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Restrictions on age and minimum period of stay abroad has been withdrawn.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. I will be returning to India from US on a tourist visa and I wish to bring a Doll house for our grandchildren weighing 25 Kg. and costing about USD 110/-. Please advise whether I will be charged customs duty on arrival in India.

    R G KRISHNAN 06.11.2016

  2. Respected sir iam already using a drone(Helicam) at UAE. next month my brother is going to india He is proffesional photographer and he will be carry the drone(Helicam) to kerala. Any customs duty problems to carry drone(Helicam) and any restriction to carry drone(Helicam). Plz give me a reply.

  3. Hello sir,
    one of my abroad friend is wishing to send some expensive gifts like 4 Mac computers, 3 iphones , ipad,Rolex and also some gold .

    Is there any way to escape from customs or other departments without paying a penny.

    Generally, how much they charge for all this electronic good’s and gold?
    I’m from Hyderabad,India.

  4. Dear sir
    I buy one led is it Dansat (32″ )10 months before but I’m lost my bill receipt ..what can I follow the rules in hydrabad airport?

  5. Dear Sir,

    Iam now working in lagos, Nigeria since 11months, I will be traveling to India in next month I will be completing 1year abroad as NRI, and I want to bring 5watches for my family members as gifts, and I buy these in online I don’t have bill but these watches worth around 14000 INR, so please advise me if there are any issues with customs

  6. Abhisaar Anant on

    I am coming back to india after 9 months and i am bringing 2 Ipones, 1 External Hard disk and some other stuffs. Will i be charged?

  7. My cousin is going to malaysia on tourist visa for 10 days trip… will he bring led tv to india? And How much is the tax?

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