Check before you proceed:
1. What is your free allowance and the value of dutiable goods you are carrying?
Click here for rules regarding free allowance.
2. Whether you have filled the Customs declaration slip [part of Arrival Disembarkation Card].
Click here for guidelines to fill the Customs slip.
For the purpose of Customs clearance of arriving passengers, a two channel system has been adopted
I. GREEN CHANNEL for passengers not having any dutiable goods.
II. RED CHANNEL for passengers having dutiable goods.
If you need to declare goods, or if you are not sure whether to declare or not, you must report at one of the RED CHANNEL counters. If the value of dutiable goods you possess is less than your admissible free allowance, you are not carrying any prohibited / restricted item and have nothing to declare you can walk through the GREEN CHANNEL. Customs Officer at the Customs gate shall receive the Customs declaration slip from you.
A few passengers are stopped at the Exit Gate and quizzed by the Customs officers and if required diverted for X ray screening of their baggage. This is a routine practice but only a few passengers are selected for the screening based upon front end and back end profiling and also random selection. Some of the passengers may also be asked to get their baggage examined. No doubt after a long flight and jet lag if you have to undergo such enforcement measures it is inconvenient, we request you to cooperate with us for the security and progress of the nation. In case you have anything to declare or pay duty please report to any of the RED CHANNEL COUNTERS. Customs duty on baggage is presently 35% of the value of the goods (beyond your duty free allowance) + EDUCATION CESS OF 3%, total working out to be 36.05% of the value of the goods (beyond your duty free allowance).
Payment of duties: Duty so charged is to be deposited at the Bank counters in the Arrival Hall. State Bank of India operates their counter at the arrival hall and collects customs duties. Customs directly doesn't collect any dues.
Your walking through the Green Channel is accepted as a declaration that you don't possess any prohibited or restricted item and that you don't have goods more than your admissible free allowance. Violation of the sanctity of the Green channel shall invite heavy penalty.
Important Facts regarding Customs:
The term Prohibited Goods has been defined in sub-section 33 of Section 2 of the Customs Act as meaning any goods the import or export of which is subject to any prohibition under the Customs Act or any other law for the time being in force. Import and export of some specified goods may be restricted/ prohibited under other laws such as Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act, Foreign Trade Policy Environment Protection Act, Wild Life Act, Indian Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, Arms Act, etc. Prohibition under those acts will also apply to the penal provisions of the Customs Act, rendering such goods liable to confiscation under section 111(d) of the Customs Act (for import) and 113 (d) of the Customs Act (for export).
Some of the prohibitions and restrictions both for imports and exports are listed below:-
Pornographic and obscene materials.
Maps and literature where Indian external boundaries have been shown incorrectly.
Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
Counterfeit goods and goods violating any of the legally enforceable intellectual property right.
Chemicals mentioned in Schedule 1 to the Chemical Weapons Convention of U.N. 1993.
Wild life products
Specified Live birds and animals
Wild animals, their parts and products
Exotic birds except a few specified ones
Beef, tallow, fat/ oil of animal origin.
Telephone and Telephony equipments of restricted frequencies.
Arms and ammunition.
Plants and their produce, Seeds.
Medicines and drugs
Animals such as Camel, Horses, Cattle etc.
Semi processed hides and skins.
Silk worms, silk worm seeds and cocoons.
Family Planning Devices (NOC from Ministry of Health).
Vintage products, replicas of antiques or weapons.
Sand and soil.
Whole human blood plasma and certain products derived from human blood.
Sandal-wood (except handicraft products & oil) In addition, foreign currencies in excess of permissible limits, certain items of edible consumption in excess of bona fide personal use are not allowed to be exported.
Whenever planning to bring or take any unusual item please enquire about its permissibility for export or import before undertaking the journey. Its a smart move to do so from ports, both exit and destination so that to ensure that you are inconformity with laws of both countries
The import of pets (dog and cat only) up to two numbers per passenger is allowed at one time subject to the production of the required health certificate from the country of origin and examination of the said pets by the concerned Quarantine Officer. In such cases, the passengers are not required to produce the import licenses or import sanitary permits. Imports of pets over and above this quantity shall be allowed only against an Import sanitary permit issued by the department of animal husbandry and dairying or against an import licence issued by the DGFT.
Any person can bring into India, foreign exchange/currency without any limit. However, declaration of foreign exchange/currency is required to be made in the prescribed Currency Declaration Form (CDF) in the following cases:- a. Where the value of foreign currency notes exceeds US$ 5000/- or equivalent
b. Where the aggregate value of foreign exchange (in the form of currency notes, bank notes, travellers cheques etc.) exceeds US$ 10,000/- or its equivalent.
Currency Declaration: In the arrival hall at Anna international AirPort, Chennai, there is a specific counter (Counter No 3&4) for declaration of foreign currency. The Customs Officer issues a certificate in the form of Currency Declaration Form (CDF) in prescribed Performa after verifying the currency notes, traveller�s cheques etc. Passenger declaring currency has to sign in the Register in acknowledgement of receiving the CDF.
Import of Currency to or from Nepal and Bhutan:
A person may- 1. bring into India from Nepal or Bhutan, currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes (other than notes of denominations of above Rs. 100 in either case);
2. bring into India from Nepal or Bhutan, currency notes being the currency of Nepal or Bhutan.
The 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 not exceeding Rs. 7500 is allowed.
An Indian passenger who has been residing abroad for over one year is allowed to bring jewellery, free of duty in his bonafide baggage upto an aggregate value of Rs. 10,000/- (in the case of a male passenger) or Rs.20, 000/- (in the case of a lady passenger). The jewellery which is in addition to the jewellery otherwise allowed without payment of duty (under the Baggage Rules) is liable to payment of duty under the scheme for import of gold.� The passenger coming with the gold / silver should report at the Red Channel(Counter No 9&10) and make his declaration there. The Customs Officer at the said counter would take the oral declaration from the passenger and there after weigh the same. If the passenger is an eligible passenger entry about the same would be made in the Gold/ Silver Register maintained at the counter. There after the duty at applicable rate is charged from the passenger in convertible foreign currency.
Import of Gold as Baggage:
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.
a. The duty shall be paid in convertible foreign currency.
b. The weight of gold (including ornaments) should not exceed 10 kgs. Per passenger.
c. The passenger should not have brought gold or other ornaments during any of his visits (short visits) in the last six months i.e. he has not availed of the exemption under this scheme, at the time of short visits.
d. Ornaments studded with stones and pearls are not allowed to be imported.
e. 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.
f. 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 clearance.
Effective Rate of Duty for Gold imported by Passengers:
Description of Goods
Gold bars, other than tola bars, bearing manufacturer�s or refiner�s engraved serial number and weight expressed in metric units and gold coins.
Rs.300 per Gram
Gold in any form other than at Sl.No. 1 above including tola bars and ornaments, but excluding ornaments studded with stones or pearls
Rs.750 per Gram
Who can import silver as baggage?
- Any passenger of Indian origin (even if a foreign national).
- Any passenger holding a valid passport issued under the Passport Act, 1967.
The weight of silver (including ornaments) should not exceed the quantity of 100 kgs. per passenger.
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 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.
The duty at the rate of Rs.1500 per kg is paid by the passenger in convertible foreign currency.
Ornaments studded with stones and pearls will not be allowed to be imported under the scheme.
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.
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 (i) and (iii). 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 silver from the Customs bonded warehouse and pay the duty before clearance.
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 after a minimum period of one year stay abroad , one firearm of permissible bore can be allowed to be imported subject to the conditions that:
The same was in possession and use abroad by the passenger for a minimum period of one year and also subject to the condition that such firearm, after clearance, shall not be sold, loaned, transferred or otherwise parted with, for consideration or otherwise, during the lifetime of such person;
The passenger has a valid arms licence from the local (Indian) authorities;
The duties as applicable shall be paid.
A person who is transferring his residence to India shall be allowed clearance free of duty, in addition to allowances applicable to Indian residents or foreigners residing in India or to passengers returning from Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar or China, other than by land route articles in bonafide baggage to the extent and subject to conditions as mentioned below :
1. Fire arms.
2. Cartridges of fire arms exceeding 50.
3. Cigarettes exceeding 200 or cigars exceeding 50 or tobacco exceeding 250 gms.
4. Alcoholic liquor or wines in excess of 2 litres.
5. Gold or silver, in any form, other than ornaments.
1. Colour Television or Monochrome Television.
2. Digital Video Disc Player.
3. Video Home Theatre System.
4. Dish Washer.
5. Music System.
6. Air Conditioner.
7. Domestic refrigerators of capacity above 300 litres or its equivalent .
8. Deep Freezer.
9. Microwave Oven.
10. Video camera or the combination of any such video camera with one or more of the following goods, namely:-
(a) Television Receiver;
(b) Sound recording or reproducing apparatus;
(c) Video reproducing apparatus.
11. Word Processing Machine.
12. Fax Machine.
13. Portable Photocopying Machine.
16. Cinematographic films of 35 mm and above.
17. Gold or Silver , in any form , other than ornaments.
1. Video Cassette Recorder or Video Cassette Player or Video Television Receiver or Video Cassette Disk Player.
2. Washing Machine.
3. Electrical or Liquefied Petroleum Gas Cooking Range
4. Personal Computer( Desktop Computer)
5. Laptop Computer( Notebook Computer)
6. Domestic Refrigerators of capacity up to 300 litres or its equivalent.
II. Rate of duty applicable on transfer of residence :-
Concessional rate of duty is applicable to the following categories of persons transferring their residence to India:
(a) any person holding a valid passport under the passport act 1967 and returning to India after having stayed abroad for atleast 365 days during the two years immediately preceding the date of arrival in India.
(b) any person on bonafide transfer of residence to India Such persons shall be allowed (i) clearance of items listed in
whether old or new, at a concessional rate of duty of 15% ad valorem + 2% educational cess
(ii) clearance of items listed in
Annexure-III free of duty
Subject to the conditions that In case of (a) above :
i) Such person has been working abroad and is returning to India on termination of such work after having stayed abroad for at least 365 days during the two years immediately preceding the date of arrival in India;
ii) Such person affirms by a declaration that the goods have been in his possession abroad or, the goods are purchased by such person at the time of his arrival, but before clearance from customs, from the duty free shop located in the arrival hall of the International airports;
iii) The goods (other than those purchased from the duty free shops at the time of arrival of such passenger) not accompanying such passenger were shipped or dispatched or arrived within the time limits specified in the Baggage Rules, 1998; and
iv) in respect of such goods not more than one unit shall be permissible to such person and the total aggregate of value of such goods including other goods imported free of duty by him under Rule 5 of the Baggage Rules, 1998, shall not exceed rupees seventy five thousand. In case of (b) above :
i) Such person has been residing abroad for a minimum period of two years immediately preceding the transfer of residence and has not availed this concession in the preceding three years;
ii) Such persons affirms by a declaration that the goods have been in his possession abroad or, the goods are purchased by such person at the time of his arrival, but before clearance from customs, from the duty free shop located in the arrival hall of the International airport;
iii) The goods (other than those purchased from the duty free shops at the time of arrival of such passenger) not accompanying such passenger were shipped or dispatched or arrived within the time limits specified in the Baggage Rules, 1998;
iv) Not more than one unit of each item of such goods shall be permissible per family and the person claiming the benefit shall affirm by a declaration that no other member of the family had availed of or would avail of such benefit in respect of that item; and
v) The total aggregate value of such goods shall not exceed rupees five lakhs.
Note: Transfer of residence entitlements is applicable to returning Indians as well as Foreigners transferring their residence to India subject to the fulfillment of prescribed eligibility conditions.
Mishandled baggage comprises such goods as that don't come along with the passenger due to logistical problems. These may arrive either before the passenger (usually rare) or after the passenger has arrived. There are a few formalities required to be completed by the passenger in event of his baggage getting mishandled. A Property Irregularity Report (PIR) needs to be filed with the concerned airlines. Airlines staff is available at the Airport Assistance Counter near the belts. The details of the baggage such as baggage description, contents etc., have to be provided to the airline staff for filling the PIR form.
After lodging the PIR one has to get the Customs endorsement stamp on the PIR from Customs Counter No (1&2). The Customs Officer shall enquire about the contents of the baggage one is clearing at the time and calculate the free allowance admissible and utilised. The same shall be endorsed on the PIR by him. This is important as if you have some dutiable item in the mishandled baggage you can adjust it with your unavailed allowance when clearing it. Remember to get the Customs endorsement stamp, else all your free allowance shall be deemed to have been availed.
Some airlines facilitate passengers by clearing the mishandled baggage on their behalf and delivering it at their place. If you want your airlines to do the same please put in a request to the airlines staff. You shall be required to fill a Customs Form for clearance of mishandled baggage and also authorise the concerned airlines to clear your baggage. The passenger may also leave the goods or lock combination with the airlines representative in case Customs wish to open the baggage for examination. However, this is discretionary and if the passenger does not wish to leave the keys or the lock combination, he may have to come physically in situations where Customs insist on physical examination.
Mishandled baggagewill be cleared at the time of arrival or may be deposited in the warehouse against a document called the AOC card. The airlines will be intimating the arrival of your mishandled baggage. Then you should approach airlines office with your PIR. They shall coordinate with security and other agencies to enable you to go inside the Terminal and handover the AOC card to you. The AOC card, PIR and passport are needed to be produced to the Customs officer at Customs Counter No 1. Your baggage is traced by the AOC staff. It is X-ray examined, your declaration taken and if required, physical examination is conducted before giving clearance for the baggage. If any duty is chargeable the same is to be paid before clearance of the baggage.
The passenger has the option of completing these formalities through an authorised person to whom he can give the letter of authorization on a bond paper. The letter of authorization should clearly mention that the authorised person will have the power to represent the passenger in all matters concerning Customs and to collect the baggage on his behalf. This authorised person should bring the PIR, passport of the passenger and his own identity proof along with him.
The goods are detained from the passenger and placed with the warehouse, for reasons such as
- payment of duty
- For re-export
The goods are sealed in the presence of the passenger and are deposited in Customs Warehouse. A Detention Receipt is given to the passenger subsequent to detention. The passenger can approach Customs for the clearance of detained goods either himself or through his authorised representative. The goods can be got cleared between 10 AM and 6 PM on normal working days, Mondays to Fridays, excluding holidays. Goods meant for re-export can be cleared round the clock.
Laptop Computer (notebook computer): Exemption from Customs duty when imported by a passenger of 18 years or above One laptop computer (notebook computer) falling under tariff item 98030000 of the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 when imported into India by a passenger of the age of I 8 years or above (other than member of crew) is exempted from whole of the customs duty.
Clearance of the remains/ body of deceased person:
Used bona fide personal and household effects belonging to a deceased person are exempt from the whole of the duty of customs and the additional duty leviable thereon, when imported into India, provided a certificate from the Indian Mission concerned about the ownership of the goods by the deceased is produced at the time of clearance of the goods through customs station. However there are a few formalities to be completed before the remains/ body of a deceased person is released. The passport of the deceased person needs to be cancelled by the Immigration authorities and clearance from the Health official is required. Usually the airline coordinates and facilitates the completion of such formalities. Thereafter the IFO (Inward Freight Officer) of Customs posted at the Import shed, Air cargo Complex should be approached to release the body. IFO functions round the clock to facilities such clearance.
Facts to remember:
1. If in doubt contact the customs facilitation counter and enquire before proceeding for the Green Channel.
2. Do not rely on friends, travel agents etc for information. Do check up on the inputs provided by them before undertaking the journey.
3. Declare the contents of your baggage truthfully and completely. Mis-declaration results in quantum increase in the penalty and fine imposed if any contravention is detected.
4. Do not bring in goods for commercial purpose
5. Only two litres of alcohol is allowed in the duty free allowance.
6. Declare currency beyond 5000 US $ or equivalent (if in cash) or total of 10,000 US $ orequivalent
7. Duty Free does not mean no duty shall be chargeable on them. Duty shall be charged on goods beyond your admissible allowance even if purchased from duty free shops.
8. Customs has the authority to conduct examination of your baggage and even a personal search. Your cooperation shall ensure a faster clearance.
9. Narcotics smuggling is a grave offence in India and shall invite imprisonment and possibly even death penalty for the crime.