If you have not traveled to India in recent times, and are not aware of the changes in regulations related to Indian Customs and Immigration, the information given below will definitely help you. The new rules took effect on March 1, 2014 and it is a good idea to be aware of these changes before traveling to India. Here is a brief look at the Indian customs and immigration rules, both old and new:
- New rule regarding limit on carrying Indian currency: New Indian Custom rule regarding Indian currency states that passengers cannot carry cash of more than 10,000 in Indian Rupees. Any amount exceeding this limit should be declared to the Indian Customs at the port of entry.
- New immigration form to be filled: The passengers will have to fill a new immigration form that will be different from the perforated strip which used to be a part of immigration card. They will be asked give the passport number and the countries visited in the past 6 days in the form.
- New rules regarding baggage: In addition to the new rules related to declaration of cash and immigration form, there is a new rule for declaration of baggage. The passengers have to declare number of baggage including hand baggage in the immigration form.
- Rule regarding free allowance of gold jewelry for travelers to India: The rule for limit on gold jewelry remains the same. Travelers to India are allowed duty-free carrying of gold for personal effects. Male passengers can carry gold jewelry worth up to Rs. 50,000 and female passengers can carry double the amount of gold in the form of jewelry. Anything above this free allowance has to be declared to the customs in India.
- Cash to be carried in Foreign Exchange to India: The rule for this category also remains the same which states that passengers cannot carry foreign currency notes exceeding US $5000. In addition to cash, the travelers can also carry bank drafts, checks etc. But the total value of foreign exchange including currency notes, bank drafts etc cannot exceed $10,000. Any amount above this limit has to be declared to the Indian Customs.
- Rule of carrying Indian Rupee to India: Import of Indian Rupee is prohibited. Non-Resident Indians can carry the money in foreign exchange.
Remember, any amount of cash, foreign currency, and gold jewelry or bullion that exceeds the aforementioned maximum limits should be declared and will require you to go through the Red Channel at the port of entry. Failure to declare dutiable items may result in hefty fines or prosecution.