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Customs in India

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If you are looking forward moving to India, make sure you abreast yourself with all the rules and regulations of the customs department. Before you pack your suitcase, know about the taxable and nontaxable items, permitted and prohibited items, quantities allowed, etc.. A brief understanding of the customs requirements will save you from unwanted hurdles on arrival.

During your transit through customs, you will come across two different lanes — the green lane and red lane. Note that while the green lane is for travellers who are in possession of duty-free products, the red lane is allotted for those who have taxable products.

Duty-free goods and objects

You can import certain goods and objects without paying any duty. However, there is a limit regarding the quantity that you can carry. Following are some of the duty-free items that you can import in specific quantities when coming for a short stay in the country:

  • Alcoholic liquors or wine up to two litres
  • Either 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, or 250 grams of tobacco
  • Your personal belongings
  • Souvenirs that you intend to take with you on your departure from India

  Good to know:

Foreigners coming from different countries get a duty-free baggage allowance of INR 45,000. Recently this limit has been increased to INR 50,000. However, this limit is lesser for the nationals of neighbouring countries, namely, China, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar.

Importing jewellery to India

Only habitual residents in India are allowed to enter the country with jewellery of a maximum weight of 20 grams with a value cap of INR 50,000 for men and a weight of 40 grams with a value cap of INR 100,000 for women. If the gold exceeds this limit, you must declare it at customs.

Prohibited items

Certain items are prohibited and will be seized by the customs officers in case you are carrying them. Some of these items include matchsticks, lighters, scissors, knives, etc..

Foreign currency

There is no value limit for carrying foreign currency (whether in the form of bank notes or traveller’s check) that a foreigner can bring to India. However, if you are carrying cash worth more than 5,000 USD or cash and traveller's check worth more than 10,000 USD, you will have to declare the sum at customs by filling the Customs Declaration Form. Passengers of Indian nationality coming to India can carry a maximum of INR 25,000.

 Good to know:

You can easily get foreign currencies exchanged in the airport.

 Useful links:

Central Bureau of Excise and Customs
Central Bureau of Excise and Customs – Guide for tourists

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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