Every passenger entering or leaving Indian border has to pass through Customs check. He / She must fill up the Disembarkation Card clearly mentioning the quantity and value of goods that he has brought. On his / her arrival the passenger is first cleared by Immigration Officer, who retains the Immigration portion of the Disembarkation Card. Thereafter the passenger takes the delivery of his baggage from the conveyer belts & passes through Customs. Like all other International Airports, the passenger has the option of seeking clearance through the Green Channel or through the Red Channel subject to the nature of goods being carried.
Clearance of Incoming Passengers (Green and Red Channels)
For the purpose of Customs clearance of arriving passengers, a two channel system has been adopted
- Passengers walking through the Green Channel with dutiable / prohibited goods are liable to prosecution/penalty and confiscation of goods.
Duty Free Allowances and entitlements for Indian Residents and Foreigners Residing in India
A Resident means a person holding a valid passport issued under the Passports Act, 1967 and normally residing in India
I. For passengers coming from countries other than
II. For passengers coming from
III. For passengers coming from Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar or China by Land Route
Special allowances for professionals returning to India
An Indian passenger who was engaged in his profession abroad shall on his return to India be allowed clearance free of duty, in addition to the aforesaid allowances, articles in his bonafide baggage to the extent as mentioned below:
Notes: For the purposes of baggage rules Professional Equipment means:
Such portable equipments, instruments, apparatus and appliances as are ordinarily required in the profession in which the returning passenger was engaged. This expression includes items used by carpenters, plumbers, welders, masons and the like. This concession is not available for items of common use such as Cameras, Cassette Recorders, Dictaphones, Typewriters, Personal Computers and similar items.
Duty free allowances and entitlements for tourists
WHO IS A TOURIST?
A tourist is a passenger
a) who is not normally a resident in India;
b) who enters India for a stay of not more than six months in the course of any twelve months period for legitimate non-immigrant purposes, such as : touring, recreation, sports, health, family reasons, study, religious pilgrimage, or business;
A tourist arriving in India shall be allowed clearance free of duty articles in his bonafide baggage to the extent as mentioned below:
Duty free allowances and entitlements for persons transferring residence
I. A person who is transferring his residence to India shall be allowed clearance free of duty, in addition to allowances applicable to Indian residents or foreigners residing in India or to passengers returning from Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar or China, other than by land route articles in bonafide baggage to the extent and subject to conditions as mentioned below :
II. Rate of duty applicable on transfer of residence :-
Such persons shall be allowed
(i) clearance of items listed in Annexure-II, whether old or new, at a concessional rate of duty of 15% ad valorem + 3% educational cess.
Subject to the conditions that
In case of (a) above:
In case of (b) above:
Note: Transfer of residence entitlements are applicable to returning Indians as well as Foreigners transferring their residence to India subject to the fulfillment of prescribed eligibility conditions
Import of professional equipment as baggage
Professional Equipment is permitted to be imported to the following persons to the extent indicated below:
For the purposes of baggage rules Professional Equipment means:
Import of jewellery
An Indian passenger who has been residing abroad for over one year is allowed to bring jewellery, free of duty in his bonafide baggage upto an aggregate value of Rs. 10,000/- (in the case of a male passenger) or Rs.20,000/- (in the case of a lady passenger).
Import of alcoholic drinks/ cigarettes as baggage
Following quantities of Alcoholic drinks and Tobacco products may be included for import within the duty free allowances admissible to various categories of incoming passengers :
The rate of duty applicable on these products over and above the above mentioned free allowance is as under
Import of gold as baggage
Who can import gold as baggage?
Rate of Duty
Gold bars, other than tola bars, bearing manufacturers or refiners engraved serial number and weight expressed in metric units and gold coins
Gold in any form other than at Sl.No. 1 above including tola bars and ornaments, but excluding ornaments studded with stones or pearls
Note: The Jewellery which is in addition to the jewellery otherwise allowed without payment of duty, only is liable to payment of duty under the above mentioned scheme of import of gold
Import of silver as baggage
Who can import silver as baggage?
Import of foreign exchange/currency
Any person can bring into India from a place outside India foreign exchange without any limit. However, declaration of foreign exchange/currency is required to be made in the prescribed Currency Declaration Form in the following cases:-
Import of Indian currency
Import of Indian Currency is prohibited. However, in the case of passengers normally resident in India who are returning from a visit abroad, import of Indian Currency upto Rs. 7500 is allowed.
Import of fire arms
Import of firearms is strictly prohibited.
Import of Cartridges in excess of 50 is also prohibited.
Import of pet animals
Domestic pets like dogs, cats, birds etc. are permitted to be imported. Import of pets (dog and cat only) upto two numbers per passenger are allowed at one time subject to production of required health certificate from country of origin and examination of the said pets by the concerned quarantine officer.
Import of baggage of deceased person
Used, bonafide personal and household effects belonging to a deceased person are allowed to be imported free of duty subject to the condition that a Certificate from the concerned Indian mission (Embassy / High Commission) is produced at the time of clearance regarding the ownership of the goods by the deceased person.
Import of unaccompanied baggage
The passengers can also send their baggage through cargo which is treated as unaccompanied baggage. However, no free allowance is admissible in case of unaccompanied baggage which is chargeable to Customs duty @ 35% Ad valorem + 3% Education Cess and only used personal effects can be imported free of duty.
Rate of Duty
Generally items imported as baggage are subjected to a uniform rate of duty for ease of assessment
The general rate of duty for items imported in excess of the permissible free allowance is 35% advalorem + educational cess @ 3% i.e. to say that effective rate of duty is 36.05%.
The rate of duty applicable to items in Annexure II imported by passengers transferring their residence or returning to India after a stay of 365 days abroad in the preceding two years is 15% + educational cess @ 3%
Alcoholic drinks and Tobacco products imported in excess of the free allowance are charged to duty at the rates applicable to their commercial imports. These rates for some of the items are as follows:
Silver is charged to a duty of Rs. 1500 per Kg.+ 3% Education Cess for passengers importing silver under the prescribed scheme
Note: Incase the value of one item exceeds the duty free allowance, the duty shall be calculated only on the excess of such amount.
A passenger may request the Customs to detain his baggage either for re-export at the time of his departure from India or for clearance subsequently on payment of duty.
The detained baggage would be examined and full details will be inventorised.
Such baggage are kept in the custody of the customs.
In case the baggage has been lost or mishandled by the Airlines, a simplified procedure is in place for clearance of such baggage which allows the passenger to have delivery of his baggage at his door step by the Airlines.
There is no need to handover the passport or the keys of the baggage. The passenger is merely required to complete the Custom declaration form authorizing the Airline to complete the formalities when the baggage arrives. The passenger is required to obtain a certificate to that effect from the airlines and get it countersigned by Customs indicating specifically the unutilized portion of the free allowance. This would enable the passenger to avail the unutilised portion of the duty free allowance when his baggage is delivered by the airlines.
The passenger is required to submit all these documents with the concerned airlines for clearance and delivery of goods on his behalf.
Crewmembers are required to submit the correct declaration before Custom authorities with respect to the currency gold ornaments and electronic goods etc. in their possession on arrival as well as departure.
Crew member is allowed to bring items like chocolates, cheese, cosmetics and other petty gift items for their personal or family use upto a value of Rs. 600 only at the returning of the Aircraft from foreign journey. However, a crew member on final pay off or at the termination of his engagement with the Airline shall be eligible for allowances as a common passenger.
Import of passenger Cars / Jeep / Multiutility vehicles
The following rates of Duty are applicable for import of motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons including station wagons and racing cars. Since motor vehicles are excluded from the definition of Baggage, duties are to be collected at the Tariff rate taking into consideration Exemption Notifications if any.
Value of these vehicles for the purpose of levy of customs duty is CIF value, where C stands for the cost of the goods, I is the insurance and F is the freight. Cost in the case of new vehicle is the transaction value between the seller and the buyer. However, in the case of old and used vehicles, cost is arrived at by taking value of the new vehicle in its year of manufacture and then allowing depreciation at following rates:
For every quarter during 1st year - 4%
All the passengers leaving India by Air are subject to clearance by Custom Authorities. Only bonafide baggage is allowed to be cleared by passengers. There is a procedure prescribed whereby the passengers leaving Indiacan take the export certificate for the various high value items as well as jewellery from the Customs authorities. Such an export certificate comes handy while bringing back the things to India so that no duty is charged on such goods exported by the passenger.
Export of Gold Jewellery
There is no value limit on the export of Gold jewellery by a passenger through the medium of baggage so long as it constitutes the bonafide baggage of the passenger. A passenger may request the Customs for issue of an export certificate at the time of his/her departure from India, in respect of jewelry carried by him / her, to facilitate its reimport subsequently.
Commercial export of gold jewelry through the courier mode is permitted subject to observance of prescribed procedures.
Export of Indian Currency
Export of Indian Currency is strictly prohibited. However Indian residents when they go abroad are allowed to take with them Indian currency not exceeding Rs. 7500 .
Export of Foreign Currency
Tourists while leaving India are allowed to take with them foreign currency not exceeding an amount brought in by them at the time of their arrival in India. As no declaration is required to be made for bringing in foreign exchange / currency not exceeding equivalent of U.S. $ 10000, generally tourists can take out of India with them at the time of their departure foreign exchange/currency not exceeding the above amount.
The export of foreign currency is otherwise prohibited.
Prohibited and Restricted Goods
Certain goods are prohibited (banned) or restricted (subject to certain conditions) for import and/or export. These are goods of social, health, environment, wild life and security concerns. While it is not possible to list all the goods, more common of these are :
- Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs like Heroin, Charas, Cocaine or in Psychotropic substances is a serious offence and is punishable with imprisonment.
The Indian Customs Act empowers imposition of heavy penalties for those passengers who :
The Penal Provision may lead to :