Customs Duty for TV in India – A Complete Guide


Customs Duty for TV in India, Buying a television in India? The price you see at the store doesn’t tell the full story. You’ll also need to consider the customs duty levied on imported TVs when budgeting for your purchase. Understanding India’s complex tariff structure around televisions is key to avoiding any surprises at the checkout counter. This holds true whether you’re shipping TV to India from overseas or buying an imported model locally.

What is Customs Duty?

Before we dive into the specific details around customs duties for TVs, let’s level set on what customs duty actually means. In simple terms, customs duty refers to an indirect tax imposed on imported goods when they enter India. So if you’re buying a television manufactured overseas, you’ll need to pay this additional customs tax on top of the base price of the TV.

The duty amount varies depending on the type, size, and features of the television being imported. The government uses customs duty essentially as a protective measure – to make imported goods more expensive in order to boost domestic manufacturing and trade.

Customs Duty Rates for Televisions

So how much exactly can you expect to pay in customs taxes when importing a television? Unfortunately, it’s almost never a straightforward answer. India employs a complex multi-tiered tariff structure with customs duty rates differing based on screen size, technology, and more. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Basic Customs Duty– This applies to all imported goods at a standard rate of 10%. All imported TVs attract this 10% basic customs duty.
  • Social Welfare Surcharge– An additional 10% tax is levied on the aggregate of the basic customs duty and the IGST component (explained next).
  • IGST– Integrated Goods and Services Tax is an 18% levy applicable on all imported goods. Yes, that’s right – you pay GST even on imported items.
  • Special Additional Duty– Televisions also attract an extra 4% special duty designed specifically to bring cost parity between locally manufactured and imported units.

As you can see, taxes on imported televisions are almost compounded, making the effective duty rate very high. And to make matters even more complex, within broad categories like LCD/LED TVs, customs duty rates can differ further based on screen size or resolution.

How Screen Size Impacts Customs Duty

One of the biggest considerations that impact how much customs duty you pay on imported televisions is screen size:

  • Small screen TVs under 36 cmin size have around a 15% customs duty rate.
  • For televisions between 36 cm to 106 cm, the applicable customs duty rate rises to around 20%.
  • And large screen TVs above 106 cmattract the highest duty rate which can go up to as much as 30%.

So the larger the screen size, the more you’ll need to shell out in import taxes. Keep this tiered progression in mind – opting for a smaller TV variant even within the same model line could mean big-duty savings.

Other Factors That Influence Duty Rates

Apart from physical screen size, customs duty rates also consider certain features that can push taxes higher:

  • Smart TVs– Internet-connected smart TVs with integrated WiFi/LAN capability attract an extra 16% duty. So smart functionality comes at a premium.
  • 3D TVs– The additional hardware for 3D imagery translates to a customs levy of around 28% – yes, that’s nearly a third of the TV price!
  • 4K UHD TVs– Ultra HD panels with 2160p resolution command about a 10% higher duty rate compared to their Full HD counterparts.

While mundane non-smart TVs have among the lowest duty rates, they are also increasingly rare nowadays. Most televisions ship with at least basic smart software, driving up applicable customs taxes.

Clearing Customs Duty Payment

Finally, a quick word on how customs duty payment works when importing a TV:

  • Duty payment occurs at the port of entry and needs to be cleared before you can claim the TV shipment.
  • You can opt to self-clear after paying duty through designated customs portals. Or hire clearing agents to handle the paperwork.
  • Payment can happen via demand draft, direct bank transfer, or even in cash at some locations.

So that’s the complete low-down on customs duty for importing televisions into India. Considering the multiplicity of taxes involved, the final duty-paid cost for premium imported TVs can really add up. But with some diligent research and careful selection, you can minimize the tariff impact.

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