How Can I Import Pharmaceutical Products From India?

Are you a complete beginner in the field of pharmaceutical imports? Do you want to know procedures to import pharmaceuticals from India?

In this article, you will get a basic idea upon the import of Pharmaceutical products. You will learn about import procedures and import custom clearance procedures. You will also get information about all the other formalities that you need to fulfill, in order to import pharmaceutical products from foreign countries, especially India.

Most of the procedures and formalities are the same in all countries after the globalization of trade by the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT). However, some minute variations in rules might occur from country to country. So, before importing any commodity, you must check the requirements of the importing country.

(Note: This is just a beginner’s guide for pharmaceutical importers and for more knowledge on import and export, you need to have detailed information of the particular country’s policies).

Government Registration as Importer

To act as an importer in any country, you need to have government registration as an importer. Foreign Trade government office is the authority of the importing country is responsible for issuing you this registration. For example, the IEC number (Import Export Code Number) is issued from the office of Director General of Foreign Trade office for Indian importers and exporters.

This is an onetime process to become an importer, but you might need to renew it as per the terms and conditions of the foreign trade office of the respective country. This process of registration is digitized in many countries and does not require a lot of time if you have the proper documents with you.

What are the Special Requirements to Import Pharmaceutical Products?

The process to import pharmaceutical products varies from country to country. However, there are some common requirements that you must fulfill for almost all countries:

  • Certificate from wildlife protection board of importing country to import Pharmaceutical products (Required for some specific products)
  • NOC from Drug controller to import Pharmaceutical products
  • Certificate of Origin to import Pharmaceutical products (To avail exemption on import duties and taxes due to the different unilateral and bilateral agreements signed among the countries)

Procedures to Import Pharmaceutical Products

Before the actual shipment of imports, the importer and supplier must mutually agree on the terms and conditions of import sale. Quality specifications, Pricing, terms of payment, delivery terms, mode of transport, and other terms and conditions need to be agreed and mentioned in a purchase order when importing Pharmaceutical products.

In the process to import pharmaceutical products, the necessary documentation along with customs clearance procedures at the importing countries need to be completed either by importer’s customs broker or directly by the importer as per the foreign trade policy of the respective importing country. You also need to import carrier’s document (Bill of Lading /Airway bill), packing list, commercial invoice, certificate of origin, and other required documents along with the actual product.

The international partners of countries share quality measures among each other and exempt multiple inspections on the same set of products for both export and import. However, the policies of most of the developed countries require certification by authorized agencies before the import of goods from the Least Developed Countries (LDC).

Prior Notice to Importing Country

Certain countries require the filing of prior notice regarding the import of Pharmaceutical before the arrival of goods in their entry port.

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