Nothing to declare? Flyers not to fill customs form from tomorrow

Nothing to declare? Flyers not to fill customs form from tomorrow

Nothing to declare? Flyers not to fill customs form from tomorrow

Passengers coming to India and not carrying dutiable goods will not have to fill up customs declaration form from tomorrow.

Flyers carrying prohibited and dutiable goods will only be filling up such declaration form, which was earlier mandatory for all passengers coming to the country.

The move is part of a new and simplified measure announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while presenting the Budget for 2016-17.

All passengers who come to India and have anything to declare or carrying dutiable or prohibited goods need to fill up the 'Indian Customs Declaration Form', as per the new rules which will come into force from tomorrow.

All necessary arrangements have been made to ensure that new customs rules are followed properly, said Sanjay Mangal, Commissioner of Customs at Indira Gandhi International Airport here today.

"We have written to all airlines that they should provide Customs Declaration Form to passengers carrying dutiable goods and that they should fill it up on board flights so that they do not have to stand in queue after deboarding," he told PTI.

Foreigners' duty free allowance has also been increased to Rs 15,000 from the existing limit of Rs 8,000, from April 1.

The duty free allowance of two litres of alcoholic liquor or wines, 125 cigarettes, 50 cigars and 125 gms tobacco for the passengers will continue.

The limit to bring duty-free goods worth Rs 6,000 for passengers of Indian origin and coming from China has been taken away. The duty-free allowance for people coming from Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar has been increased to Rs 15,000, more than two times the limit of Rs 6,000 at present.

The increase in allowance will be applicable for journey by air. Those coming to India from land borders will not be able to get any amount of free allowance, the rules said.

The monetary limit for passengers of Indian origin coming from any foreign destination, excluding Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar, has also been increased. Now such passengers can bring duty free goods worth Rs 50,000 from tomorrow instead of Rs 45,000 at present.

To check gold smuggling, the government has put a cap on gold jewellery being brought by Indian passengers who have been residing abroad for over one year.

As per the new rules, a male passenger can bring gold jewellery of up to 20 gms with a value cap of Rs 50,000 and a woman can carry 40 gms of gold jewellery with a value cap of Rs one lakh. Under existing rules, there is only a monetary limit of Rs 50,000 and Rs one lakh for men and women passenger, respectively.

The Indian Customs Declaration Form has been revised to include drones in the list of prohibited and dutiable goods. It is now mandatory for the passengers to declare it from tomorrow.

Drones are generally imported by government agencies for use by the security personnel for maintenance of law and order as well as for ensuring vigil along the country's boundaries. They are also used for surveillance in Naxal-hit areas.

The customs form currently has fields for declaration of dutiable and prohibited goods, gold jewellery and bullion (over free allowance), satellite phone, foreign currency notes exceeding USD 5,000 or equivalent and Indian currency exceeding Rs 25,000.

The passengers also need to mention about meat, meat products, fish, dairy and poultry products, seeds, plants, fruits, flowers and other planting material in the existing customs form.

Further, they had to report to 'Red Channel' for payment of duty if they carry any such items.

The new rules will also apply to the members of the crew of a vessel or an aircraft and they will be allowed to bring articles like chocolates, cheese, cosmetics and other petty gift items for their personal or family use which shall not exceed the value of Rs 1,500.

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