Duty Free Allowance and Entitlements for Travel to India

Duty-free baggage allowance rules vary based on the country of residence, duration of stay abroad, duration of stay in India, and a few other factors. Please follow the links below for the category applicable to you:

Allowance Pooling

Duty-free allowances of two or more passengers can not be added up (pooled or combined) to bring more goods duty-free or pay lesser duty. Therefore, if one passenger brings a high-value item that is above the duty-free allowance, the passenger needs to pay the duty above the allowable limit, and the duty-free allowance of the other passengers can not be used for the same. In other words, each passenger is considered to be traveling separately with his/her own baggage and their duty is assessed on an individual basis, not on the basis of a group or a family.

Reimport Items

In addition to the above allowances, items taken out of India by declaring them to customs after procuring an “Export Certificate” are also allowed to be brought in duty-free.

Value of Goods

The duty is assessed on the value of the goods rather than the amount written on any invoice produced. Customs departments have a database they use to assess the value. Therefore, if you try to under-declare the value, it does not work.

Keep your receipts handy to prove the price you paid for the items. If you bought a high-value item at a much lower price at sale, the lower value may be accepted if you can show the evidence such as the original bill and the price list at the sale, etc. However, if you paid any tax on the item (such as sales tax), the duty will be considered on the entire price you paid inclusive of tax.

In any case, do not try to bribe a customs officer to avoid or reduce the duty.

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