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Customs guide for travellers compiled by Vadodara's leading visa consultancy, OM International

FREQUESNTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1 What are the Channels of clearance?

There are two channels for Customs Clearance:

1) Green Channel for Passengers not having any dutiable goods
2) Red channel for passengers having dutiable goods.
3) Passengers are advised to report at the appropriate channel for customs clearance.

2) Who can bring jewellery as baggage?

An Indian passenger who has been residing abroad for over one year is allowed to bring jewellery, free of duty in his bonafide baggage up to an aggregate value of Rs 50,000/- (in the case of a gentleman passenger) or Rs1,00,000/- (in the case of a lady passenger)
3. What are the norms for the import of Alcoholic drinks/Cigarettes as baggage?
Following quantities of Alcoholic drinks and Tobacco products may be included for import within the duty free allowances admissible to various categories of incoming passengers:
è  Alcoholic liquors or Wines upto 2 litres
è  -100 Cigarettes or 25 cigars or 125 gms. Of Tobacco and above the above mentioned free allowance is as under:
è  (i) Cigarettes BCD@100%+educational cess@3%
è  (ii) Whisky BCD @ 150%+ACD@4%+education cess NIL.
è  (III) Beer BCD@100% + ACDNIL +3%education cess

4. Who can import gold as baggage?

Any passenger of Indian Origin or a passenger holding a valid passport, issued under the Passport Act, 1967, who is coming to India after a period of not less than six months of stay abroad; and short visits, if any, made by the passenger during the aforesaid period of six months shall be ignored if the total duration of stay on such visits does not exceed thirty days.

Other Conditions
(i)                             The duty shall be paid in convertible foreign currency. The current rate of duty for the GOLD in any form as per Notification NO: 12/2012—Cus dated 17/3/2012 is 10%
(ii)                           The weight of gold (including ornaments) should not exceed 1 kg. Per passenger.
(iii)                         The passenger can either bring the gold himself at the time of arrival or import the same within fifteen days of his arrival in India as unaccompanied baggage.
(iv)                          The passenger can also obtain the permitted quantity of gold from customs bonded warehouse of State bank of India and Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation subject to conditions (I) AND (II) ABOVE. He is required to file a declaration in the prescribed Form before the Customs officer at the time of arrival in INDIA stating his intention to obtain the gold from the Customs bonded warehouse and pay the duty before clearances.
   Value of gold and silver is to be taken as part the Tariff value fixed for the item through notification from time to time.

5. Who can import silver as baggage?

(a) Any passenger of India origin.
(b) Any passenger holding a valid passport issued under the Passport Act 1967.


Conditions :
(i)                             The weight of silver (including ornaments) should not exceed the quantity of 10 kgs per passenger.
(ii)                           Such passenger is coming to India after a period of not less than six months of stay abroad. However, short visits during these six months of stay abroad. However, short visits during these six months of stay abroad. However, short visits during these six months shall be ignored if the total duration of such short visits does not exceed 30 days and the passenger has not availed of the exemption under this scheme, at the time of such short visits.
(iii)                         The duty shall be paid an convertible foreign currency. The current rate of duty for the silver in any forms as per Notifications No. 12/2012 Cuss dated 17/3/2012 is 10%
(iv)                          The passenger can either bring the silver himself at the time of arrival or import the same within fifteen days of his arrival in India.
(v)                            The passenger can also obtain the permitted quantity  of silver from customs bonded warehouse of State Bank of India and Metal and Mineral Trading Corporation subject to conditions (1) and (2). He is required to file declarations in the prescribed form before the Customs Officer at the time of arrival in India stating his intention to obtain the silver from the Customs bonded warehouse and pay the duty before clearance.

6. What are the norms for import of Foreign Exchange/Currency?

Any person can bring into India from a place outside India foreign exchange without any limit. However, declaration of foreign exchange/currency is required to be made in the prescribed Currency Declaration Form in the following cases.
a.      Where the value of foreign currency notes exceeds US$5,000/- or equivalent.
b.      Where the aggregate value of foreign exchange (in the form of currency notes, bank notes traveller cheques etc.) exceeds US$ 10,000/- OR ITS EQUIVALENT

7. What are the norms for the import of Indian currency?
Import of Indian currency is prohibited . However, in the case of passengers normally resident in India who are returning from a visit abroad, import of INDIAN CURRENCY upto Rs 25,000/- is allowed.

8. What are the norms for the Import firearms??
Import of firearms is strictly prohibited.
Import of cartridges in excess of 50 is also prohibited.
However, in the case of persons transferring their residence (as per conditions specified in the rules) to India for a minimum period of one year, one firearm of permissible bore can be allowed to be imported subject to the conditions that :
(i)                             The same was in possessions and use abroad by the passenger for a minimum period of one year and that such firearm can be disposed off after ten years of its import. However, this facility can be availed only once.
(ii)                           The passenger has a valid arms licence from the local (Indian) authorities;
(iii)                         The customs duties as applicable shall be paid.

9. What are the norms for the import of Pet animals?
Import of pets up to two numbers per passenger are allowed as baggage only to persons transferring their residence to India after 2 year of continuous stay abroad in terms of baggage rules, 1998 subject to production of required health certificate from country of origin and examination of the said pets by the animal quarantine officer without an import licence issued by
DGFT.

10. What are the norms for the import baggage of deceased person?
Used, bonafide personal and household effects belonging to a deceased person are allowed to be imported free of duty subject to the condition that a certificate from the concerned Indian mission (EMBASSY/HIGH COMMISSION) is produced at the time of clearance regarding the ownerships of the goods by the deceased person.

11 what are the rules and regulations for the import of unaccompanied Baggage?
The passengers can also send their baggage through cargo which is treated as unaccompanied baggage. However, no free allowance is admissible in case of unaccompanied baggage which is chargeable to Customs duty @ 35% ad valorem + 3%Education Cess. Only used personal effects can be imported free of duty.

The unaccompanied baggage should be in the possession abroad of the passenger and shall be dispatched within one month of his arrival in India or within such further period as the Deputy/Assistant Commissioner of Customs may allow.

            The unaccompanied baggage may land in India up to 2 months  before the arrival of the passenger or within such period, not exceeding one year as the, Deputy/Assistant Commissioner of Customs may allow, for reasons to be recorded, if he is satisfied that the passenger was prevented from arriving in INDIA, within the period of 2 months due to circumstances beyond his control, such as sudden illness of the passenger or member of his family or natural calamities or disturbed  conditions or disruption of the transport or travel arrangements in the country or countries concerned on any other reasons, which necessitated a charge in the travel schedule of the passenger.

12. WHAT IS DETAINED BAGGAGE?
A passenger may request the Customs to detain his baggage either for re export at the time of his departure from India or for clearance subsequently on payment of duty. The detained baggage would be examined and full details will be inventoried. Such baggages are kept in the custody of the customs.

13. What am I supposed to do in the case of MISHANDLED Baggage?
In case the baggage has been lost or mishandled by the Airlines, a simplified procedure is in place for clearance of such baggage which allows the passenger to have delivery of his baggage at his door step by the airlines.

There is no need to handover the passport or the keys of the baggage to the airlines. The passenger has to first file a property irregularity report (PIR) with the airlines for the missing baggage. At the same time he has to file a declaration indicating contents in the missing baggage. The passenger is required to obtain a certificate to that effect from the airlines and get in countersigned by Customs indicating specifically the unutilized portion of the free allowance. This would enable the passenger to the avail the unutilized portion of the duty free allowance when his baggage is delivered by the airlines. Finally, the passenger is required to submit all these documents with the concerned airlines for clearance and delivery of goods on his behalf.

  
The examination of the mishandled baggage would be carried out in the presence of the passenger.

Finally if you want to establish yourself with your family with a permanent resident visa without any obligation in countries like UK, USA, Canada, Australia and Europe, we have an option for you.

Best Wishes for the Day;
VISHAL SHAH
CEO - OM Group of Companies

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