While Traveling to India or to any other foreign country, it is important to be updated about that particular country's currency and customs duties. Chalking out a meticulous plan about what and how much to carry and the customs formalities that needs to be followed better equips the traveler than being a novice on his/her tour.
It is advisable to carry a mix of cash and travellers cheques to guard against any situation.US Dollars are the easiest currency to change with euro coming a close second. Other hard currencies such as Yen, British Pound, Deutsche Mark can also be changed in tourist areas and big cities.
On arriving in India, a Currency declaration Form needs to be filled in, on which the amount of currency you are bringing into the country need to be mentioned.
Exchange receipts will be asked if you wish to exchange any remaining Rupees back into foreign currency.
Money should be exchanged only at authorized centers likes banks and money changers who will in turn issue an encashment certificate that is required at the time of re conversion of unspent money into foreign currency.
There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or traveller’ cheques a tourist may import, provided a Declaration Form is completed on arrival by the tourists if they enter the country with US$10,000 or its equivalent in any other currency. This will facilitate the exchange of imported currency as well as the export of unspent currency on departure or for tax clearance certificates. Cash, bank notes and travelers’ cheques up to US$2.500 or equivalent need not be declared at the time of entry. Any money in the form of travellers’ cheques, drafts, bills, cheques, etc. which tourists wish to convert into Indian currency should be exchanged only through authorised money changers.
Import of Indian currency is prohibited. However, in the case of passengers normally resident of India who are returning from a visit abroad Indian currency upto Rs 5000 is allowed.
Send Money to India
Remit Money to India, International Money Transfer
Tourists are warned that changing money through unauthorised persons is not only illegal but also involves the risk of receiving counterfeit currency. To exchange foreign money other than through banks or authorised money changers is an offence. Please note that no Indian currency whatsoever can be imported or exported, except for Rupee travellers’ cheques. Banks abroad do keep Rupee balances with their agents in India and are able to draw upon these balances to issue Rupee traveller's cheques to intending tourists. There are 24 hour exchange facilities available at all big cites and international airports. Banking hours in India are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Mon.-Fri.) and from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturdays. One can also wire money into India. These services are offered by foreign banks and wire services like western union.
A growing number of hotels, restaurants and shops are beginning to accept credit cards, the well known and more accepted ones being American Express, Visa, Mastercards and Diners Club
- Exchanging of foreign exchange other than through banks or authorized money changers is an offense under the Foreign Exchange Regulations Act 1973.
All personal objects which are required in India are free from duty. Under this heading fall personal jewellery, presents up to a value of Rs. 600, 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars and 0.95 l alcoholic beverages. Professional material and articles which have a high value can only be imported duty free if the traveller gives a written undertaking that these articles will be re-exported.
Passengers embarking on journey to any place outside India from a customs airport / seaport will have to pay an Foreign Travel Tax of Rs.500/- and on journeys to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives of Rs.150/-.
An Inland Air Travel Tax is leviable at 10 per cent of the basic fare, on all passengers embarking on an inland air journey. However, those passengers paying their airfares in foreign exchange will be exempted from payment of this tax. In addition, infants, cancer patients, blind persons and invalids (those on stretchers) are also exempted from payment of this tax after fulfilling certain conditions, stipulated in the relevant notifications.