In India, Baggage rule depends on the country of your residence, period of stay in abroad and duration of stay in the home country (India).
Baggage rule as explained below is applicable to following types of persons;
- A person holding Indian passport and residing in India has traveled abroad for a short visit
- Foreign citizen holding a passport of a foreign country but staying in India
Baggage rule as specified depends on the duration of stay in abroad, the country to which he/she traveled and the age of the passenger.
To understand baggage rule we have to first know the different between accompanied baggage and unaccompanied baggage.
Meaning of the term baggage
The term baggage has not been defined in Indian law. But is includes followings;
- Bona fide baggage (articles in use of passengers or crew for specified period and gifts within the limit as prescribed in the act)
- All dutiable goods imported by passenger or any member of a crew
- Unaccompanied baggage (baggage despatched prior to travel or after travel within the specified period)
But baggage does not include;
- Motor vehicle
- Alcoholic drinks
- Goods imported through courier
- Article imported under an import license
General free allowance will not be applicable for unaccompanied baggage.
Returning from countries other than Nepal, Bhutan, china or Myanmar
Returning to India other than by land route
All used articles of personal wear and personal use of passengers for daily necessaries is fully exempted.
In addition to the personal effects as specified above, a passenger of 10 or more years age is allowed general free allowance of Rs. 35, 000 if such passenger is being an Indian resident returning from countries other than followings;
Persons travelling from Hong Kong are eligible for general free allowance of Rs. 35, 000 as it’s separate from china and has a separate custom territory.
In the above case if the passenger is returning back to India after a stay of 3 days or less then instead of general free allowance of Rs.35, 000 he / she will be eligible for Rs. 15, 000.
If the passenger is up to 10 years of age then instead of getting Rs. 35, 000 as general free allowance he/she will be eligible for Rs. 15, 000. If the stay is 3 days or less then instead of getting Rs. 15, 000 he / she will be eligible for Rs. 3, 000.
In addition to the above free allowance a passenger of the age of 18 years and above is also allowed to carry a laptop computer with him.
Tabular form of above provisions
|Free allowance for bona fide baggage||
Age of the passenger
10 years and above
Below 10 years
|Used articles of personal wear and articles in personal use of passengers for daily necessaries||Fully exempt||Fully Exempt|
|General free Allowance in addition to above personal use|
|1||If stay in abroad is 3 days or less||Rs. 15, 000||Rs. 3, 000|
|2||If stays abroad is above 3 days||Rs. 35, 000||Rs. 15, 000|
The general free allowance cannot be pooled with allowance of other passengers.
A person while travelling back to India can import back goods like camera, computer, jewellery that he has taken while travelling from India if such passenger has obtained export certificate from the authorities while taking these goods abroad.
Passenger returning by land route to India
If the passengers are returning from countries other than Nepal, Bhutan, china or Myanmar by land route then in addition to the used articles of personal wear and articles of personal use for daily necessaries he / she is eligible for general free allowance of Rs. 6, 000. If the passenger’s age is up to 10 years then he / she will be eligible for Rs. 1, 500 general free allowances.
Passengers returning from Nepal, Bhutan, china or Myanmar
Passenger returning other than by land route
A passenger who is an Indian resident or foreign citizen residing in India of age 10 years or more will be eligible for general free allowance of Rs. 6, 000 if he/she is returning from Nepal, Bhutan, china or Myanmar after stay of more than 3 days by route other than land route. There will be no duty on goods for personal use.
If such passenger of age up to 10 years returning from Nepal, Bhutan, china or Myanmar after stay of more than 3 days then he/she is eligible for a general free allowance of Rs. 1, 500 in addition to the goods for personal use.
Passenger returning by land route
Passengers returning by land route will not be eligible for any general free allowance irrespective of his stay. But he/she is allowed to carry used articles of personal wear and articles in personal use for daily necessities.
Whereas, if the passenger of age above 10 years is returning from Pakistan by land route then he/she will be eligible for a general free allowance of Rs. 6, 000. Rs, 6, 000 will be reduced to Rs. 1, 500 if the passenger is up to 10 years of age.
Following items cannot be carried as general free allowance
Exemption of general free allowance will not be allowed to following items;
- Fire arms;
- Cartridge of fire arms exceeding 50
- Cigarettes exceeding 200 or cigars exceeding 50 or tobacco exceeding 250 gms
- Alcoholic liquors or wines in excess of 2 litters
- Gold or silver in any form other than ornaments
The above general free allowance will not be allowed for crew members of vessel or aircraft. These peoples can bring gifts for their family members or for personal use or family use up to an amount of Rs. 1, 500.
Custom duty will be levied when the total value of the goods exceed the duty free allowance. It will be charged on the excess amount over the duty free allowance.
Passenger in abroad for more than 1 year can import jewellery free of duty up to Rs. 10, 000 in case of gentleman passenger and Rs. 20, 000 in case of lady passenger.
Indian Baggage rules for persons returning to India
In addition to the personal effects and general free allowance, an Indian professional who is returning from to India after engaged in his/her profession abroad for 3 months is allowed to import following goods as duty free. This is the additional allowance allowed to such professional in addition to the other allowances that are allowed to an Indian resident who is coming back after his short visit to abroad.
- Used household articles up to Rs. 12, 000
- Personal equipments up to Rs. 20, 000 (if the professional is in abroad for over 6 months then such allowance will be exempted up to Rs. 40, 000)
Following professionals will be eligible for this additional benefit of bringing professional equipments along with them;
These rules are not applicable to a person who is transferring his residence or a tourist. To know more on this please read following articles;