How to import clothing from India

Updated February 21, 2017

With an English speaking population and no licensing requirements, India is an ideal place from which to import clothing. India's flourishing textile industry lends itself well to those wanting to start an import business. The clothing is affordable and many Indians like doing business with the UK. The process of importing clothing from India may be complex, but follow the steps below to get started.

Check your local laws on how to operate any business legally.

Find a vendor in India by doing your research. Interview others who have imported clothing, or visit India yourself. The Internet is a good starting point, but there is only so much you can do with Internet research and email alone.

Place a trial order to make note of the length of time it takes for your order to arrive, the customer service and the quality of the clothing. This trial run will save you loads of time. If you aren't pleased with the service of this particular vendor, move on.

Know the required documentation for all imports arriving in the United States. Usually, this documentation consists of a commercial invoice detailing the product amounts, an arrival notice, an ocean or airway bill, a packing list and Customs declaration form which the sender will have to fill in.

Find an import broker to help with the import process. This person or company handles the complex issues surrounding the customs entry process.


It helps to learn how the Indians do business to effectively communicate with vendors. Websites and books are a valuable resource for this information.

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