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Indian Customs Duty & Baggage Rules

Non resident Indians returning to India after an assignment abroad are eligible to bring back personal and used household effects without paying any duty if the stay has been over two years.

However, new or unused articles purchased by the returning NRI invite a duty of 61.2%, though 14 minor appliances are charged 35.2% duty if only one unit of the enlisted appliance is being brought in. More than one unit of an appliance in the concessional category invites a normal duty of 61.2% if the combined value of the articles is over Rs.150, 000.

NRIs returning home are permitted to bring their used vehicles back to India, and new/second hand vehicles lesser than 1600 cc can be purchased just before leaving for India and shipped home.

Customs Clearance
International passengers arriving at any of the Indian airports have to go through either the

  • Green Channel if they are not carrying articles which invite duty
  • Red Channel if they are carrying articles which invite duty.
  • All passengers are required to declare the contents of their baggage correctly. The customs portion of the disembarkation card has to be submitted by green channel passengers before leaving the airport terminal. Passengers walking through the Green Channel caught carrying dutiable articles would invite prosecution and penalty.
  • A Currency Declaration Form has to be submitted upon arrival if the value of the foreign currency being carried is the equivalent of USD 5000; or aggregate of USD 10,000 in the case of all forms of foreign exchange.
  • Only Indian passengers returning from overseas are allowed to carry Indian currency of upto Rs.5000

Baggage Rules
The Baggage (Amendment) Rules, 2006 apply to non resident Indians returning home to India. As per the law,

  • Indian passengers returning from an overseas stay of less than 3 days are allowed to bring back used personal effects except jewellery without paying any duty. In addition, they can bring back other assets within a limit of Rs.12, 000 as accompanied baggage.
  • Indian passengers returning from an overseas stay of more than 3 days are allowed to bring back used personal effects except jewellery without paying any duty. In addition, they can bring back other assets within a limit of Rs.25, 000 as accompanied baggage
  • A laptop is also allowed free of duty to any passenger over the age of 18, over and above the permitted articles.
  • Indian passengers returning from an overseas stay of at least 3 months are allowed to bring back used household effects upto a maximum worth of Rs.12, 000 without paying any duty. In addition, they can bring back other professional equipment within a limit of Rs.20, 000 as accompanied baggage. Professional equipment refers to portable instruments, gadgets and apparatus used by the passenger in his profession, and includes tools used by carpenters, plumbers etc.
  • Indian passengers returning from an overseas stay of at least 6 months are allowed to bring back used household effects upto a maximum worth of Rs.12, 000 without paying any duty. In addition, they can bring back other professional equipment within a limit of Rs.40, 000 as accompanied baggage
  • Indian passengers returning from an overseas stay of at least 365 days in the last 2 years, and who have not availed of any concession on duty in the last 3 years are allowed to bring back used personal and household effects upto a maximum worth of Rs.75, 000 without paying any duty.
  • Customs duty would be levied on articles exceeding the free allowance @ of 35%, plus an education cess of 2% (effectively 35.7%)
  • The Customs Tariff would also apply to import of alcohol and tobacco products if they exceed the permissible limits.
  • In the case of Jewellery, male Indian passengers who have lived abroad for more than a year are entitled to bring back articles worth Rs.10,000, while female passengers are allowed up to Rs.20,000
  • NRIs visiting India are allowed personal effects and other articles which they would be taking back with them on their return abroad
 

 

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