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Yes, u need an IE code. And to get a IE code u need to have a TIN ID. If u don't wanna bother w/ the formalities just approach any shipping agent who usually import the goods on their name for 1 percent up to 3 percent commissions (of the total consignment value).
W/o an IE code & w/o ordering thru an agent- if u order samples, and even if customs are LEGALLY obligated to hand it over to u w/o stamping a charge, they hold it back and ask everything short of Bipasha Basu's cup size certificate & the time delay & the money loss u encounter is not worth.
Either get an IE code or approach a shipping agent.