Customs Information

India - All


  • Original passport (minimum 3 years old)
    • If passport is not 3 years old, the previous passport must be available
  • Valued list of articles with date of purchase
  • Baggage customs declaration signed by owner of the goods
  • Packing list
  • List of electronic items - Electrical and Electronic Value declaration (brand, model and serial number of all major appliances must be noted)-(The format will be provided by India offices)
  • Authority letters (diplomats / non-diplomats, refer to agents for more information as the agent at destination will help fill out and provide letter - SAMPLE)
  • 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
  • FRRO (required if shipper is holding foreign passport)
  • Employment letter / transfer letter / assignment letters
  • All consignees holding foreign passport should apply for Residential Permit to avail Transfer of Residence benefit. This is mandated even for Indian citizen holding (PIO) card (See below on the Transfer of Residence)

  • Indian Customs Declaration Form (provided by destination agent in India)


  • The transferee must be in India by the time the transferee's shipment arrives
    • NOTE that some cities require the transferee to be present at the clearance port while other cities do not. Whether the transferee's physical presence is specifically required at the customs port is dependent on the clearance location. Please verify with Clearing Agent.
    • If transferee presence is not required, a signed Declaration of Contents and original passport is still required
  • All import shipments to India need to be properly declared on the packing list. customs needs this information to identify the dutiable items so the correct assessment and tax application can be applied to the shipment. The markings on the boxes must also match the consignee name on the packing list and the Bill of Lading. If this information is not provided, a full examination of the shipment will be required which will extend the clearance period as well as incur additional charges. 
  • 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 are likely to be fully (100%) inspected
  • Sea shipments must be shipped from origin within 30 days of customers arrival in India and air shipments within 15 days of shippers arrival in India.
  • A consignee who is transferring his residence to India shall be allowed clearance of household goods and personal effects free of duty, subject to the below conditions

    • Minimum stay of two years abroad, immediately preceding the date of his arrival on TR,
    • Total stay in India on short visit during the 2 preceding years should not exceed 180 days
    • Has not availed this concession in the preceding three years.
    • Foreign nationals must have a resident permit / business / work / entry visa or a PIO card. 
    • Appointment Letter / assignment letter stating minimum two years stay in India. 
    • The unaccompanied baggage been in the possession of the passenger abroad, the sea shipment should be dispatched within one month of arrival of the shipper in India and the air shipment should dispatched within 15 days of arrival in India. In case of any delay, special approval has to be obtained from Customs.
    • The unaccompanied baggage via air should land in India within 1 month of the arrival of the passenger, in case of any delay, condonation letter have to be produced in front of the Assistant Commissioner of Customs or Deputy Commissioner of Customs, if he is satisfied that the passenger was prevented from arriving in India within the period of two months due to circumstances beyond his control such as sudden illness of the passenger or a member of his family, or natural calamities or disturbed conditions or disruption of the transport or travel arrangements in the country or countries concerned or any other reasons, which necessitated a change in the travel schedule of the passenger, the only he will allow us to clear the shipment.
    Used household & personal effects, including furniture, kitchenware & small kitchen appliances, glassware, carpets, and other normal household items are allowed duty free, only when Transfer of Residence benefit extended, irrespective of their value, provided they have been in owner's possession and used for at least one year. Any new article will be liable for full customs duty approximately at 35% plus 10 %(of 35 %) educational cess (Total 38.5 %)


  • ALL VEHICLES including boats are subject to DUTY and very high taxes
  • Prior to Customs clearance, foreign nationals are required to furnish a bank bond for import trade authorities, stating not to sell the car for a specified period
  • Indians can sell the car immediately upon Customs clearance
  • Indians can import brand new cars up to 1600cc
  • Cars exceeding 1600cc must have been registered in the importers name abroad for at least one year
  • Imports so made shall carry 'No Sale' condition of 2 years.
  • The old/ used vehicle should not be older than 3 years from the date of manufacture.
  • The old / used vehicle registration certificate in the name of the customer must be at least one year old
  • The old / used car should have right hand drive steering and controls.
  • The old / used vehicle should have a speedometer indicating the speed in Kilometers.
  • The old / used vehicle should have photometry of the headlamps to suit 'Keep left' traffic.
  • The old / used vehicle should conform to the provisions of the motor vehicle act, 1988 and the rules made thereunder.
  • At the time of importation of an old / used car the importer would have to submit a certificate issued by a testing agency which the Central Government may notify in this regard to confirm that the vehicle being imported into India has been tested immediately before shipment for export to India and that the vehicle conforms to all the regulations specified in the motor vehicles act 1988 of India.
  • At the time of importation of an old or used car the importer would have to submit a certificate issued by a testing agency which the Central Government may notify in this regard to confirm that the vehicle being imported into India conforms to the original homologation certificate issued at the time of manufacture.
  • On arrival at the Indian port but before clearance the vehicle would have to be submitted for testing by the Vehicle Research and Development Establishment, Ahmednagar or The Ministry of Defense of the Government of India, Pune or Automotive Research Association of India, Pune and such other agencies as may be specified by the Central Government for granting a certificate by that agency as to the compliance of the provisions of the Motor vehicles act 1988
  • The old or used vehicles imported into India should have minimum road worthiness for a period of 5 years from the date of importation into India with assurance for providing service facilities within the country during the 5 year period. For this purpose the importer shall at the time of importation submit a declaration indicating the period of road worthiness in respect of every individual vehicle being imported supported by a certificate issued by any of the testing agencies which the Central Government may notify in this regard

Documents required:

  • Owner's passport indicating two years residence abroad (original)
  • Manufacturer's invoice (original)
  • Customs Clearing Permit/Import License
  • Insurance Policy
  • Auto Registration Certificate
  • Keys
  • List of extras and purchase date


  • Microchip: Each Pet shall be identified by means of a microchip. No other form of identification is acceptable.
  • Rabies Vaccination & Certificate: All pets must have an original Rabies Certificate and this certificate must state the microchip number, the date of inoculation and the validity of the particular vaccination you obtain
  • Vet Health Certificate: This is the standard Health Certificate to be filled out by an accredited Veterinarian at the origin. Must be issued within 10 days of the flight. Health Certificate must state that the pet has no clinical signs of Aujossky’s disease, Distemper, Rabies, Leishmaoiasis, Leptospirosis and Tuberculosis.
  • Annexure I (Dogs) or II (Cats) Certificate (Form can be supplied by Allied Pickfords India) 
  • No Objection Certificate ("NOC"): The No Objection Certificate is a temporary permit issued in India allowing pets to be brought into the country.
  • Only one cat, dog or parrot may be imported at the time of shipment.


  •  If the customer has lived out of the country for a period of two years preceding his return, then he is entitled to the Transfer of Residence facility which means that he will be charged 18% duty for his electrical/electronic items
  • During this two year period he should not have been in India for a total of more than 180 days, If he has exceeded this 180 day period then he is not eligible for the Transfer of Residence facility. This can be waived by the Customs Officer on application provided this exemption has not been claimed in the previous 2 years.
  • If a customer is not entitled for Transfer of Residence facility, then his baggage is cleared under “Visit” and this means that he is charged 38% duty on his electricals/electronics , furniture and kitchenware.
  • The unaccompanied baggage had been in the possession abroad of the passenger, the sea shipment is dispatched within one month of arrival in India and the air shipment is dispatched within 15 days of arrival in India. In case of any delay, special approval has to be obtained from Customs
  • Used household & personal effects, including furniture, kitchenware & small kitchen appliances, glassware, carpets, and other normal household items are allowed duty free, only when Transfer of Residence benefit extended, irrespective of their value, provided they have been in owner's possession and use for at least one year. Any new article will be liable for customs duty at 35% plus 3% educational cess or 36.05%
  • The limit to the value of the complete set of goods imported should not exceed INR 500000. Else the goods are again subject to a full rate of duty.


  • Wine/Alcohol: We strongly Suggest not to include wine or Alcohol in the shipment. This attracts high level of duties and taxes along with penalties also leading to delay in clearance of the shipments. Please contact India office for further information if required.
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Live birds and animals including pets
  • Plants and their produce e.g. fruits, seeds
  • Endangered species of plants and animals, whether live or dead.
  • Any goods for commercial purpose: for profit, gain or commercial usage.
  • Radio transmitters not approved for normal usage
  • Gold and Silver, other than ornaments (for import only)
  • Currency in excess of prescribed limits
  • Telephone and telephony equipment of restricted frequencies
  • Medicines and drugs
  • Certain Animals - Camel, Horses, Cattle
  • Semi processed hides and skins
  • Silk worms, silk worm seeds and cocoons
  • Family Planning Devices (NOC from Ministry of Health Required)
  • Vintage products, replicas of antiques or weapons
  • Sand and soil
  • Whole human blood plasma and certain products derived from human blood
  • Sandal-wood (except handicraft products & oil)


  • All used Household Goods (more than 1 year old) are duty-free
  • All new articles, whether furniture, crockery, etc., are charged a duty of at least 38%.
  • Articles Allowed Duty Free: Video Cassette Recorder or Video Cassette Player or Video Television Receiver or Video Cassette Disk Player; Washing Machine; Electrical or Liquefied Petroleum Gas Cooking Range; Personal Computer (Desktop Computer); Laptop Computer (Notebook Computer); Domestic Refrigerators of capacity up to 300 liters or its equivalent. In respect of such goods, no more than one unit shall be permissible to such person and the total aggregate of value of such goods including other goods imported duty free under rule 5 of the Baggage Rules, 1998, shall not exceed rupees five lakhs (beyond that it is full rate of duty). 
  • Articles allowed at a concessional rate of duty - 16.5% customs duty: Digital Video Disc Player; Video Home Theatre System; Dish Washer; Music System; Air Conditioner; Domestic refrigerators of capacity about 300 liters or its equivalent; Deep Freezer; Microwave Oven; Video camera or the combination of any such video camera (with one or more of the following goods: television receiver, sound recording or reproducing apparatus, video reproducing apparatus); Word Processing Machine; Fax Machine; Portable Photocopying Machine; Cinematographic films of 35mm or above. No more than one unite of each item of such goods shall be permissible per family. The additional will be dutiable at 38.5%. 
  • Articles not allowed free of duty, a rate of GST applicable will be at 18% for household goods:
    • LCD/LED/PLASMA TVs - Duty will be at 35% + 10% (of 35%) educational cess (Total 35.5%)
      • New TVs are also subject to an additional penalty/fine.

    • Any new items including New Furniture
    • Luxurious items
  • If the total value of the above items exceeds RS 150,000,(approximately $4250) or items that exceed the one-piece limit will attract a duty of approximately 62%.


  • Satellite Phones and Drones - Import or Export is prohibited
  • Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
  • Gold or silver, in any form, other than ornaments
  • Pornographic and obscene material
  • Counterfeit and pirated goods and goods infringing any of the legally enforceable intellectual property rights
  • Antiquities
  • Aero models (such as remote-controlled toy helicopters) that operate on high radio bandwidths because of their possible interference with the communication networks of security agencies
  • Indian coins which are covered by the Antique and Art Treasure Act, 1972.
  • Maps and literature where Indian external boundaries have been shown incorrectly, in view of Government of India
  • Chemicals mentioned in Schedule 1 to the Chemical Weapons Convention of U.N. 1993.
  • Wild life products
  • Human skeleton
  • Specified sea-shells
  • Beef, tallow, fat/oil of animal origin
  • Exotic birds except a few specified ones
  • Wild animals, their parts and products
  • Specified Live birds and animals
  • Wild life items like Ivory, horns, etc.