« Bread And Circuses | Main | Hazel's Story »

Open Features: "Anything To Declare?"

"Professionals returning to India have special concessions under the Customs rules. Used household articles that have been in his possession for at least six months abroad can be brought in custom free up to a value of Rs 75,000,'' writes Kul Bhushan.

"OH NO! They lost my suitcase!" muttered Harry Joshi as the last of the bags were taken away from the conveyor belt. He took his hand luggage to the airline counter and reported his predicament. Hariprasad or Harry abroad,was then required to obtain a 'Landing Certificate' from the Customs Officer so that he could 'clear' his baggage when it eventually arrived - if at all!

This was a vital document for him as he had 'Unaccompanied Baggage' arriving as well now that he was returning to India after his two-year contract was over in the USA. First, it would help him to clear his suitcase through the Customs when the airline found it and brought it in. Second, it would be essential to clear his 'Unaccompanied Baggage' when it arrived by another flight and he goes to the Cargo Terminal to clear it through Customs.

Professionals returning to India have special concessions under the Customs rules. Used household articles that have been in his possession for at least six months abroad can be brought in custom free up to a value of Rs 75,000. These are kitchen utensils and appliances, tableware, bed linen and household goods such as a TV set, stereo and so on. Gold and jewellery is allowed duty free up to a value of Rs 10,000 for men and Rs 20,000 for women.

The Customs have two sets of rules for returning Indians who have worked abroad for at least a year- one is Baggage Rules and the second is 'Transfer of Residence or T/R'. Under T/R, Harry can also import a motorcar, if he desired. The Customs Department has a long list of items one can bring back and after using the duty free allowance have a lower rate of duty for any excess value of goods brought in. Clearing your 'Unaccompanied Baggage' by yourself can be very trying in the crowded and noisy Cargo Terminal at any of the major airports in India as thousands of Cargo Agents, passengers and van drivers. It takes the better part of at least two days to clear one's baggage and many NRIs and returning Indians have found it to be a harrowing experience.

A practical solution is to hire the services of a reputable Clearing Agent and give him your passport(s), Landing Certificate, Airway Bill for booking the luggage and a letter authorizing him to clear your belongings on your behalf.

Categories

Creative Commons License
This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.