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Exporting guide to



The size of India’s economy makes it an attractive market for UK exporters. India has a range of exciting export opportunities across a large number of sectors, although success in this market can require patience and a longer-term approach.

Trade statistics

£15.8 billion total UK exports to India for the four quarters to the end of Q4 2023

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: April 2024)

12th largest UK export market

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: April 2024)

1.8% of total UK exports for the four quarters to the end of Q4 2023

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: April 2024)

Strong links with the UK

India and the UK have strong ties through people, ideas, institutions, language and technology. These common links help the establishment of successful partnerships between UK and Indian businesses of all sizes and in all sectors.

Young and growing consumer base

India is a huge and growing market seeing a sustained period of strong growth. There is a large, youth demographic and a rising, more affluent middle class.

Top five UK goods exported to India , in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2023

Goods Value (£ billion )
Metal ores & scrap 1.3
Mechanical power generators (intermediate) 0.5
Non-ferrous metals 0.4
General industrial machinery (capital) 0.2
Scientific instruments (capital) 0.2

Source: ONS Trade in goods: country-by-commodity exports
Last updated: February 2024
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for India.

Top five UK services exported to India , in the four quarters to the end of Q2 2023

Service Value (£ billion )
Travel 5.4
Other Business Services 1.3
Transportation 0.7
Intellectual property [Note 5] 0.4
Telecommunications, computer and information services 0.3

Source: ONS UK trade in services: service type by partner country, non-seasonally adjusted
Last updated: April 2024
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for India.

India: at a glance

Economic growth


Actual figure (IMF, 2023)
The UK is 0.5% (IMF, 2023, projected figure)

GDP per capita


Actual figure (IMF, 2013)
The UK is $43,492 (IMF, 2013, actual figure)


Indian rupee

Business languages

English is widely spoken in business

Time zone

GMT + 5h30 (New Delhi)

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Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in India have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors:

Check for trade barriers

Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.

See current trade barriers

See resolved trade barriers

Check duties and customs

Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.

See current duties and customs procedures

Doing business in India

Preparing to export


The UK and India have signed a double taxation agreement, meaning the same income is not taxed twice.

Taxes in India are levied by the central government and the state governments. The national Goods and Services Tax (GST) unifies the country’s economy and 1.35 billion people into a common market, as GST replaces more than a dozen indirect taxes. You can find out more about taxation from India’s National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency.

Import restrictions

The Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) lists goods where restrictions are imposed or import is not allowed.

Standards and regulations

Some imported products will need to meet Indian quality standards and have to be certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) before being exported to India. BIS does offer pre-certification, subject to production inspections. Find out more about product certification.

Use the Food Import Clearance System if you’re exporting food to India.

Labelling requirements

Product labels can be in English or Hindi. All imported goods, as well as transport documents, must show standard units of measurement and weight.

You must comply with these requirements for your consignment to be cleared by customs in India.

Trade barriers

Check for any reported barriers to trading with India.

Report any trade barriers that are affecting your business so we can help fix them.

Operating in India

Using agents and distributors

You can export to India by contacting customers directly. This could be a first step before appointing a partner in India. Before appointing an agent or distributor you should look closely at your potential partners:

  • local business reputation
  • financial resources
  • regional coverage
  • marketing ability

It may be best to appoint a series of agents or distributors to cover different regions.

Online selling to India

Our trade advisers in India can help you find the online marketplace best suited to your product or service in India and get access to deals negotiated by the UK government.

Intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) rights are territorial. Rights granted in the UK do not provide protection elsewhere. You should consider getting IP protection abroad if you want to trade overseas or sell to overseas customers via the internet.

The Intellectual Property Office’s International IP Service provides practical information to help you protect, manage and enforce your IP in India.

British Businesses looking for IP support can also contact the IP Attaché for India.

Getting paid

You need to use secure terms of payment in India through a letter of credit or documentary collection through your bank. The other option is payment or partial payment in advance. Open account transactions are not allowed in India.

Your contract should always clearly state the terms for delivery and payment of goods and services. Indian law does not regulate late payments, and settlement action through the courts can be expensive and take a long time.

If you have any concerns about getting paid for your export, speak to UK Export Finance (UKEF) about insurance against buyer default.

DIT consultation seeks views from businesses on a new UK-India trade deal

Both the UK and Indian governments are committed to start negotiations towards a new UK-India trade deal in the autumn. To kick start the process, we launched a public consultation on a UK-India FTA in May which runs to 31 Aug.  

The consultation questionnaire will gather information from participants about their experiences and priorities when doing business with India which will help to  inform our negotiating position ahead of launching trade talks.

You can access the consultation questionnaire online here.

Next steps

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