Baggage Rules (for Travel to India) Consular Services

Baggage Rules (for Travel to India)

Under the General Baggage Rules,

(1)   used personal effects, and 
(2)   new articles up to a value of Rs. 12,000/- per adult passenger ( Rs. 25,000/- if the person returns to India after more than three days) are exempt.

A lower Free Allowance of Rs. 6,000/- is allowed to passengers coming (after 3 days) from Nepal, Bhutan, Burma or China provided they do not come across land borders with these countries.

Passengers returning from Pakistan by road are allowed duty free baggage up to Rs. 12,000/-.

For child passengers (below 10 years of age), free allowance is 50% of the allowance admissible to an adult passenger of that category.

The General Free Allowance of passenger is not clubbable with similar allowance of another passenger (for example, husband or wife or any other relative travelling with the passenger) to permit clearance of a costly article of baggage.

Laptop computer (computer notebook) brought by a passenger of the age of 18 years and above has been exempted w.e.f from 9-1-2004.

Alcoholic liquor or wines up to two litres, 200 cigarettes and jewellery upto Rs. 20,000/- for a lady and Rs. 10,000/- for a gentleman can be brought as part of the free baggage allowance. Import of cinematography films, exposed but not developed, brought as part of baggage has also been made duty free.

In  case a single article exceeding the limit of Rs. 12,000 ( or Rs. 25,000 in value) is brought, 35% flat rate of duty with no SAD or CVD is payable on excess value. 40% without SAD & CVD is also the effective rate of duty for any article of bona fide baggage brought in excess of free allowance except for fire arms, cartridges of fire arms exceeding 50 and excess cigarettes, cigars or tobacco.

But in terms of exemption Notification No. 49/96-Cus., dated 23-7-1996, specified goods covered under listed Headings and Notifications therein attract merit rate (as applicable to cargo) even if imported as baggage. Conditions, if any, prescribed in the listed Notification will apply to imports under baggage also. Free allowance is restricted in case of visit to contiguous countries like Maldives, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan.

‘Baggage’ does not include motor vehicle, fire arms and goods of commercial nature or in commercial quantities.

There are value/ quantity restrictions on bringing jewellery, cigarettes and liquor. However, primary gold up to ten kgs. per passenger and silver up to one hundred kgs. per passenger can be imported on payment of normal duties in convertible foreign exchange provided the concerned passenger is coming to India after at least six months’ stay abroad. For crew members of a vessel or aircraft, free allowance for petty gifts is Rs 600/-

Transfer of Residence 

In the case of passengers transferring their residence to India after stay abroad of two years or more, personal and household effects in use abroad and six new specified household gadgets are exempt from duty but 15 % flat duty without SAD has to be paid on 17 listed articles of consumer durables within value ceiling of 5 lakhs. In the case of transfer of residence after stay abroad of at least one year, other personal and household effects in use abroad and not exceeding Rs. 75,000/- in aggregate value can be brought in free. In addition, there are free allowances of varying value for professional artisans coming to India after 3 months/6 months (duty free household article worth Rs. 12,000/- and professional equipment worth Rs. 20,000/- /40,000/-). 

Allowance for gifts as well as for travel souvenirs in the case of foreign tourists is Rs. 8,000/-(Rs.6,000/- in the case of tourists from Pakistan origin), apart from personal effects in use of the tourist. Peak rate of duty for baggage goods of Heading 98.03 is 150% non-bona fide baggage is in addition to fine and penalty. 

Foreign Travel Tax and Inland Air Travel Tax have been exempted for all passengers with effect from 9-1-2004. 

Passengers not carrying any dutiable goods can walk through the Green Channel. Others are required to come to the Red Channel and report at customs counter. There are now no restrictions on resale of baggage goods. 

Passengers importing / exporting commercial samples as accompanied baggage should follow the procedure laid down in this behalf. If an importer is desirous of paying duty on an article at the cargo rate but by mistake he has brought the said article as baggage, he can rectify the error by filling an application before the authorities along with submission of a bill of entry. 

Travellers to India may note that In case of import of cargo, a declaration is to be given by the person importing the goods about details of goods.

In case of satellite phones being brought in baggage or hand baggage, satellite phones without licence by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) of the Government of India would be detained / confiscated, as per the existing procedures, till the time the holder of the satellite phone is able to produce a licence issued by the DoT.

Please visit the website for the complete Baggage Rules 1998.

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