A Guide to Exporting to India

India is fast becoming a popular destination for UK exports, with increasing demand from Indian consumers for goods manufactured in the home nations.

Despite only being a small percentage of India’s overall exports, targeting the Indian markets could be a great move for your business. This is because the UK Government is currently striving to improve trade relations and capitalise on this large buying market.

Other positives to exporting to India include the fact that there’s a growing middle class with more disposable income than ever before, plus its cities – and businesses – are also growing in size and population. Furthermore, there’s a number of similarities between the Indian and UK administrative systems for imports and exports and English is a commonly spoken language – which helps when dealing with overseas clients.

With all this in mind then, how can you ensure you are exporting your items safely and securely? In our latest exports guide, TNT shows you how this can be achieved.

India Exports

To give you a clearer idea of what business opportunities are on offer, some of the main exports to India from the UK according to World’s Richest Countries include:

  • Gem stones, coins and other precious metals including gold and silver
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Other metals such as iron and steel
  • Medical equipment

What you need for Exporting

To export to India you’ll need certain paperwork.

Firstly, you need what’s known as a ‘commodity code’ which classifies what your shipped items and goods are for import tax, duties and regulations. You can use the Government’s Online Trade Tariff tool to find the right code for your goods.

You’ll also need to obtain an export licence before you send any goods, as well as be registered for an Economic Operator Registration Identification number (EORI) and be registered with Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) systems. With all this in place you can then submit an export declaration; make sure this is completed accurately with the all the right information about the shipment.

Other Considerations


In most cases there is no VAT charge for services exported outside the EU and the majority of goods exported out of the EU can be ‘zero-rated’– this is where the goods are charged at 0% VAT. There are some exceptions though where the country you’re exporting to may have charges in place.

Subsequently it is important to keep evidence of your exports to India in order to zero-rate goods. The evidence you can gather includes, making sure the goods leave the EU within three months; information that shows they have left; transaction completion and having your Export Accompanying Document (or EAD) stamped by the final EU country the goods are in before they’re sent to India.


Again, like with all exports to non-EU countries, the duty rates are set by the respective country. This can be subject to change but you can find the charges here with the UK Trade Tariff list. You can also find further information about Indian customs tariffs from their Central Board of Excise and Customs.

Prohibited and Restricted Goods

In the UK there are a number of prohibited and restricted export goods, but India has similar limitations in place. There’s a number of similar items on both parties’ lists, however you can see a full list here from Visa HQ, to check against your list of potential exports.

Using TNT’s Services

If you’re looking to export to India you do also have the option of using a reliable delivery firm like TNT. There can be situations that affect your exports though; for instance there may be a time where you may have forgotten to include some paperwork. Or you can even face issues when dealing with different cultural attitudes to trade or have to tackle things such as extreme Indian weather getting in the way of a successful export.

TNT are experienced and knowledgeable international exporters though and can take the hassle away from you and manage your exports to India for you. This way you can simply get on with doing business and make the most of what these emerging markets have to offer.