Indian citizens who are staying/working abroad on a visa or foreign citizens of Indian origin are entitled to certain duty-free allowances while travelling to India.
However, duty-free baggage allowance rules may vary based on the country of residence, duration of stay abroad and duration of stay in India and a few other factors.
Below are the items that are restricted in nature with their maximum allowable values :
Restricted Items and Duty-Free Allowances
Used personal effects travel souvenirs and articles other than those mentioned in Annexure I, up to the value of Rs. 50,000 if these are carried on the person or in the accompanied baggage of the passenger.
- For infants, only used personal effects shall be allowed duty-free.
- The free allowance of a passenger under this rule shall not be allowed to be pooled with the free allowance of any other passenger.
Gold / Silver
An Indian passenger who has been residing abroad for over one year is allowed to bring jewellery, free of duty in his bonafide baggage upto an aggregate weight of :
- 20 grams subject to maximum value of Rs. 50,000/- in the case of male passenger*
- 40 grams subject to maximum value of Rs. 100,000/- in the case of female passenger*
For the amount in excess of the allowance, 10.5% customs duty is being charged.
NOTE: Gold or silver in any form, other than ornaments – such as coins, biscuits etc – are not entitled to allowances.
One laptop computer (notebook computer) over and above the said free allowances mentioned above, is also allowed duty free, if imported by any passenger of the age of 18 years and above.
Flat Panel Television
Flat Panel (LCD/LED/Plasma) Television is NOT included under the duty-free allowance.
All Flat Panel TVs are subject to customs duty, irrespective of their screen size (since 2013).
Customs Duty @ 35% + an education cess of 3% (effective rate is 36.05%).
Customs officials charge the duty based on the assessed value. The assessed value is determined by the model, year of make, and condition of the TV. There is also an internal database with prices of popular models.
Alcoholic Drinks /Cigarettes
Following quantities of Alcoholic drinks and Tobacco products may be included for import within the duty free allowances admissible to various categories of incoming passengers :
- Alcoholic liquors or Wines upto 2 litres
- 100 Cigarettes OR 25 Cigars OR 125 gms of Tobacco
The rate of duty applicable on these products over and above the above mentioned free allowance is as under :
- Cigarettes – BCD @100%+ educational cess @ 3%
- Whisky – BCD @150% + ACD @ 4% + education cess NIL
- Beer – BCD @100% + ACD NIL + education cess @ 3%
Any person can bring into India from a place outside India foreign exchange without any limit. However, declaration of foreign exchange/currency is required to be made in the prescribed Currency Declaration Form in the following cases:
- Where the value of foreign currency notes exceeds US$ 5,000/- or equivalent
- Where the aggregate value of foreign exchange (in the form of currency notes, bank notes, traveler cheques etc.) exceeds US$ 10,000/- or its equivalent
Import of Indian currency is prohibited. However in the case of passengers, who are resident of India and are returning from a visit abroad, Indian currency upto Rs. 25,000 is allowed.
Allowances for Transfer of Residence
Following are the entitlements of a passenger who is transferring residence to India:
- Passengers who have stayed abroad for 3-6 months can bring used personal household items up to value of Rs 60,000.
- Passengers who have stayed abroad for 6-12 months can bring used personal household items up to value of Rs 100,000.
- Passengers who have stayed abroad for 1-2 years can bring used personal household items up to value of Rs 200,000.
- Passengers who have stayed abroad for above 2 years can bring used personal household items up to value of Rs 500,000 (subject to conditions).
Please note that these concessions are not allowed for articles in Annexure I & II, such as Color TV, Home Theatre System, Dish Washer, Refrigerator upto 300 litres, Deep Freezer, Video Camera etc.
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