What duty free allowances are NRIs allowed when visiting India? – UKMALAYALEE

What duty free allowances are NRIs allowed when visiting India?

Thursday 1 March 2018 3:28 PM UTC

By Jeevan Vipinachandran

PIO/OCIs can enjoy certain duty free allowances with regard to baggage which they take to Kerala and India generally. It is notable that the specific rules with regard to baggage allowances can vary from country to country. So how much you are ultimately allowed to take ultimately may depend on the country of residence.

Other major factors which can impact your baggage allowance also include your final destination and the duration of your stay. Souvenirs and used personal effects up to a value of 50,000 rupees can be carried with you duty free. This can be carried either on your person or in the baggage. Please note that such items may not be shared with other passengers. This rule also doesn’t apply to infants. They can only carry used personal items duty free. Prohibited items are mentioned in Annexure 1 of the Central Board of Excise and Customs guide.

Electronic goods are an area which may be of interest to Malayalees visiting India. Some of them import the latest laptops and televisions for their families in India. The rules on laptops are fairly simple. A single laptop can be imported to India duty free by an individual who is above 18 years old.

A modern television on the other hand is unfortunately not duty free. A flat screen TV will attract import duties in excess of 35%, irrespective of size.

Alcoholic drinks and cigarettes, another favourite of Malayalis back home are mostly duty free. It is important to know the prescribed limits on alcohol import set by the Indian government. Liquors and wines up to 2 litres is allowed into India at duty free rates. Those Non Resident Indians with a love of cigarettes may be pleased to know that up to 100 cigarettes can be imported in. In addition to this 20 cigars are also allowed.

Foreign currency can be brought into India without any limit. However a declaration must be made to the authorities if currency in excess of $5000 or equivalent in notes is being brought in.

Furthermore if all aggregate foreign currency including notes, bank notes and cheques being brought into India exceed $10,000 or equivalent then again please declare it at customs. The import of Indian currency is prohibited, although Indian citizens are allowed to take 25,000 rupees.

Gold is naturally a major topic of interest, given the historical Indian fascination with it. The rules for golf are fairly straightforward. The duty free import allowances are split according to gender. Women may take with them up to 40 grams of gold worth a maximum of 100,000 rupees. A male passenger is allowed 20 grams of gold up to 50,000 rupees.

Please see below for Central Board of Excise and Customs websites which go into more detail on the issue of duty free allowances and prohibited items in Indian law:

http://www.cbec.gov.in/resources/htdocs-cbec/baggage- rules.pdf


Jeevan Vipinachandran is a political analyst and writer, specialising in political violence and counter-terrorism. He graduated from LSE with a Masters in Comparative Politics: Conflict Studies. He has written for the Conservative Party, Future Foreign Policy and the Times of Israel. Regular updates can be found on Twitter on @jeevanvc  and www.jeevanvc.com. Jeevan also blogs on business development and holistic lifestyle growth at www.my-wise-owl.com.

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