India modifies duty free allowances and customs declaration forms

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[UDATED : 2 March 2016, with new Baggage Rules 2016]

Passengers entering India will now have to declare Indian currency exceeding Rs 25,000 and LCD, LED or Plasma televisions being brought by them in the new customs declaration forms.

The new Customs Baggage Declaration (Amendment) Regulations, 2015 was notified by the Finance Ministry this week.

NOTE : Most of these amendments were proposed in the 2014 Union Budget by Arun Jaitley, but were not yet included in customs declaration forms.

Major changes to the allowances

  1. Passengers of Indian origin and foreigners of over 10 years of age residing in India and coming from any country other than Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar can bring goods worth Rs 50,000* along with them.
  2. The limit on Indian currency that passengers entering India can now carry without having to declare it has increased from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000.

Changes to Customs Declaration Form

From 1 April 2016, Customs Declaration Form is not mandatory for travellers who do not have dutiable and prohibited goods*.

An additional field has also been inserted in the ‘Indian Customs Declaration Form’, which needs to be mandatorily filled by all passengers entering India, to declare any flat panel (LCD, LED or Plasma) televisions being brought by them.

The form presently has fields for declaration of dutiable and prohibited goods, gold jewellery and bullion (over free allowance), satellite phone, drones* and foreign currency notes exceeding USD 5,000 or equivalent.

The passengers also need to mention about meat, meat products, fish, dairy and poultry products, seeds, plants, fruits, flowers, other planting material and aggregate value of foreign exchange including currency exceeding USD 10,000 or equivalent in the existing customs form.

Immigration Form only when going out, but needs to fill Customs Declaration Form when returning

As per the modified immigration and customs rules, an Indian citizen needs to fill up the Immigration Form only when he or she goes out of the country. They do not need to fill in immigration form while returning from abroad.

A passenger also requires to give details of the countries being visited by him or her in the past six days and mention the passport number on the customs form.

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The forms already include fields for declaring gold, jewellery and bullion (over the allowed limit), satphones, foreign currency exceeding $10,000, and other dutiable and/or prohibited items.

Related : Duty Free Allowances for Indian Citizens : Complete Guide

* Updated on 2 March 2016

83 Comments

  1. As I understand we should be able to carry a music system for my family in India, upto INR 50000 (per passenger allowance, applicable 1st April 2016). I’m presently residing in Dubai, and have been here over 3yrs. Please advise.

  2. Hi,
    I am planning to buy either a 40″ or 50″ Flat LED HDTV from US which would cost approx 24000 and 31000 respectively. I am planning to get it to India in the month of April/May, 2016. Is there any restriction on the size of the TV?

    Please let me know whether I would be charged with any Custom Fee. Please help me. Its urgent.

    Thanks

  3. I am planning to fly DXB TO CCJ/COK, i have a kids driving toy car(1-3 age).So let me know have to pay any duty in airport?.

    • Hi Noufal, There is no special duty on toy car as it can be claimed under Rs 50K allowance. However, please check with your airline as some types of toy cars are banned in some airlines.

  4. Hi, I have been residing overseas for couple of years and I am flying through Mumbai. Unfortunately I don’t have a through ticket so I would have to do the exit-enter routine. I am carrying dale and couple of lenses. Are there any declaration procedures as I am taking them back with me.

  5. You have mentioned that person arriving from places other than china, nepal, bhutan myanmar will will be entitled for a duty for allowance of Rs. 50000/-. But as per the notification no. 31/2016 the duty free allowance of Rs. 50000/- is applicable for journey originating from countries other than nepal, bhutan myanmar. China is dropped from the list i.e. person returning from china is entitled for a duty free allowance of Rs. 50000/- which earlier was 6000/-.and has been revised to Rs. 15000/-(nepal, bhutan myanmar).

    • NRICafe.com on

      Hi Sudas, Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Yes, as per notification 31/2016 China is not in the list of restricted countries. We have modified this post.

  6. Really helpful… Thanks guys…
    I read your post and a couple of other posts over the internet and my understanding is that, if I have some gifts (eg. wrist watches) whose total worth is BELOW 50000 INR, then I need not even mention them on the customs form that I may be asked to fill on the plane before landing in India. Am I right..?

    • NRICafe.com on

      Hi Vikas, No need to mention that in Customs Declaration Form. By the way, now Customs Declaration Form is only mandatory for those who have good to declare. Others need not fill it.

      • Venence Correia on

        Hi! I have read your post and its helpful! Thanks a lot for this. can you please share a official link giving details about bringing gifts from overseas (eg. watches , cosmetics, cloths etc.) to our family. Probably end of this yr I am going to fly from NZ to India after almost 2 yrs and just want to be 100% sure about current customs rules.
        Thanks in advance !
        Cheers

  7. Can I carry PS3 and ps4 with 36 PS3 games and 15 ps4 games…I got them all cheap price in dubbizzle…. Will they charge me .. I’m 15 years and is moving to India permanently.

    • NRICafe.com on

      Dear Rishi, PS3 & PS4 is not mentioned in any of the customs rules, which means it may be taxed. Usually carrying one used PS3/PS4 is not an issue and most people do not pay duty on that. Since you are moving permanently, you are eligible to carry your used household equipments in reasonable quantity. However carrying 1 PS3+ 1 PS4 + 51 Games (even if used) is a big risk. It will all depend on the official’s judgement. Good luck!

      • NRICafe.com on

        Hi Rishi, The above answer was for taking used items without original packing. In both cases the higher quantity is the issue.

      • NRICafe.com on

        If you spread it over a number of bags, it might go unnoticed and you won’t be asked. Depends on your luck :) We recomme nd you keep number of games to the essential minimum.

  8. Lenin Wasnik on

    Hello, I am a female british passport holder and traveling to india for my own wedding. What do I do about my gold jewellery? Should I have to declare it at mumbai airport ? Do I have to pay any duty on it ? It’s all bought outside of India and I will be carrying it back with me. I have all the bills but don’t know what’s the procedure to follow. Kindly help me out. Thank you.

  9. Jyotiranjan Meher on

    Hi..I am here in US for last six months and now returning India. I have an used laptop and an ipad. but I am carrying one mirrorless camera and kindle worth of 650$ total. Do I have to pay tax, or how do I justify my used ipad. I never declared the items when coming to US. Thanks

    • NRICafe.com on

      Hi Jyotiranjan, Laptop can be claimed above the allowance. Other items can be included in Rs 50,000 allowance.

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