A Comprehensive Guide to Importing Goods into Nepal – InvestorNepal.com

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Nepal has an open and transparent import regime, governed by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies, along with the Department of Customs under the Ministry of Finance. Whether you are a seasoned importer or new to the process, this guide will cover all the essential aspects of importing to Nepal. In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to importing goods into Nepal, Rules and regulations for Imports, List of prohibited Items, Import payments, Import procedure etc.

Rules and Regulations for Imports:

Nepal allows imports without requiring licenses for most items, except for prohibited and quantitatively restricted goods. For importing plant and plant products, an import permit from the Plant Quarantine Office is necessary, along with specific documentation. The National Plant Quarantine Programme oversees quarantine examination and issues phytosanitary certificates. Importing wool for carpets requires a test certificate from an authorized agency to meet quality standards.

List of Prohibited Items:

To maintain public safety and security, certain items are prohibited from importation in Nepal. These include narcotic drugs, liquor with more than 60% alcohol, arms, ammunition, explosives, certain communication equipment, valuable metals, jewelry (except permitted under bag and baggage regulations), and beef and beef products (with exceptions for Five-star hotels).

Paying for Imports:

Imports from India are typically paid in Indian Rupees, but some products can be imported from India with payment in hard foreign currency. For imports from third countries, advance payments for goods and separate payments for freight are not allowed. To obtain foreign currency for importing, an importer must secure a Letter of Credit (L/C) from a commercial bank.

Import Procedure:

Given Nepal’s landlocked status, most international trade takes place via transit in India. Goods are transshipped through Indian ports like Haldia, Kolkata, and Vishakhapatnam before reaching Nepal’s border customs. Importers can also use airfreight via Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. The required documents for importing from India, including the In-bond process, are outlined.

Importing from the Third Country via India:

Importers from third countries must adhere to specific procedures and present essential documents to Nepal’s Customs. The process involves submitting the necessary paperwork, verifying the goods, and paying customs dues.

Mandatory paperwork:

  1. Official letter from the Customs Agent
  2. Delivery order from the Terminal Management Company (TMC) for inland clearance depots (ICDs) at Biratnagar, Birgunj, and Bhairahawa
  3. Invoice
  4. Nepalese Customs Declaration
  5. Packing list
  6. Additional documents for specific cargo, such as plant quarantine/health/phytosanitary certificates for plants, lab test report for food products, analysis report for chemicals, health certificate for raw wool, a veterinary certificate for animals, etc., if applicable. Once the necessary documents are submitted, the customs office processes the application and proceeds with commodity clearance while implementing the required tariffs.

Importing from Bangladesh:

The protocols of the Transit Agreement signed between Nepal and Bangladesh apply to bilateral trade. The procedures and documentation for importing from Bangladesh are similar to those for imports through Bangladesh.

Importing by Air:

For imports by air, certain documents, including the Air Waybill, BBN 4 form, Certificate of Insurance, and others, are required. Customs use the transaction value as the basis for customs valuation, necessitating a certificate of insurance.


Importing goods into Nepal offers significant opportunities for businesses and investors. Understanding the rules, regulations, and procedures is essential for a smooth and successful importing experience. We hope this comprehensive guide has provided valuable insights and will assist you in navigating the import process in Nepal.

Note : This article is based on information provided by “Government of Nepal, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies,Trade and Export Promotion Centre

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