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India hikes duty free allowance: Expats & Tourists

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Good News: Duty free allowance hiked by 28.5%; amount of Indian currency that may be carried up by 150%

In a move that is bound to please 30 million non-resident Indians (NRIs), the Indian government has announced an increase in the duty free allowance for expats, Indian nationals returning from a trip abroad, as well as foreigners entering the country.

The duty free allowance for NRIs, PIOs (persons of Indian origin), and foreigners coming from any country (other than China, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar) has been increased to goods worth INR 45,000/-. This limit, which earlier stood at INR 35,000/-, has gone up by INR 10,000/-, or 28.57 per cent.

In addition, according to the new Customs declaration forms, the limit on Indian currency that passengers entering India can now carry without having to declare it has increased from INR 10,000/- to INR 25,000/-, an increase of INR 15,000/-, or Protected content cent.

This is according to the Customs Baggage Declaration (Amendment) Regulations, Protected content , notified on Tuesday by the Indian Finance Ministry.

The customs declaration forms also have an extra field now that mandates that passengers declare any LCD, LED or Plasma TV sets being brought by them into the country.

In the latest overhaul of the allowances now, new rules have also slashed the duty free allowance of cigarettes to Protected content (from the earlier Protected content , 25 cigars (earlier Protected content 150gm (earlier 250gm) of tobacco that can be brought in by passengers.

The forms already include fields for declaring gold, jewellery and bullion (over the allowed limit), satphones, foreign currency exceeding $ 10,000, and other dutiable and/or prohibited items.

As per the recently increased gold allowance, men can carry gold worth INR 50,000/-, while women have double the allowance. At today’s gold rate, that works out to about 20.5 grams for men and 41gm for women.

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