flipkart, ebay, customs duty
Credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/16162319601

If you’re big on international shopping, then you’d be disappointed to know that your e-commerce purchases are about to get more expensive. The days of purchasing items for cheap on AliExpress or eBay will soon be behind you because of an amendment that has been introduced to the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 in India.

According to the Central Board of Excise and Customs, the new amendment updates the customs duty rates applicable on the import of personal items from foreign countries has reached nearly 42 percent (41.492% to be specific). The said tax rates are applicable on personal purchases worth more than ₹2,000 whereas you will be charged customs duty at 14.7 percent if the cost of purchased items comes out to be below ₹2,000.

Credit: Factor Daily

What does this mean for the average Indian crowd or wholesalers? Well, the increase in customs duty surely comes as a bolt from the blue for them. This restricts your purchasing power on e-commerce platforms based outside India, such as China’s AliExpress, which caters to the affordable needs of the populace of the country. Your purchases on other websites, like the global store operating under Amazon India or any other online store which ship internationally will also be affected by this change.

In recent times, they’ve become a prominent destination for those eyeing the purchase of electronic devices, home decor items, bulk clothing, jewellery, and other accessories such as bags and shoes. But, it now seems that you may have to recede back to e-commerce websites, such as Flipkart (who had recently raised capital) and Amazon, who are operating in India. You also have other alternatives, such as OLX or Quikr, which you can turn towards to pick up used goods instead.

You also the option of restricting your purchases to under ₹2,000 to reduce their customs duty down to a bare minimum. As for you readers, I mean those who like to read books regularly, the updated customs duty structure is now applicable on books as well. Books were earlier exempt from customs duties but such is not the case at this instant. You’ll now have to shell out extra when ordering the latest books from your favorite foreign authors. So, good luck saving that hard earned money!

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