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Restrictions on age and minimum period of stay abroad has been withdrawn.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

  • However for infants (children below 2 years), only used personal effects shall be allowed duty free.

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

  • Note that minimum period of one year stay abroad is applicable for gold jewellery and other items not included in 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 :

  • 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.

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 bonafide baggage of jewellery,

  • Gold ornaments worth up to Rs 50,000 (for male passenger)
  • Gold ornaments worth up to Rs 100,000 (for female passenger)

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 /


  1. Hi. I am travelling to Singapore with my family for a 7 day trip. I plan to buy an ipad and an external hard drive. How much customs duty do i need to pay once i land in mumbai?

  2. How much should I pay to customs if I’m carrying one year old used Bush 32″ LED Tv to India?Kindly reply

  3. We are carrying a golf set from US to India . Do we have to pay customs duty ? It has been used here in the US

  4. mohit choudhary on

    i am carrying a 11lbs whey protein supplement and 500gm bcaa . do i have to pay custom duty for this?.. seal is broken of the product !

  5. I am going wth a laptop provided by my office to US. While returning I will be buying a laptop from US ( worth $850 ~ 55K INR ). Will I be required to pay custom duty ? 1 laptop import seems to be allowed, right ? I can also declare my official laptop to customs while leaving India. Is this workable ?

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