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DGFT scraps Chinese e-tailers’ ‘gift’ channel

The government has decided to put an end to the gift channel being used by Chinese e-commerce portals like AliExpress, Club Factory and Shein to ship products to India duty-free by amending the trade policy provisions. This strategy of Chinese e-tailers had come under fire last year when customs department had started a crackdown.

Previously the government allowed goods up to INR 5,000 (including the courier fee) to be sent as gift. According to the DGFT “Import of goods, including those purchased from ecommerce portals, through post or courier, where Customs clearance is sought as gifts, is prohibited except for life saving drugs/medicines and Rakhi (but not gifts related to Rakhi)”.