Bikes, Cars

How to Import Cars and Super Bikes in India

Our country is full of people who are crazy about show-off. Most of the people buy clothes that are in fashion, and not what suits them. They go for Cars and Bikes that are trending across the world, and not what is in accordance with their pockets. They end up taking loans, many a times to fund their desire, of owning the latest model of a particular automobile. The Automobile Industry is also growing at an ever-increasing speed. There is no end to the innovations from the Western Countries. Indian people have a tradition of copying their favourite Bollywood actors and actresses. So, as our stars buy imported cars, we also have an urge to buy imported cars, rather than Indian Cars. Some cars are cheaper in the foreign countries, as they are manufactured there. So, our pocket-friendly Indians have a genuine as well as stylish reason to go for these imported Cars and Bikes. Bikes are no more in fashion, but what is demanded across the globe is actually Super Bikes. But, importing these vehicles will dig a big hole in your pocket. Importing costs are usually higher than the retail costs of the vehicle.

Importing luxury cars attracts a 100% custom duty, whereas there is a 70% custom duty on Super Bikes. Importing normal cars means paying a duty of at least 30%. There is a 102% custom duty on the import of new vehicles, whereas a 160% custom duty on the import of a Second- Hand vehicle. This has increased the cost of all imported automobiles. But, the demand for such cars and bikes comprises of only 4-5% of the total market demand for Cars and Super Bikes. The other charges levied on the import of vehicles in India are:-

  • Landing Charges (1% CIFD)
  • Countervailing Duty (12% of CIFD + Landing Charges)
  • CESS (3% of Duty + Countervailing Duty)
  • Additional Countervailing Duty (4% of CIFD + Landing charges + Countervailing Duty + CESS)

 

The breakdown of Custom duty on Imported Vehicles is:-

 

  1. Basic Customs Duty (35 percent)
  2. Special Excise Duty (24 percent)
  3. Additional Duty (16 percent)
  4. Surcharge on Customs Duty (10 percent)
  5. Special Additional Duty of Customs (4 percent)
  6. Motor Vehicle Cess (0.125 percent)

 

Second- Hand Vehicles are charged Custom Duty based on their age. Their value depreciates, according to their age. So the Custom Duty is charged accordingly. The rules of measuring the depreciation are for every quarter during:

  1. First Year: 4%
  2. Second Year: 3%
  3. Third Year: 2.5%
  4. Fourth Year: 2%

The government’s rules and regulations in India are very strict and stringent in its import policies. The import of Non-commercial Vehicles brings a high custom duty with it. The points to keep in mind before importing a New Car or Super Bike to India are:-A maximum depreciation of 70 percent is permitted on used foreign vehicles.

  • The vehicle should not have been manufactured or assembled in India.
  • The vehicle has not been sold, leased or loaned before its import into India.
  • The vehicle has not been registered for use in any other country according to the laws of that country, before its import into India.
  • The vehicle should have a Speedometer showing the speed in km/hr.
  • The vehicle should have a right hand steering, and controls (applicable on vehicles other than two and three wheelers)
  • The vehicle should have photometry of the headlamps to suit “keep-left” traffic
  • The vehicle should be imported from the country of its manufacture.
  • The new vehicle should conform to the provisions of the Central Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and the rules made there after, as applicable, on the Date of Import.
  • The import of new vehicles is permitted only through the Indian Customs Port at Nhava Sheva (Mumbai), Calcutta and Chennai

The Indian Government has allowed the entry of second hand vehicles into the country only through the Mumbai (Nhava Sheva) Port. The Ministry of Commerce has identified six categories of second hand vehicles based on their Cylinder Capacity that can be brought into the country through the Mumbai Port. The maximum capacity allowed is 3000 CC. The points to be kept in mind before importing Second- Hand Vehicles are:-

  • The vehicle has been sold, leased or loaned before its import into India.
  • The vehicle has been registered for use in any other country according to the laws of that country, before its import into India.
  • The vehicle should not be older than Three Years from the date of manufacture
  • The vehicle should have a Speedometer showing the speed in km/hr.
  • The vehicle should have a right hand steering, and controls (applicable on vehicles other than two and three wheelers)
  • The vehicle should have photometry of the headlamps to suit “keep-left” traffic
  • The Second-Hand vehicle should conform to the provisions of the Central Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and the rules made there after, as applicable, on the Date of Import.
  • The import of Second- Hand vehicles is permitted only through the Indian Customs Port at Nhava Sheva (Mumbai).
  • The Second-Hand vehicle should have a minimum roadworthiness for a period of 5 years from the date of importation into India with assurance for providing service facilities within the country during the five year period. 

All vehicles that are imported into India must be tested for compliance to the government requirements outlined in the Exim Policy (2001), Central Motor Vehicles Act (1988) and Central Motor Vehicle Rules (1989). The testing of the vehicles can be done at the following locations:

      Ministry of Defence’s Vehicle Research and Development Establishment in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra

      Automotive Research Association of India in Pune, Maharashtra

      Central Farm and Machinery Training and Testing Institute in Budni, Madhya Pradesh

 

The import of luxury cars with a value of at least Rs. 20 lakh (Rs. 2 Million) can escape from testing.

After going through customs, non-commercial vehicles should be registered at the local branch of the state government’s Regional Transport Authority/Office (RTA/RTO). They should be registered temporarily first, so that they can be transported from the port of entry to the either a testing site or the owner’s residence. Within seven days of delivery, the vehicle owner should apply for permanent registration.

The government’s Central Motor Vehicles Act (1988) orders that an owner should apply for a vehicle to be registered before it can be driven in a public place. All permanently registered vehicles must have a visible registration mark (License Plate) displayed.

Temporary Registration

Temporary registration is issued for seven days to allow a new vehicle to be transported to the owner’s residence or the testing site. There are some variations between states on the required forms and documents needed to obtain a Temporary Registration for an imported vehicle. However, the following documents are required by the RTO/RTA in all states:

 

  • Application form (can be downloaded from the RTO/RTA website)
  • Copy of a valid Car Insurance Certificate
  • Copy of the Pollution under Control Certificate, which is issued after a vehicle has been tested
  • Proof of address
  • Copy of the Roadworthiness Certificate, which is issued by the vehicle’s manufacturer
  • Copy of the Customs Clearance Certificate
  • Registration fee (varies by state)
  • Road tax (varies by state)

 

Permanent Registration

 

There are some variations between states on the required forms and documents needed to obtain a Temporary Registration for an imported vehicle. However, the following documents are required by the RTO/RTA in all states:

                                              

  • Application Form (can be downloaded from the RTO/RTA website)
  • Copy of a Valid Car Insurance Certificate
  • Copy of the Pollution under Control Certificate, which is issued after a vehicle has been tested
  • Proof of Address
  • Copy of the Roadworthiness certificate, which is issued by the vehicle’s manufacturer
  • Copy of the Customs Clearance Certificate
  • Road Tax (rate varies by state) – not applicable if bought during the temporary registration process
  • Registration Fee (varies by state)

 

The RTO/RTA will issue the vehicle Registration Number and Mark only after the submission of all the documents and the applicable fees. Vehicle owners have an option of purchasing special vehicle registration numbers, which cost between Rs 1, 000 and Rs 50, 00, 000. This is also a custom widely followed in India. People like to show off unique numbers. Once a person bought a number costing more than the actual price of his car! So, there is no end to Indians’ show-off business.

 

All the formalities required to import a Super Bike or Car to India have been explained well in the above information. I hope it helps. Welcome your vehicle to India in Style! Enjoy! Happy Driving! Happy Riding! Show- Off!

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Last modified: June 10, 2014
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