Is it worth shipping TV from USA to India?

Ocean Containers and Volume

This is one of the most frequently asked questions. There are number of factors involved in deciding whether or not to ship the TV to India. Please review below blog to understand what all you should consider when making the decision.

Shipping Cost and Options Available

There are 3 options to ship your TV to India. Air, Ocean and check-in as baggage with the airlines. Depending on size of your TV, transit time, custom clearance and safety you can pick one of 3 options.


Check-in TV in Flight

First you need to contact the airline you are flying with to understand check-in restrictions. Most of the airlines will allow up to 32 inch TV only, if you have a TV bigger than 32 inches they may refuse your check-in or charge an additional fee for oversize baggage.


Air Shipping

This option may be fastest and easiest but it comes with a higher price tag and other drawbacks. Below are some of the items you need to watch out for when shipping TV to India through air:

Custom Clearance – When you are shipping TV under relocation, Indian customs will consider this shipment as “unaccompanied baggage” and major shipping companies like FedEx or UPS will not clear your shipment, which will require you hire a custom broker at your expense to clear your shipment. USPS does not even accept such big packages.

Transit Time – Even though Air shipping has a faster (3-5 days) transit time, due to uncertainty at customs clearance this may highly delay your delivery and make the entire process inconvenient.

Insurance – Due to high frequency and risk of damages on TV’s unless crated, most shipping companies will not provide insurance if packed by owner or manufacturer. If you want your TV to be insured you will need to get your TV packed by professional (or crate it) which, not only add additional packing charges but will add shipping volume as well. As a result, your shipping cost will increase.


Ocean Shipping:

If you are not in a rush to get your TV delivered and can wait for approximately 60-90 days then Ocean shipping may be most economical and convenient way to ship your TV to India. You can add packages in addition to your TV which, can make your shipping cost affordable. Shipping charges shipped via ocean are calculated based on volume not on weight. Or if you just have the TV you can still ship via this economical and safe option

Ocean shipping also comes with door to door shipping, tracking, custom clearance and insurance. Ocean shipping requires items to be packed professionally to get insurance. However, since your cost is calculated based on volume and not weight your shipping cost will not increase drastically. In ocean, shipments do not change sectors as much as shipments shipped via the air method. Thus, reducing the probability of damages in transit.



The transmission in India uses video standard called "PAL". The standard in USA is different and is called "NTSC". Older TVs made in USA may support only NTSC format. There are very few older TV models that support both NTSC and PAL in USA. Most of the latest technology TVs with Smart technology, 3D etc. supports dual mode. Please check your TV specification to make sure they support both NTSC and PAL format. If you plan to ship NTSC TV to India, make sure you carry a NTSC to PAL converter, which can be used to convert the NTSC transmission to PAL format.

Voltage compatibility

All electronic items in USA are made to work at 110 volt which is the standard voltage for residential purposes there. In India, the standard is 220 volt. If you connect an 110v TV to the 220 volt power outlet in India, it will damage its electrical system not to mention damage to other internal mechanics of the TV. This may cause a complete loss of your TV and may go beyond repair.

If you are shipping a TV from USA to India try to ship a TV that supports voltage range from 110 to 220. Newer models TVs are built to support international standards. Please check your TV specifications to make sure they support from 110 to 220 voltages. Alternate option is to buy and ship a 110 volt TV and use it along with a step down transformer in India. You can buy transformers that can step down the 220 voltage to 110 voltages. Your TV can be connected to the outlet of a step down transformer and safely use in India.

Cost of Custom Duty

All shipments entering borders of India will have to clear customs and may have to pay a custom duty fee per law. If you declare your shipment under Transfer of Residence (moving to India permanently after living in USA for few years) you can ship your TV by paying 35% duties based off of current price of the specific model of the TV in India. The custom duty is charged at the current price of the specific model of the TV in India . In case of used TVs, depreciation will be considered before the customs duty is calculated

Cost of TV

If you are planning to purchase a newer model with Smart TV, 3D, 4K etc. prices of such TV’s as you might know is much higher in India. Sometimes such models are not even available in India. So, it is better to purchase such TV’s in USA and then ship to India. If you ship an older or smaller screen TV like a 32 inch prices in India are comparatively same to the shipping cost and custom duty had you shipped it from USA. Also some brands are more expensive in India than USA so you need to be careful which brand you buy. Some brands may cause your duties value to be higher than others. Again, keep in mind values are determined based on current value of TV prices in India.

In a Nutshell

If you are not in a rush to ship your TV and get it delivered then, shipping it via the ocean method is much more economical and safe. If you have packages in addition to your TV then, it is every penny worth shipping it via ocean. Lastly, we recommend shipping a newer model TV instead of older model because shipping price will remain same regardless of age of TV and you may get better deal buying newer model TV in USA then in India. Happy Shipping!

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