How much Gold can I carry to India?
Yesterday One of my friend who lives in Dubai asked me that how much duty-free gold jewellery can be carried to India hassle free. To answer her question I was about to refer her to CBEC Site for Baggage Rules but before that I gave a glance to see the information for my knowledge also. I was Shocked that the page of Baggage Rules is not update from the last 6 years, the last update was in year 2006.
CBEC still shows the limit of Rs.10,000 for a men and Rs.20,000 for a women of duty-free allowance of gold, but this limit has been changed in the last budget. Let me give you brief limits of allowance of duty free gold ornaments and limitation of Gold (other than ornaments) that could be carried in India.
Before diving into the details, Rules to Remember:
- There is no customs duty payable in India on Jewellery purchased in India.
- Customs duties are charged on items that are imported into the country not if you are taking the item out of the country.
NRIs concern about traveling with gold to India
Most law abiding PIOs traveling to India with their families who have read various news reports of problems regarding customs duty on gold brought in by passengers, are naturally concerned. While such reports do cause concern for those intending to travel to India with gold jewellery, there are some things that NRIs can do to minimize problems when taking gold jewellery to India.
- There are no restrictions on how much jewellery a person of Indian origin (NRI, PIO) can take to India when they visit friends and family in India. As long as such Jewellery is beyond the duty free allowance is taken back by the incoming passenger when they return.
- Those who have receipts, appraisal with photographs and jewellery is identifiable, can declare the jewellery items on arrival in India with the customs authorities and get the items endorsed on their passports. This ensures that they will take the items back when they leave India.
- If jewellery was originally purchased from India and receipts are available, this might also help. The primary purpose of customs officers in India regards to gold, is to stop the illegal importation of gold. Most customs officers are not simply on the lookout for NRIs coming for a short visit and bringing in a reasonable amount of jewellery to wear during their stay in India. Of course there may be some overzealous officers but luckily they are in the minority. Most gold busts that one hears about in India at customs are usually gold in solid form, not jewellery. A person caught with 50 gold chains! is definitely not a reasonable amount of jewellery being taken in for personal use, but gold smuggling.
Tips when taking Jewellery in or out of India
Previously the duty free limit for Jewelry taken into India by a male passenger was Rupees 10,000 and for a female passenger Rupees 20,000. As per Government of India, Ministry of Finance Notification No. 25/2013-Customs (N.T.) Dated March 1st 2013. This has been increased to Rs.50,000 for men and to Rs.1,00,000 for female passengers. To view the government notification check http://www.indiantaxupdates.com/downloads/Customs_Notification_Gold.pdf
While there may be no limit on the amount of jewellery you can take when visiting, take only what you really need. A passenger wearing a large amount of jewellery and walking out from the green channel is naturally going to make customs officials think and check such passengers.
If you are taking gold in any other form than jewelry, declare it. The duty free allowance in India is for gold jewellery and NOT for gold biscuits etc.
Upto 10 Kg of Gold can be imported into India by paying appropriate duty as mentioned below:
Rate of Duty:
|S. No||Description of Goods||Rate|
|1||Gold bars, other than tola bars, bearing manufacturer ’s or refiner ’s engraved serial number and weight expressed in metric units and gold coins||4% Advalorem + 3% Cess|
|2||Gold in any form other than at Sl.No. above including tola bars and ornaments, but excluding ornaments studded with stones or pearls||10% Advalorem + 3% Cess|
Those who are living in India, when traveling abroad should get an export certificate from the customs when they leave India, so that they can they are not charged duty on the same jewelry when they return to India.
Normally most NRI families will not face harassment by customs at Indian airports if they simply have a reasonable amount of jewellery to use in India during their visit. Problems do occur when passengers try and hide items and get caught.
If a passenger is worried about taking jewelry, they can either simply not take it, or declare the items if they are over the duty free limit with the explanation that they would take the items back on departure. In the event the items are not identifiable and cannot be documented. The worst thing that can happen is that the jewellery items will be held by customs, a receipt given to the passenger and they can take it back when they leave India.
For those who simply carry a lot of gold/jewellery and knowingly fail to declare the items on arrival, their gold/jewellery items can be confiscated and they can face fines and prosecution under the customs laws of India.