India Modifies Duty Free Allowances and Customs Declaration Forms

This post was originally published on 20 August 2015.

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.
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

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  1. We are Indian residents. returning on 1st June, 2017 to INDIA from US (with my wife) after a stay of 170 days.I m carrying a pair of two-way speakers costing $120( one hundred twenty), plus an HDMI cable costing $30(thirty) 4 (four) 3-D glasses(3-D viewing spectacles) costing $130( one thirty). whether these items coming in free luggage of Rs. 45000/-? Besides this I m carrying an old i-pad (its sound is not working). Including all of these and other items total cost is not exceeding Rs. 45000/- I have to pay any duty? am I go through green channel?

  2. Hi I am an Indian studying abroad I returned to the country with nothing to declare I hold 6000 rupees in Indian old currency now the thing is to exchange notes I need to have cds form according to RBI how the hell is this possible

  3. I am an India with an OCI with about Rs. 35000 cash. Can I take it to India with me and deposit in my account there?

  4. Hi I m an indian citizen.I came usa 1st time to meet my daughter on 1st july for a period of 45 days .Now I have to return delhi .my daughter wish to gift me a laptop which is less used but like a new one.and one used ipad .
    can I bring it .may I have to pay any type of duty .I m a senior citizen.
    arvind rastogi

  5. Hi – Could you please confirm if 5000 USD cash limit is per passenger or per family? Is it possible for me and my wife to carry 5000 USD each (10,000 in total) to India without declaration. Thanks for your help.

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