What you need to know

Custom Rules And Regulations In India


  • Original passport (copy of Passport duly certified is accepted for diplomats)li>
  • Valued list of articles with date of purchase
  • Baggage customs declaration signed by owner of the goods
  • Packing list
  • List of electronic items
  • Authority letters (diplomats / non-diplomats, refer to agents for more information)
  • Duty-free exemption certificate issued by diplomatic organization in India
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) / sea waybill / copy of air waybill (AWB)
  • Original residence permit (foreigners)
  • Valid visa / PIO card for foreign nationals / Overseas Citizen of India card
  • Employment letter / transfer letter / assignment letters

Custom Regulations - India

  • Used household goods and personal effects are duty-free for foreign nationals and Indians transferring residence to India provided:
    • The goods have been owned and used for a minimum of one year prior to importation
    • Indian Citizens have resided outside the country for two years and intend on staying in India for a year
  • Foreign nationals produce a visa valid for one year
  • All shipments 100% inspected
  • Sea shipments must be shipped within 30 days of customers arrival and air shipments within 15 days of shippers arrival.

Specific Information

  • The packing list must be stamped by the Consulate / the Embassy for diplomatic shipments.
  • The owner of the goods must be present for Customs clearance.
  • All shipments are subject to Customs examination unless a diplomatic shipment
  • All containers (except diplomat) are offloaded at the point of entry (POE) / (TOE) and reloaded into vans.
  • Foreign nationals must possess a visa valid for 1 year.
  • Indian nationals must have lived abroad for at least 2 years preceding transfer to India and intend to reside in India for a period of at least 1 year.
  • Owner of the goods must have not must not have visited India for more than 180 days in the receding 2 years.
  • Air shipments must be dispatched from the origin airport within 15 days after the arrival of the owner of the goods in India.
  • Sea shipments must be dispatched from the origin seaport within 1 month after the arrival of the owner of the goods in India.
  • Shipments may arrive at the India airport / seaport 2 months prior to arrival of the owner of the goods; however, the shipment will be subject to demurrage or detention as applicable.
  • Electronic items should be loaded in the front (opening side) of the container or lift-van
  • A list of electronic items should be provided on a separate sheet.


  • Large quantities of cosmetics, toiletries, food, etc.
  • Tobacco and alcohol products (alcoholic products attract duties over 200%)
  • Electronic equipment and appliances (only one of each is allowed)
  • New items and consumables
  • Professional equipment may be imported duty-free with evidence/certificates proving qualifications of profession to Customs
  • Manufacturers cartons; should not be used for shipping it is recommended that goods be re-packed and tags and brochures (for new items) not be put in the cartons
  • Gold or silver in any form other than ornaments


  • Weapons, firearms and ammunition (unless licensed in advance)
  • Beef and beef products
  • Narcotics, non-branded drugs and psychotropic substances
  • Obscene literature, photographs or films
  • Politically subversive literature


  • Original passport
  • Original manufacturer’s invoice
  • Import license (unless coming to India on a Transfer of Residence)
  • Insurance policy
  • Certificate of title / registration
  • OBL
  • Duty exemption certificate (diplomats)

Specific Information

  • The import of motor vehicles is a detailed, conditional and complicated procedure and is not recommended
  • Duties are generally higher than 200% of the value assessed by customs
  • Diplomatic motor vehicles are allowed to be imported free of duty if covered by a duty exemption certificate issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, subject to the Ministry approval.
  • Individuals can bring (1) used imported car only if coming to India on ToR
  • Motor vehicle must be in passengers ownership and possession for minimum 1 year prior to importation into India
  • Only right-hand drive vehicles are allowed to be imported (excluding diplomats)
  • Only cards that meet Euro III pollution norms are allowed (must have manufacturer’s certificate)
  • Used vehicles can only be imported through the Customs port at Mumbai.


Documents Required

  • Vaccination record
  • Veterinary health certificate
  • Advance NOC from the Animal Quarantine department in India

Specific Information

  • Only one cat, dog or parrot may be imported by the passenger who is coming to India on Transfer or Residence


  • All used Household Goods (more than 1 year old) are duty-free
    • One laptop and computer
    • Refrigerator upto 300 ltrs
    • Washing Machine
    • Cooking rage
    • VCR/VCD
  • The following items are dutiable at concessional rate 15% (new or used) on first unit
  • The concessional duty is applicable to TR (min 2 yrs stay ) outside India
  • Duplicate items or items in sums of excess of Rs. 150,000 (Rs. 500,000 in Delhi and Mumbai) are duties of approximately 36.01 to 61%.
  • Import of foodstuffs / edibles varies between different cities throughout India. Foreign nationals may be allowed import of foodstuff up to Rs. 1,00,000 in a year.
  • It is advisable to check with the respective destination agent and then include in the shipment.
  • Plasma/LCD/LED TVs of similar technology are dutiable at 38.5% duty whether used or new.