Recently one of the friend working in the Middle-East, who was planning to come home for a vacation called me up and asked me “How much is the duty I have to pay at the Airport customs to bring a LED TV”. This is one of the important questions asked by people when they are returning from aboard. Television rates in India are on the higher side, thanks to the taxes but a lot of Middle-east countries charge only 1/3rd of what is charged in India and hence prompting people to buy TVs from aboard and bring it here. There is where you need to pay customs duty for LCD and LED televisions. So how much do you have to pay? Let’s analyze in this post.
So firstly, you need to understand that for all Televisions, be it LCD or LED or small screen or big screen, you have to pay duties at airport when you arrive. Previously there were some exemptions for smaller size LCD TVs (less than 32 inches), but now there are no such exemptions. All TVs are dutiable when you bring it from outside.
What is the Customs Duty for LCD and LED Televisions?
According to Government of India, the duties for imported TVs is around 36%. So this means 36% is the duty you have to pay when you bring a TV from abroad. But the question is 36% of what? Is it the actual cost of TV in India or the invoice amount?
It is actually based on the assessed value of the TV by customs officials. So assessed value depends on the make of the TV, the size, condition, whether it is new or used and also the invoice amount of the TV when you purchased. So make sure that you always keep the original bill of the TV from where you purchased. While customs officer has the right to assess the value, you can always request him to consider the invoice amount rather than the cost in India. Also, if the TV is already used for few months, you can also request to lower the value for depreciation.
Customs officials will have a database of cost of TVs since it is one of the popular items imported. Some officials are very strict with the laws while few others provide some relaxations for the assessed value of the TV.
Now lets examine this with an example. Assume you purchased a new 50 inch LED TV for AED 2000 which is approx INR 38000. Now when it arrives in India, customs official might assess the value as 35000 (based on the nature of the TV) and you will have to pay 36% of 35000 which approx INR 12600. Now if the TV is already used elsewhere you can ask for a depreciation in the value and he might even agree for assessed value as INR 25000. This means you end up paying INR 9000 as duties.
So basically, the duties depends on the assessed value and it is 36% of this value.
You need to pay the duties in Indian rupees (or foreign currency) before getting the TV released from customs officials at the airport. When you pay duties always make sure you get the receipt from the customs officials for the duty paid by you.