Prufrock's Page

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Customs Of The Country

Books imported into India are exempt from customs duties and other levies. So, at least, one always believed. But perhaps one has been wrong all along.

The other day, the people at home called to say that the postal authorities had charged them what they called “customs duty” of several hundred rupees on a carton of books ordered from (Which demand they complied with, else the parcel would have to be returned undelivered.)

In the past, one has had to pay such duty on CDs shipped from overseas, but not books. As it is, one lives in a city with only half-decent bookshops. Then, one pays dollar rates for what Amazon calls “expedited shipping fees” (to have the books languish with the Indian authorities for weeks). And finally, one again pays more because of red-necked officials anxious to meet targets, or who’re simply uninformed.

As one observes people saying nowadays: It sucks.


  • I thought only licensed book distributors got a customs exemption. Not normal people like you and me. Or maybe there's a price limit above which there's duty to pay?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:31 PM  

  • You're probably right. Anyone know the specifics?

    By Blogger PrufrockTwo, at 12:40 PM  

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