Starting April 1, 2016, India will be updating their baggage rules in order to simplify and rationalize the duty free allowance for multiple categories of travelers. The primary changes are as follows:
Changes in Baggage Allowance, Age, and Duration of Stay
- Duty free baggage allowance carried by travelers into India will increase from Rs 45,000 to Rs 50,000.
- Duty free allowances for foreigners increased from Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000.
- Aside from the one year period of stay abroad regulation for carriers of gold jewelry and other items already not included in free baggage allowance, there will no longer be restrictions on age and period of stay abroad. Free baggage allowance will be the same for travelers of all ages regardless of their intended period of stay.
Allowance for Used Household Items to Increase
- Those staying abroad for 3-6 months – a value of Rs 60,000 in household items allowed.
- Those staying abroad for 6-12 months – a value of Rs 100,000 in household items allowed.
- Those staying abroad for 1-2 years – a value of Rs 200,000 in household items allowed.
- Those staying abroad for over 2 years – a value of Rs 200,000 in household items allowed.
Changes to Regulations on Customs Declaration Forms
- In order to reduce the amount of ink and paper use, as well as alleviate the amount of hassle associated with traveling, international travelers to India will not need to fill out a customs declaration form if they are not traveling with dutiable goods.
- Drones have been added to the list of dutiable goods that must be declared on the customs declaration forms, as they are seen as a security risk.
Increased Allowance for Gold
- Male travelers returning to India after spending more than a year abroad will be allowed to carry up to a weight of 20 grams with a value cap of Rs 50,000 in their baggage.
- Female travelers returning to India after spending more than a year abroad will be allowed to carry up to a weight of 40 grams with a value cap of Rs 100,000 in their baggage.
Allowance for Cigars, Cigarettes, and Tobacco Products Doubled
- Passengers will be allowed to travel with up to 200 sticks of cigarettes, 50 cigars, and 250 gm of tobacco.
For additional Information on India’s new baggage rules for 2016, travelers are encouraged to check the amended regulations as declared in the Union Budget 2016-2017.