Understanding Indian Sourcing Tariffs: A Comprehensive Guide

  • By: Trinity
  • Date: December 2, 2023

If your business involves sourcing products from India, it’s crucial to understand the various tariffs and import duties imposed on these goods. Indian sourcing tariffs can have a significant impact on your business operations, affecting your costs, supply chain, and overall profitability. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with an in-depth understanding of Indian sourcing tariffs, so you can make informed decisions when sourcing from India.

Whether you’re a seasoned importer or just starting out, navigating the complexities of Indian tariffs can be challenging. This guide will help you decipher the types of tariffs, factors that influence their rates, and strategies for managing them effectively. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a better understanding of how Indian sourcing tariffs impact your business and how to optimize your sourcing operations.

Key Takeaways:

  • Indian sourcing tariffs and import duties can significantly impact your business operations when sourcing from India.
  • Understanding the different types of tariffs and their applicable rates and regulations is crucial when sourcing products from India.
  • The trade policies, tax laws, and economic considerations in India influence the tariff rates for imports.
  • Effective strategies for managing Indian sourcing tariffs include utilizing free trade agreements, optimizing your supply chain, and exploring duty drawback schemes.
  • Staying informed about Indian tariffs can help you navigate the complexities of international trade and minimize costs.

Overview of Indian Sourcing Tariffs

If you are in the business of sourcing products from India, it is crucial to understand the tariffs and import duties that may apply to your imports. India has a complex tariff system that can impact the cost and profitability of your international trade operations.

Indian sourcing tariffs can be broadly classified into two categories: basic customs duty and additional duties. Basic customs duty is a tax levied on the imported goods at a specific rate, based on the Harmonized System of Nomenclature (HSN) code. Additional duties, on the other hand, are meant to protect domestic industries, and can be in the form of countervailing duty (CVD), special additional duty (SAD), and education cess.

Basic Customs Duty

The basic customs duty rate for most goods ranges from 0% to 150%. However, certain items such as alcohol, tobacco, and motor vehicles may attract much higher rates. It is important to note that the Indian government can change the tariff rates at any time, so it is essential to stay up-to-date on the latest regulations.

Some of the factors that determine the basic customs duty rate include the country of origin, the value of goods, and the nature of the product. For example, goods from countries that have free trade agreements (FTAs) with India may attract a lower duty rate, while luxury items may attract higher rates.

Additional Duties

The CVD is an additional duty levied on imported goods to counterbalance the excise duty on similar goods produced domestically. The SAD is a duty levied on imported goods to provide protection to domestic industries. The education cess is a tax levied on the sum of basic customs duty and CVD.

The CVD rate is calculated as a percentage of the sum of the assessable value and the basic customs duty rate. The SAD is generally levied at a rate of 4%, and the education cess is 3% of the sum of the basic customs duty and CVD.

It is worth noting that some products may be exempt from basic customs duty or additional duties, depending on the nature of the goods. For example, pharmaceuticals may be exempt from basic customs duty, while certain renewable energy products may qualify for exemption from CVD.


Understanding the various Indian sourcing tariffs is essential for businesses engaged in international trade with India. By keeping abreast of the latest regulations and utilizing strategies to manage tariffs, you can reduce costs and boost profitability when sourcing goods from India.

Factors Affecting Indian Sourcing Tariffs

Several factors influence Indian sourcing tariffs, including trade policies, tax laws, and economic considerations. Understanding these factors can help you make informed decisions when sourcing goods from India.

The Indian government imposes tariffs on imported goods to protect domestic industries, generate revenue, and regulate the country’s balance of trade. Tariffs are calculated as a percentage of the product’s value.

One of the most significant factors affecting Indian sourcing tariffs is the country’s trade policies. India has a complex system of import and export regulations that are subject to frequent changes, making it challenging for businesses to navigate. The government often revises its trade policies to protect domestic industries, promote exports, and combat inflation.

Another factor that can impact Indian sourcing tariffs is tax laws. India imposes various taxes on imports, including customs duty, central excise duty, value-added tax (VAT), and service tax. The tax rates can be specific or ad valorem, based on the product’s weight, volume, or value.

Indian Tariffs and Taxes Description
Customs Duty A tax levied on goods imported into India
Central Excise Duty A tax imposed on certain goods manufactured in India
Value-Added Tax (VAT) A tax levied on the value added to goods at each stage of production and distribution
Service Tax A tax levied on certain services provided in India

Economic considerations can also influence Indian sourcing tariffs. The exchange rate between the Indian rupee and other currencies can impact the prices of imported goods. Additionally, the level of demand for certain products can affect their tariff rates.

It’s essential to stay informed about the factors that influence Indian sourcing tariffs to make the best sourcing decisions for your business. By staying up-to-date with the latest trade policies and tax laws, you can avoid any unexpected costs and ensure a smooth sourcing process.

Indian tariffs

Remember, managing Indian sourcing tariffs requires a proactive and strategic approach. By utilizing FTAs, optimizing your supply chain, exploring duty drawback schemes, and staying informed, you can minimize the impact of tariffs and optimize your sourcing operations from India.


By now, you have gained a thorough understanding of Indian sourcing tariffs. These tariffs play a significant role in international trade, and as a business engaged in sourcing goods from India, it is crucial to stay informed about these tariffs.

From our comprehensive guide, you have learned about the various types of tariffs and import duties levied on goods sourced from India. You have also gained insight into the factors that influence the rates of these tariffs, such as trade policies, tax laws, and economic considerations.

Furthermore, we provided you with strategies for managing Indian sourcing tariffs, such as utilizing free trade agreements, optimizing your supply chain, and exploring duty drawback schemes. By implementing these strategies, you can reduce your costs and streamline your operations.

Overall, staying informed and proactive in managing Indian sourcing tariffs is key to maintaining a successful international business. We hope that this guide has helped you better understand Indian tariffs and how they impact your operations.


What are Indian sourcing tariffs?

Indian sourcing tariffs are import duties and taxes imposed on goods imported from India. These tariffs vary based on the type of product and its value.

How do Indian sourcing tariffs impact international businesses?

Indian sourcing tariffs can increase the cost of importing goods from India, which can impact the profitability and competitiveness of international businesses. It is important for businesses to factor in these tariffs when calculating costs and determining pricing.

What types of tariffs are imposed on goods sourced from India?

There are various types of tariffs imposed on goods sourced from India, including customs duties, countervailing duties, and anti-dumping duties.

How are Indian sourcing tariffs determined?

Indian sourcing tariffs are determined by trade policies, tax laws, and economic considerations. The government of India sets the tariff rates based on these factors to protect domestic industries, regulate imports, and generate revenue.

Are there any exemptions or special provisions for Indian sourcing tariffs?

Yes, there are certain exemptions and special provisions available for Indian sourcing tariffs. These include duty drawbacks, which allow businesses to claim a refund on duties paid when exporting the same or similar goods.

What strategies can businesses employ to manage Indian sourcing tariffs?

Businesses can manage Indian sourcing tariffs by utilizing free trade agreements that offer reduced or eliminated tariffs on specific goods. They can also optimize their supply chains to minimize costs and explore duty drawback schemes to recover duties paid on exports.

Where can businesses find information on Indian sourcing tariffs?

Businesses can find information on Indian sourcing tariffs from government websites, trade associations, and customs authorities. They can also consult with import/export specialists or legal experts familiar with Indian trade laws.