Know Before You Fly: Customs Baggage Rules for Passengers Arriving in India

Know What You Can Bring Back from your foreign trip without attracting additional Customs Duties
Customs Baggage Rules - Indian Travel - Passenger Guidelines - Baggage Restrictions - Duty free limits - taxscan

Used Personal Belongings & Duty-Free Limits

Passengers can bring back used personal belongings ( clothes, cosmetics, etc ) duty-free.

A one-time duty-free allowance of Rs. 50,000 applies to new items like electronics, clothes, perfumes, and liquor ( for passengers above 18 ).

Special Rules for liquor and Cigarettes

Specific limitations apply to cigarettes and liquor quantities.

Exceeding the duty-free allowance attracts customs duty on the additional value.

Duty rates vary for different items – TVs ( 38.5% ), liquor ( 165% ), cigarettes ( 110% ), and other items ( 38.5% ).

Currency-in-hand: Indian and Foreign

Indian residents returning from abroad can bring back Indian currency up to Rs. 25,000.

There is no limit on foreign currency, but declaration is required if exceeding USD 5,000 or equivalent total value.

Gold Carriage Limits and Customs Duty

Passengers can bring up to 1 Kg of gold ( including jewellery ).

Duty exemptions depend on the length of stay abroad and passenger origin.

Men can bring duty-free jewellery up to 20 grams ( women: 40 grams ).

Pure gold ( 24KT ) attracts duty regardless of quantity.

Export Certificate and Other Important Points to Note:

Passengers carrying valuables like jewellery or expensive electronics can get an ‘export certificate’ to avoid duty on return to India.

Drones are restricted items and require import licences and clearances.

Declare all dutiable or prohibited items using the Green Channel or Red Channel system.

A mobile app ( ATITHI ) allows pre-declaration of dutiable items and currency.

Unpaid duty can lead to baggage detention for re-export or later clearance.

Restricted and Prohibited Goods:

It is important to clearly understand the difference between restricted (allowed with permits) and prohibited goods (completely banned).

Restricted Goods

• Arms And Ammunitions

• Medicines & Drugs

• Certain Plants and their products, Endangered Species of Plants and Animals

• Live Birds and Animals including Pets

• Telephone and Telephony equipment of restricted frequencies

• Drones

Prohibited Goods

• Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances

• Counterfeit and Pirated goods

• Wildlife Products, Specified Live Birds and Animals

• Fake Currency

• Pornographic and Obscene materials

• Antiquities

• Maps and literature where Indian external boundaries have been shown incorrectly.

Bonus Point – What to Do in Case of Lost or Mishandled Baggage

Please file a formal complaint at the destination airport as soon as you realise the loss of baggage. Any baggage receipt without a complaint issued against it is usually considered to be delivered correctly and in good condition, by most airlines.

There is a specific form named Property Irregularity Report ( PIR ) that can be filed for this purpose. You will receive a reference number after filing the same.

A Property Irregularity Report ( PIR ) reference number is a unique code that helps us trace your delayed or damaged baggage. It has a combination of 10 letters and numbers, and can be found above your name on the PIR receipt. You can use your PIR reference number to check the status of your baggage.

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