Foreign travel- customs rules-2011

Many Indians are not aware of customs rules on foreign travel . In order to help them, the following short glimpse of rules are given. When we are carrying jewellary or other expensive items abroad, it is better to declare at the time of departure and obtain an export certificate from customs office at airport. This will help not to pay custom duty on them when return. Laptop is allowed item apart from personal baggage.

  1.  For foreign travel on vacation, we can carry only up to $10000 (convert it into Indian rupees which will be around Rs.4.60 lakhs).
  2. For business trip to foreign nations, we can take up to $25000 ( up to Rs.11.50 lakhs).
  3. The required foreign currency whether dollar or Euro etc. can be purchased 60 days before going on the trip and this can be purchased from banks, money changers etc. At airport also, we can purchase currencies but the charges will be high as compared to other modes.
  4. We can carry foreign currency equivalent upto $3000(nearly 1.40 lakhs). The rest of the money can be in the form of Traveller’s cheque (TC) or prepaid travel cards. Travel cards are available at banks only whereas TC can be obtained from money changers and travel operators etc. We can purchase TC upto Rs.50000 in cash across any counter . But beyond this, we can get it only through our cheques/demand drafts.
  5. During the foreign vacation, if we need more money and want to utilize credit card, we have to pay currency conversion charges and also a transaction fee which will be around Rs.100-150 per swipe of credit card. Return back: 1.While returning, we can use two channels i.e . one green channel and other is red channel. If we don’t have any item that attracts customs duty, we can use green channel and come out quickly. Otherwise, we have to go through red channel wherein we have to fill up two forms i.e. one for custom goods and other for foreign currencies/TCs /travel cards etc.
  6. In the form meant for foreign currencies, we have mention whether we have more than $5000 currencies and details thereof. For TCs and foreign currencies, the limit is $10000.
  7. If we have flare in buying goods in duty free shops at airports, we used to think that whatever purchases we are making are all duty free. But actually it is free upto Rs.25,000/-. Beyond this, we have to pay custom duty @36.05% on normal products and more on abnormal items like beverages and cigarettes.
  8. After coming out from airport, if we had to dispose off our foreign currencies which is more than $2000 within 90 days from the date of arrival. For TCs/Travel cars, the limit is 180 days. We can keep any amount of foreign coins and there will not be any limit for this.

C.R. Venkataramani



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