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Duties & Taxes on wine in India

There are two sets of taxes on wines in India:
  • Customs duties on wine imported from overseas
  • State taxes on wines sold in the country
    All alcoholic beverages, including wines, may be imported into India under an Open General Licence (OGL) - meaning that no licence is really required to import wines into india.
    An importer would need to be a company registered in India with an Import Export Code (IEC) issued by the Director General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce - not difficult to get.
    Wines so imported can be stored in a Customs Bonded Warehouse (CBW) for upto 3 months without having to pay customs duty - best to tie-up with a C&F Agent beforehand to clear the goods and move them to the CBW of choice.
    Imported wines may be sold either duty free (against a duty free licences held by a hotel or restaurant or embassy or duty free shops in airports) or duty paid (to licenced trade), after paying the customs duty applicable and debonding the stocks.
    Effective 1st July 2008
    Customs Duties are currently the same on both Bottled In Origin (BIO) wines and wine imported in bulk (defined as any packing of 2.0 liters or more per container):
    Duties are expressed as % of the CIF (Cost Insurance & Freight) rate, converted at the customs-notified rate of exchange
    Assessment Fee 1%  
    Basic Customs Duty 150%  
    Last Point Tax 4%; On the cumulative amount - theoretically reimbursable
    Total duties 160.6%  
    Alcoholic beverages are a state subject in India, so each state has it's own rules & reguations and duties & taxes on wine. In addition:
    1. All brands (whether imported or produced in India) have to be registered with the Excise Department of each state. Formalities may include submitting a cost-card of prices proposed to be charged down to the MRP (Maximum Retial Price) and payment of registration fees ranging from Rs. 5, to Rs, 20,000 per label per year.000
    2. Written permission ("Permits") need to be obtained from concerned excise authorities for movement of wines from winery/ CBW to the trade. Such permission is generally issued after payment of the state excise duties applicable; in case goods are being moved between two states, this would entail paying an Import Fee and an an Export Pass Fee.
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