Geneva Convention, 1952
Import of samples of goods is exempt from import duties under Geneva Convention of 7th November, 1952. India is also a signatory to a 1952 convention to facilitate the Importation of Commercial samples and Advertising materials. The notifications issued in this regard enable duty free import of genuine Commercial samples into the country for smooth flow of trade.
Restriction on Import of Samples
However, goods which are prohibited under Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, 1992 are not allowed to be imported as samples e.g. wild animals, wild birds and parts of wild animals and birds, ivory, arms & ammunitions, and Narcotic drugs.
The bonafide trade samples can be imported by trade and industry provided the said goods have been supplied free of charge. For duty free clearance the value of individual sample should not exceed Rs.5000/- and aggregate value should not exceed Rs.60, 000/- per year or 15 units of samples in a year. This strategy avoids the risk of not paying Customs Duty through repeated imports of samples in smaller lots.
Import of machinery products, which are prototypes of engineering goods can also be imported duty free if the value does not exceed Rs.10000/-. In case the value of machinery exceeds more than Rs.10000/- then such goods are always chargeable to duty.
Privacy of Import Samples
In case of high valued machinery the importer can import a sample under privacy. On the request of importer, the Customs authority may also seal the machinery during its journey from the port of importation to the place of demonstration and it is unsealed only at the place of operation or place of demonstration.
Failure to re-export
In case of any damage to the previously send import sample of product, the same sample can be send again within the time period of 9 months. However, the Assistant Commissioner of Customs, may under special circumstances extend the period of 9 months for a further reasonable period.
Chapter 1 Starting Export Introduction