Member
Recruit
As per the norms all import and export packages are subject to checks and verification by the customs and appropriate duties and taxes are to be levied and collected from the importer. (please note there are no custom duties on exports, only checks are done to confirm goods being exported do not form part of the restricted items list.)

In case of shipments coming through courier, courier agency/speed post pays custom duty on behalf of the importer and collects the same from importer at the time of handing over the package to the importer alongwith their charges and taxes, if any.

Now the second question is about the rate of custom duty that is to be charged. Ideally, custom duty is a percentage of the invoice value mentioned on the package. This percentage is determined from the HS code of the item being imported. One can google to find out the HS Code of a product and further google to find out the duty structure of a product falling under a particular HS Code.

In case of Pebble, HS Code is 9102xxxx and the applicable duty is 24% of the invoice value (appx.)

However, custom officials have the discretion to charge duty on a higher base value if they believe that the invoice hasn't declared the true value of the product and the actual value is greater than the invoiced value. Ofcourse one can dispute this and file an "appeal" in customs against this but everyone knows how things work.

Also, as someone already mentioned, this process is very arbitrary and it is prudent to pay whatever custom duty the courier agents asks for and accept the package.

In my opinion its best to avoid the process altogether and look for alternative sources locally even if the costs are slightly higher.
 

raksrules

Well-Known Member
Veteran
@scarezebra

If you are still interested, i see a listing of pebble smart watch on Pune Olx for 9000 Rs and bargain is possible. Not sure how much the seller will reduce the price. But an option.
 

Niks

Well-Known Member
Adept
@scarezebra Just got myself a Pebble shipped two weeks back and was charged around INR 2800 import duty for the invoice amount of $150. The watch was shipped via DHL and reached me within 5 days of ordering. Basically, DHL pays the duty amount on your behalf while clearing your shipment at customs and then collects the amount from you upon delivery. You only pay $150 upfront while ordering the watch at getpebble.com.

Although, the rate of customs duty is 10% for the category under which Pebble comes (HS Code 91021200 - watches with opto-electronic display), but the duty invoice had 2-3 other charges as well, such as countervailing duty, cess etc. from what I can remember, bringing the amount to 2800.
 

scarezebra

Well-Known Member
Adept
Thanks guys.. While the case of @Niks is encouraging all the other replies advice against going through the process.. The additional cost of 2800 sounds pretty decent.

I will probably wait for some friend/relative who is visting India to get this. I guess avoiding the customs process entirely is the best option.
 

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