NRI Alert : India announces Baggage Rules 2016; Raises free allowance to Rs 50,000

As declared in the Union Budget 2016-17, India government has substituted the existing Baggage Rules 1998 with Baggage Rules 2016 to simplify and rationalise multiple slabs of duty-free allowance for various categories of passengers.

The new Baggage Rules 2016 was notified by the Finance Ministry yesterday. Here are the major changes :

Major changes to baggage rules

Please note that all these changes shall come into force only from 1st April 2016.

Increase in baggage allowance

Under the new rules, duty free baggage allowance carried by an international passenger, when coming to India, is increased from Rs 45,000 to Rs 50,000 (from 1 April 2016).

This incremental allowance would result in customs duty saving of approximately Rs 1,800 for international passengers.

No restrictions on age & minimum period of stay

Restrictions on age and minimum period of stay abroad has been withdrawn.

Free baggage allowances are same for all passengers irrespective of their age and period of stay.

Minimum period of stay is not mentioned for travellers to avail free baggage allowance.

Change in limits for used household items

A person, who is engaged in a profession abroad, or is transferring his residence to India can bring used household items as below :

Note that there are certain conditions for availing this facility which are mentioned in the table here.

Customs Declaration Form only for those with dutiable goods

International passenger, when coming to India, need not fill Customs Declaration Form if they are not carrying dutiable goods as part of their baggage (from 1 April 2016).

This proposal should enable a hassle free entry for international passengers in India carrying goods within the prescribed duty free allowance.

It would also save considerable amount in printing of the forms.

Gold allowance specifies weight

A passenger residing abroad for more than one year, on return to India, shall be allowed clearance free of duty in his bona fide baggage of jewellery,

Earlier these were defined as value of Rs 50,000 & Rs. 100,000 only.

Here is our complete guide regarding gold import to India.

Drones added to Customs Declaration Form

Drones, which are being considered a major security risk as they could be used by terror groups for mounting assaults, have been included in the prohibited list and flyers entering India will have to declare them from April 1.
Indian Customs Declaration Form has been revised to include drones in the list of prohibited and dutiable goods.

Foreigners’ Duty Free Allowance raised

Foreigners’ duty-free allowance has also been increased to Rs 15,000 (from the existing limit of Rs 8,000).

Read the complete text of the Baggage Rules 2016 here

Aneesh V /