Exporting eCommerce Products to India: What Export Documents are Mandatory?

The Indian eCommerce market is growing at a rapid pace. While this growth offers many opportunities for businesses looking to expand their reach beyond borders, it also brings some challenges with it, specifically when it comes to shipping products from the United States into India.

As an eCommerce business owner, you will want your products to reach their destination as fast as possible. However, when shipping to India, certain regulations need to be followed.

In this article, you can check the mandatory documents needed to effectively ship products to India without any issues.

An Overview of India’s eCommerce Market

The eCommerce market in India is booming, growing at a CAGR of 47%. It’s expected to reach $200 billion by the end of 2022. Given the immense growth potential and opportunity for companies willing to take advantage of it, shipping eCommerce products to India has become an essential part of US companies.

India’s rapidly growing economy and population are creating exciting opportunities for US companies looking to expand into the region. But with that growth comes several challenges—some you might expect, others that might surprise you.

Challenges of Exporting eCommerce Products to India

India is a vast country with a population of 1.3 billion people. This means that your product will have to reach out to many consumers; therefore, you need to consider the various factors that can affect it along this journey.

To begin with, there are strict regulations for exporting products from one country to another. For example, in India, more than 100 different types of goods cannot be shipped inside the country. If you are unaware of them, your shipment might get stuck at customs or even be confiscated by Indian authorities.

Another challenge is high tariffs and protectionist policies, which restrict foreign companies from entering the market by charging high duties on imported goods. This leaves little room for competition and increases the cost of shipping eCommerce products abroad.

8 Mandatory Documents that are Essential for Exporting to India

The following are the essential documents mandatory to have when shipping international products to India –

1 – Bill of Lading

It is a document that serves as a receipt for the goods shipped. It should be signed by both the shipper and the receiver. Make sure you have a copy of it when you encounter customs officers.

The bill of lading can also prove that your shipment was successfully received at its destination, so if there’s any issue with customs or lost shipments, later on, this document may come in handy.

2 – Commercial Invoice

A commercial invoice is a document that records the goods being exported. A commercial invoice is also known as a sales invoice or an export invoice, and it is used to document the price and quantity of goods being exported.

It is used by the exporter to prove that he is selling the goods and that they are being exported legally. A commercial invoice has information about the place of origin, quantity, and description of goods being exported. It also contains details such as price and currency type.

3 – Packing List

Companies need to create a packing list for the shipment and ensure that it includes all the shipment details. The packaging should be done efficiently so that it does not take up too much space or become heavy. You will also need to specify what product is being shipped, with its weight, dimensions, and volume marked on the packing list.

This ensures that when your customer receives their order, they will know precisely what they receive inside each box.

4 – Sales Contract

As a seller, you must have a sales contract with your buyer, as this is a legal agreement. The contract should include all the terms and conditions of the sale. It should be signed by both parties before any goods are shipped to India.

5 – Proforma Invoice

A proforma invoice is an invoice in the form of a draft issued before the final invoice is prepared. A proforma invoice must be supported by a commercial invoice, typically issued at the same time as or after shipment. It’s essential for companies to keep these two documents together for all shipments to India. Otherwise, customs officials may reject them as improperly presented.

6 – AES Filing

This document is an Advance Electronic Shipping (AES) form. It must be filled by you, the exporter, before the shipment leaves your country. This application is mandatory for all export shipments to India, and its use will ensure that customs clearance procedures run smoothly and efficiently.

7 – Customs Declaration

The customs declaration is one of the first things that you’ll need to fill out and submit when shipping eCommerce products to India. The information contained in this document will determine whether or not your shipment is allowed through customs and into India, so it’s crucial that you include all relevant details.

The declaration form should contain the following –

  • Product description/name/brand
  • Quantity (in metric units)
  • Value (in Indian Rupees)

8 – Insurance Policy

Insurance is an integral part of international shipping as it protects your goods from loss or damage. Your products must be insured before they are shipped overseas. If this isn’t done, your business could be held responsible for any damages during transit.

You’ll need to ensure that your international shipping company can provide liability insurance at a reasonable price; if their rates are too high, consider using another carrier. You should also know the requirements for any other kind of insurance you might need for your packages to reach their destinations safely (like transit insurance).


The Conclusion

As you saw, many things should be considered when shipping to India eCommerce products. It is a complex process, and businesses can avoid shipping hassles by hiring a professional shipping service provider in India.

With more and more products being sold online, companies must remember that shipping eCommerce products across borders are not simple. Therefore, hiring a shipping company is the best shot.