The Indian government has replaced Baggage Rules 1998 with Baggage Rules 2016, which notes the duty free allowance for international passengers coming to India. The new Baggage Rules 2016, effective April 1, 2016, includes an increase in the duty free baggage allowance, among other changes to item allowances. The main changes to the baggage rules are explained below.
Increase in Baggage Allowance
The baggage allowance an international passenger may now carry when traveling to India is Rs 50,000, increased from the prior allowance of Rs 45,000. The increase is expected to save international passengers customs duty of Rs 1,800. The duty-free allowance for foreigners has been raised to Rs 15,000 to Rs 8,000.
Other Baggage Rules 2016 Changes
According to Baggage Rules 2016, the baggage allowance is now the same for all passengers regardless of age and minimum period of stay. These restrictions previously included in Baggage Rules 1998 have been removed.
Passengers bringing used household items back to India after staying abroad for longer periods are limited in the value of items that may be brought. These allowed values have been changed in Baggage Rules 2016 and are as follows:
- Passengers returning after 3 to 6 months abroad allowed to bring used household items valued up to Rs 60,000.
- Passengers returning after 6 to 12 months abroad allowed to bring used household items valued up to Rs 100,000.
- Passengers returning after 1 to 2 years abroad allowed to bring used household items valued up to Rs 200,000.
- Passengers returning after 2+ years abroad allowed to bring used household items valued up to Rs 500,000.
Baggage Rules 2016 has also doubled the duty-free allowance of cigarettes, cigars, and tobacco. The new allowances are as follows:
- 200 sticks of cigarettes;
- 50 cigars; and
- 250gm of tobacco.
These changes will be effective April 1, 2016.
These are only the main changes to the baggage rules. To read the complete text, visit Indian Customs Baggage Rules 2016. For an updated list of duty free allowances for NRIs coming to India, visit the Duty Free Allowances Guide.