Trade Guide: India

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With a population of 1.2 billion people, India (official name: the Republic of India) is the second most populous country in the world, and thanks to its remarkable growth in recent decades, has become the world’s fourth largest economy, and the third largest in Asia, behind China and Japan.


Since the reform process begun in the early 1990s, tariffs and many tariff barriers have been substantially reduced in India.  On a comparative basis however, Indian tariff rates continue to be fairly high, and exporters face a non transparent and sometimes unpredictable tariff and regulatory regime. 

From a peak rate of 350% in 1991, Indian tariffs have been reduced to an average of 10% today.  India's current regulations are governed by the Export Import (EXIM) Policy of 2009-2014. In most cases, imports are permitted without a license, however there are some exceptions for prohibited items, or where imports are permitted only through SOEs. The last batch of India’s onerous quantitative restrictions (QR) were eliminated in 2001, the final step in the phased trade policy liberalization program that began 10 years earlier.  

The World Trade Organization provides the following summary table on tariff rates for broad product groupings:

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