How To Import/Buy a Laptop From USA To India(or any country)?

Siddharth Giri/ 15th Feb, 2021/ Importing Guide

When it comes to picking a simple budget laptop, an Ultra-book, or a high-end gaming laptop, There are very few options available here in India and those few are very costly compared to the price of the USA market.

The other problem is these brands launch the lower-end variant of the laptop, or some brands never launch their laptop in India. The solution to this problem is we can import our favorite laptop from the USA to India.

I imported my laptop in the year 2017 and at that time I saved almost 25% compared to the Indian Price. Now the situation is a little different, importing a laptop from the USA can cost you some extra money but you will be able to get your hands on your favorite laptop.

In this guide, I will show you two different methods to import a laptop from the USA to India. Before anything else, let’s see the breakdown of the total price I paid for my laptop.

  • Laptop Price: ₹34,981.8/- ($534.89)
  • Shipping Charge (including Insurance): ₹9221.4/- ($141)
  • Landing + Warehouse + Disbursement Charge: ₹784.8 ($12)
  • Customs Duty: ₹21,384.16/- ($326.98)
  • Total Cost of Laptop: ₹66,372.16/- ($1014.09)

I paid ₹66,372.16/- ($1014.09 @ 65.4 INR/USD) for the laptop but at that time price of the same laptop was ₹86,000 ($1,315) in India. If you want to see the picture of my imported laptop, you can visit this page.

Steps to Import Laptop from the USA:-

Now let’s see how you can import a laptop from the USA to India. There are many ways to import a laptop from the USA to India but I will show you only two methods, which are possible for everyone.

Method 1. Import a Laptop using Freight Forwarders

Step 1. Get USA Address

We all know that International shopping websites like Amazon & Other doesn’t ship most of the products outside the USA. AmazonGlobal is a good option for international buyers but the problem is, even AmazonGlobal doesn’t ship most of the products outside the USA.

The solution is a freight/parcel forwarding company. First, you need to register for free/paid membership on the freight forwarder website to get a USA address. After that, you will immediately receive a US address, which you can use to shop from US online retailers.

I had used ShopUSA because of its low shipping charge but, later I regret my decision. You can read ShopUSA Review for more details. I will recommend you to use MyUS or USGoBuy instead of ShopUSA.

I haven’t imported another laptop but I used MyUS and USGoBuy to import other products and I think, these two freight forwarders are cheaper and better than the others.

UsGoBuy has an advantage, they allow you to declare the item value as per your requirement. This option can help you to save customs duties. For example, You can mention $800 for a $1000 laptop. Obviously, It’s not a guaranteed way to save customs duty but there’s a possibility that it will lower the customs duty.

Difference between MyUS and Other Freight Forwarders:

The biggest difference between MyUS and other freight forwarders is the shipping charge calculation process, MyUS’s shipping charge is based on the Real Weight of the Box but other freight forwarder’s shipping charge is based on the dimensional weight of the Box.

USGoBuy’s shipping charge calculation is also based on the dimensional weight but the price per lbs/kg is lower than the others. Also, please don’t believe in the expected price of ShopUSA’s shipping calculator. I had calculated an $85 shipping charge using ShopUSA’s calculator because the actual weight of my package was less than 8 LBS. Later they charged me $141 because they calculated 16 LBS billable weight due to the dimension (20 X 18 X 6) of that package.

Step 2. Choose Shipping Address

After getting the USA address, you can use freight forwarder address as your shipping address when purchasing products from Amazon or other shopping websites.

The online store will dispatch your product to the freight forwarder’s address and it will take around 2-3 days to reach their warehouse. Once the product arrives at their warehouse, they notify you via email, and some freight forwarders also upload a photo of the product as proof.

Note: Please ensure all your shipments include your Unique Suite Number/ Member ID. That unique number is used to identify the owner of packages when they arrive at their warehouse.

Step 3. Create Shipment Request

After getting an email confirmation, you can view the list of all products/packages in my account section.

Here you can request to ship packages separately or together. To create a ship request, select the product then enter your shipping address(the original address where you want to receive the laptop in India), select the shipping method(UPS, DHL, etc.).

I would also recommend you add shipping insurance to get a refund or compensation in case of receiving damaged products. I am saying this because most of you won’t able to handle the shock when you will see your laptop box in a condition like the below image.

Delivered Box By ShopUSA Using UPS Courier

The above picture was taken inside the UPS office. Luckily the laptop wasn’t damaged but I expect better service from the UPS.

Advance Customs Duty

At the time of creating a shipment request, they will also give you the option to pay customs duty in advance. If you choose to PREPAY the duties and taxes, you have to pay customs duty along with shipping & handling charges.

I would recommend you to choose Pay Later because the freight forwarder company’s calculation is always on the higher side. They can charge 70% – 80% of invoice value as advance customs duty.

If you will select pay later, the local customs department will invoice you separately upon delivery. The collection method depends on the destination country.

Step 4. Shipment & Tracking

Once they receive your ship request, They ship your package from the USA to India(or your country) via your preferred shipping method within 24 hours. In some cases, high-value merchandise and shipments may require additional paperwork to comply with US government regulations. This may result in additional shipment processing time.

Then the courier partner(UPS, DHL, etc.) will deliver your laptop to India(or your country) within 3-15 business days. Delivery time may vary depending on the selected shipping method and they will also provide you Real-Time Tracking on your package.

I selected UPS Express Saver (1-3 business days) but they took almost 12 days to deliver my laptop.

Step 5. Customs Duty Payment

Courier partner(UPS, DHL, etc.) will take care of the customs process on behalf of you but they will add extra charges for that. Once the laptop reaches India, their customs clearance team will contact you to know your AADHAAR Card Number.

After the customs process, they will deliver your product to your doorstep. As I mentioned in the 3rd step, If you will select pay later they will give you cash on delivery option for customs duty. Some courier companies also offer online payment options for customs duty.

How Much Customs Duty Should You Expect To Pay For Importing a Laptop?

At that time, I paid 41% customs duty for my Laptop but it’s not clear how much duty they will charge you for importing a laptop.

➤ For example, I also imported two laptops from china using Express Mail Service(EMS also know as Speed Post in India), and both the times I received the laptop without paying customs duty.

➤ Another example, I have read some answers on Quora and some people are saying they paid only 18% IGST for importing a laptop in India using UPS.

➤ Recently, A user commented on this blog that he imported his Mi Notebook Laptop worth ₹48,000 from China and he paid just ₹6,000 customs duty for that Laptop. You can see his comment in the below screenshot or you can also visit the article page to check his comment.

Customs Duty on Mi Notebook

➤ Another user also commented in this article that “They could have charged only 28% import duty but since they assumed that $651.89 is excluding the freight charge, they added the freight charge again which is around Rs.9000 and the item value crossed Rs.50000, so they charged 41% which resulted in you paying around Rs.9000 extra”.

➤ Recently, A user asked me what will be the customs duty on a laptop worth $2400 and I replied customs duty should be around $500 – $1000 and she wasn’t happy with my reply. And after a few days, her reply shocked me. Read the highlighted reply in the image below “She received a laptop worth $2400 without customs duty”. Can you believe this?

Import A Laptop From USA To India

And after a few days, again she replied that she also received a camera without customs duty. This is unbelievable.

➤ Another user also commented in this article(scroll down to read his comment) that he imported a laptop worth $400 and the customs department charged him $400 duty. This is just insane!

In the above examples, you can clearly see that you cannot calculate the expected customs duty because the Indian customs department is very irresponsible. Sometimes, they release parcel without charging the duty and sometimes charges double duty.

I also noticed one thing is whenever I use UPS, the Customs department charges me high import duty and whenever I use other couriers like DHL, FedEx, Aramex, the customs department charges me less import duty.

For example, In the year 2019, I imported smartphone parts worth ₹11,000/- rupees using Aramex courier and after the customs clearance, the import duty bill was less than ₹400/- rupees, which is less than 4% of the invoice amount. I don’t know why this happens but it’s true at least in my case. Currently, I don’t have that bill, If I will find it, I will upload it in this article.

Normally customs duty on a laptop is only 28% in India but as I explained in the above examples they can charge you whatever they want. In my case, I paid 28% IGST and 13% other duties. Check all the import fee separately:

  • 10% BCD
  • 2% Edu Cess
  • 1% HEdu Cess
  • 28% IGST

Normally we think that customs duty is applicable to the invoice value but the fact is customs duty is applicable to the access value.

For Example, My invoice value was $534.89 for Dell Inspiron 7579 2 in 1 + $141 shipping charge. Total Invoice Value: $675.89 (I don’t know why ShopUSA mentioned $651.89 instead of $675.89). The customs officer in India has assessed my laptop’s value as $797.50. So, I paid 41% of the customs duty on $797.50 (the assessed value).

Here you can see the Import/Customs Duty Receipt For More Detail (The original receipt was 2 page long but I am just showing the required detail).

Import Duty Laptop India

Total Cost of importing a Laptop from the USA To India: ₹66,372.16/- ($1014.09). The cost of the same laptop was ₹86,000 at that time in India.

  • Laptop Price: ₹34,981.8/- ($534.89)
  • Shipping Charge (including Insurance): ₹9221.4/- ($141)
  • Landing + Warehouse + Disbursement Charge: ₹784.8 ($12)
  • Customs Duty: ₹21,384.16/- ($326.98)

As you can see in the above calculation, Even after paying 41% customs duty + $141 shipping charge, I saved almost 25% money compared to the Indian Price.

Just imagine how much money you will save if you will be able to get your laptop by paying only 28% import duty. Sometimes, saving could be less but still, it will cost you much less than India’s price.

Coupon

I have already explained why MyUS and USGoBuy is a good choice. Now, You can either of the below links to get a discount on the shipping charge.

Method 2. Import a Laptop Directly

In the first method, I explained to you how you can use freight forwarders to import a laptop(or any product). But using freight forwarders increases the product’s costs by 10% because you have to pay shipping charge + freight forwarders charge along with the product cost.

We can import products directly using AmazonGlobal to save some money. AmazonGlobal isn’t available for all the products but before paying for the freight forwarder, you should try to find your favorite laptop under the AmazonGlobal section. If you will be able to find a laptop under AmazonGlobal, you will definitely save 10% – 15%.

Step 1. Use International Shipping Filter

Let’s see how you can use the search filter to find a laptop or any product. When you search for products on Amazon, just apply the “International Shipping” filter on the left(see screenshot) to see the list of all the eligible products for international shipping.

Purchase Products From Amazon Com To India

Amazon ships products internationally with AmazonGlobal. Certain products are eligible for AmazonGlobal service. This means you can buy from Amazon, and have it shipped globally without worrying about third-party shipping service.

Step 2. Check Shipping & Import Fees

Your packages may be subject to the customs fees and import duties of the country to which your order ships. Once you select the product, you can open the product page to see Shipping & Import Fees(see screenshot).

Shipping rates and import fees vary depending on the delivery address for your order. Unlike freight forwarder, here you have to pay Shipping & Import Fees along with the product price.

Purchase Products From Amazon Global To India

As you can see in the above image, Estimated Import Fees for a MacBook Pro worth $2948.99 is $1243.51 dollar.

If import fees will be higher than estimated import fees in your country then Amazon won’t ask you to pay the extra fee. However, If import fees will be lower than estimated import fees in your country, Amazon will refund you the rest amount.

Step 3. Enter Address & Make Payment

Once you decide which product you want to buy, just click Add to Cart button » Select Shipping Method. Then you can ship to India(or any country) by just adding your local address then make payment using your preferred payment option.

After the order confirmation, Amazon will dispatch your product to your local address with a valid tracking number and Real-Time Tracking on your package. Then courier partner will deliver your product to your country within 3-15 business days. Note: Delivery time may vary depending on the selected shipping method by you.

For Indian Customers:

AmazonGlobal’s Courier partner will take care of the customs process on behalf of you. However, Your packages will not clear customs without a valid KYC ID Number for the recipient.

The Customs clearance process will be faster if you will add a valid Passport / Aadhaar Card / PAN Card number along with the shipping address. OR Once the laptop reaches India, Their custom clearance team will contact you to know your AADHAAR Card Number. After the customs process, they will deliver your product to your doorstep.

Both methods are good to import a laptop or any product. You can choose one depending on your budget and requirements. If you want to import a laptop, I will recommend the second method. In case you cannot find your laptop under AmazonGlobal, use the first method.

If you still have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section below. You can also subscribe to ShopAbroad YouTube Channel.

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51 Comments

  1. HI Selva from Chennai here… The IGST of laptops have been reduced to 18 % after an interim meeting conducted by the GST council… Does that make the total tax plus duty as 31%??? For the past year I have been running around the internet fo rsuch data and you have given it in a neat manner… Thank You… I am badly in need of a laptop and indian price is breaking bank but US price is less than half…

    1. If you’re sure about IGST then It’ll definitely reduce the total duty.

      1. I am sure you have heard of iBhejo… Those guys request 100% additional charge for Duty and shipping charge… Also in MyUS if I select duty paid shipping, the amount it offers is almost 70% of the product price…

        1. It’s better to select ‘COLLECT duties and taxes’ later because freight forwarder company’s calculation is always on the higher side.

  2. In some websites they have mentioned that government has introduced 0 custom duty upto 50k.. Is it true? Please suggest as it will make buying more cheaper

    1. No! It’s not true.
      As you can see in the above article my laptop value was $534.89, which is lower than ₹50,000 rupees but still, I paid customs duty.

      1. some says that if price is less than 10k then its free? is it true? if yes then we can buyexternal HDD ceaper than here

        1. If you’re going to buy anything from Amazon USA then You have to pay customs duty even on a cheaper product. For Example: Price of Philips Trimmer is only $34.95 but You also have to deposit import fee of $18.37.

          But, If you want to purchase anything from Chinese Shopping Store then you can receive costly product without customs duty. You can read this article for more detail: How To import Product Without Paying Custom Duty in India?

  3. Can one person bring one laptop from the USA duty free?
    My aunt will be in the US for sometime. I am planning to have my laptop shipped to her and then have her bring the laptop with her. Will she be able to bring it back duty free as part of personal used goods ?

    1. I don’t know about that.

      But, I heard that If the laptop is in completely unpacked condition then you are allowed to carry one laptop free of duty.

  4. They could have charged only 28% but since they assumed that $651.89 is excluding the freight charge, they added the freight charge again which is around Rs.9000 and your item value crossed Rs.50000, so they charged 41% which resulted in you paying around Rs.9000 extra.

  5. I checked the customs website recently and it shows 18% for IGST and 0% for all other you mentioned. It may have changed after GST. Can you please conform it.

    1. Yes! Its true, IGST is 18%. But, I don’t have any idea about BCD.

  6. how did you get that great variation in the laptop prices ?
    when I am checking to buy lenovo ideapad laptops I dont see any double the actual rate variation.
    Should I use any proxy or Do I have to wait for any grand sale ?

    1. You have to wait for the sale.

  7. Let’s say that i chose to pay the custom duty on doorstep, do i have to pay the 41 percent (or the taxes at that particular moment) in Cash to the Courier Man?

    1. No! Some Courier Company like DHL will give you both option(COD & Online Payment).

      And, Some users are saying that IGST has been reduced to 18%. So, Total Custom duty will be 31%.

      1. Thank you so much brother for solving the confusion :))))

  8. What would be the max budget i should look for in us stores so that i do not have to pay more than 50 thousand after everything?

    1. Your max budget should be lower than ₹35,000 rupees and You should select DHL Express from MyUS instead of UPS Expedited or Worldwide Saver because UPS is very costly compared to DHL.

      Note: DHL is little slower than UPS but you’ll save lots of money.

  9. If i select the option for Prepaid custom duty and then pay it, will i only have to sign and receive my product on doorstep and business done or pay something extra?

    1. Yes! You just need to sign the receipt and receive the product, there’s no extra charge. But, Sometimes their courier partner can call/mail you for Identity Proof.

  10. I have purchased a loptop from US. It is arrived at pune Post office . The custom duty(10%) and IGST(28%) is calculated by custom. but some website shows as 18% IGST. so what can i do, whether the parcel send to reassessment . what will be the solution.

    1. There’s no solution, especially when you are using Registered/Speed Post. You have to pay the customs duty to receive the parcel.

  11. Hi Giri , It is wonderful article . it clarified many misunderstandings. I understand that this is applicable for single pc or two pc only . what if i want to import in bulk say 100 pc at a time .
    please advice where i can get proper information .

    1. You need IEC Number & GST Number to import in bulk.

    2. Sir actually kam looking for the laptop worth nearly 1,200 $
      How much it will cost for shipping from usa to india
      With all charges

      1. The shipping charge will be $100 – $200, depending on the weight of the package. Apart from that, you will also need to pay customs duty in India. Customs duty will be $300 – $500 USD.

  12. Hi
    The article is very detailed thank you for giving me a lot of insight. I wanted to buy a refurbished lap from US. it’s actual cost is $1200 but can I mention it as $800. If I do will it be a major problem? Also I have been hearing that the tIGST is 18% and all other as 0%. Is it true. Pls help

    1. First of all, importing a refurbished laptop isn’t a good idea because as I mentioned in the article, customs duty is applicable to the access value(not to the invoice value). So they can charge duty on the basis of the laptop’s price, not on the laptop’s condition.

      And, I don’t know the exact value of other customs duty but it’s not 0.

  13. I shipped a laptop from USA to India. Laptop was purchased for $400 in USA and it costs around 50000 in India. I shipped it using FedEx and they charged me around $250. Still i thought, the total amount is less then the price in India and shipped it. Customs levied charges around 29000 to hand it over to the recipient now. This is way too much comparing the cost i purchased the laptop in USA. Is there a way to negotiate on the customs duty ?

    1. I think, No one can explain to you why they charged that amount.

      Recently, I user(Mamta Singh) commented on this video and she received a laptop worth $2900 dollar and a camera without customs duty using the same courier FedEx. And in your case, they are charging ₹29,000(around $400) for a $400 laptop. I know this is definitely the wrong calculation of customs duty but if you want to receive the package then you have to pay the amount. OR You can also contact the FedEx team, ask them to explain the calculation of customs duty.

  14. Hey Siddharth,im buying a refurbished laptop from ebay which costs me rs 28000 including the shipping charges and i dont wanna pay more than 36000-37000 finally so should i go for the purchase? im confused because i dont know about the exact custom duty but i can handle it if it is 31%

  15. Hi,
    I want to buy a refurbished laptop from eBay and it is costing me around Rs27000 ( shipping included ) and i can pay around 36-37k for the whole transaction,should i go
    for the purchase?

    1. Importing a refurbished product isn’t a good idea because of customs duty calculation in India. It doesn’t matter you’re importing a refurbished, used, or a new product they will charge you duty on the access value of the product. This means they can charge you for a new product even if it’s refurbished.

  16. Hi brother,

    How you paid in shopusa site as everytime i was trying to pay it shows me an error. can you please help me in this.

    Thanks

    1. At that time, I used my credit card.

  17. Hey, I recently saw better deals on laptops in the USA on amazon costs 1000$ if I import through usgobuy (FedEx) they are charging around 75$ for shipment. My question is can I mention 500 or 600$ to reduce customs charges will there be any problem afterward
    Thank you

    1. Yes! You can request them to mention a lower amount but it’s not a guaranteed way to save customs duty.

  18. hey i need to send laptop from US to India as a gift to my nephew, whats best way, i live in US. Thanks for help

    1. Actually, I don’t have any idea about this but I think you can use any courier service like UPS, DHL, FedEx etc…

  19. Hi Siddharth,
    Greetings of the year 2021.
    I found your article very helpful and illustrative with real examples. Great job!
    The active comment threads on this article are also good help.

    I have a different question that bothers me. Lets assume the worst; let us say the product delivered required replacement. If I went with option 2, AmazonGlobal, will they cover replacement? If they do, are we talking about repaying customs again on re-entry.?
    And if I go with option 1 : freight forwarders; I am sure I would end up paying customs on re-entry under this option. Let’s say that’s ok. Then, can I send the product back to the assigned US local address at my expense, so that the seller company can pick it up from there and provide replacement? Do freight forwarders have provision for this?

    That was part one.
    Part 2 – The voltage difference of laptops; US products is around 120V whereas India products 240V. Is that something we should consider for estimating long life expectancy of US product being used in India?

    Please advise. Thank you in advance.

    1. I think AmazonGlobal is a better option(in case of replacement) because if you will use a freight forwarder, you will have to pay everything(return shipping charge, the extra service fee to the freight forwarder, the shipping charge for a new laptop, and customs duty).

      Actually, a few years ago I imported a trimmer and received less attachment than mentioned in the description. At that time, Amazon offered me these solutions(I am writing the exact reply by Amazon’s Customer Support Team):
      1) If you are interested in keeping the item, I’ll issue 30% refund of the price of the item.
      2) You can return the item for full refund.
      3) We’ll replace the entire set, and help you with return the item at our expense.

      Read the third point, they will help you with return the item at their expense. I had accepted the partial refund so I don’t know the expense includes customs duty or not.

      Now coming to your second question.

      You don’t need to worry about voltage because the charger/adapter supports a range of voltage. For example, My laptop’s charger supports 100V – 240V.

  20. Hi i know its more then 2 years when this was posted but i wanted your help . I am condisering to buy laptop from USA it would be costing upwards to 500$.So how can i minimze customs duty on it

    1. You cannot minimize the customs duty instead you will pay high shipping charge and little high GST in current situation.

      1. Hi What are charge now??? shipping charges and GST or i should look for laptop from other markets like singapour/china???

        1. I don’t have an exact idea about other charges but IGST is 28% currently. And Singapore/China markets are good but you won’t find all laptops(Available in the US market).

  21. Hi Siddharth, that was great information.

    When importing a laptop from Singapore which would be the best means to transfer. Any specific delivery vendor which would skip the lazy customs duty

    1. I think Aramex Drop & Ship is good option. I don’t have idea about other freight forwarders.

      And, You cannot skip customs duty but you can request them to mention low price so that can help you to decrease duty(Not Guaranteed).

  22. Hello, it is possible for you to to assist with delivery in EU. laptops are still cheaper in USA compared to Eurozone ? Thanks

    1. Sorry! I don’t have any idea.

      But, I think you can follow the same process to import in the EU. The only difference will be import duty, you need to confirm duties from the local department.

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