January 15, 2008

India Customs Rules for Transferring Residency to India

Indian Customs Rules for Residency Transfer

Following rules will apply to the people who are Transferring their Residency to India apart from the usual allowances applicable to Indian residents or foreigners residing in India.

Check the Latest Transfer Rule Updates from cbec.gov.in

I. Articles not allowed free, but at a concessional rate of duty of 30% :

  1. Colour TV/Monochrome TV.
  2. VCR/VCP/Video Television Receiver/VCD Player.
  3. DVD Player
  4. Video Home Theatre System
  5. Washing Machine.
  6. Electrical/Liquefied Petroleum Gas Cooking Range (other than Electrical/Liquefied Petroleum Gal stoves with not more than two burners and without any extra attachment)
  7. Dish Washer.
  8. Music System.
  9. Personal Computer/Desktop Computer.
  10. Air Conditioner.
  11. Refrigerator.
  12. Deep Freezer.
  13. Microwave Oven.
  14. Video Camera or the combination of such video camera with one or more of the following goods, namely:
    1. Television Receiver;
    2. Sound recording or reproducing apparatus;
    3. Video reproducing apparatus.
  15. Word Processing Machine.
  16. Fax machine.
  17. Portable Photocopying Machine

Conditions :

  1. Passenger to affirm by a declaration that the goods (Items 1 to 14 of above) have been in his/her possession abroad or the goods are purchased from the duty-free shop by him/her at the time of his/her arrival but before clearance from Customs.
  2. Unaccompanied goods were shipped or despatched or arrived within the prescribed time limits (within two months before arrival and within after one month of arrival - see rules regarding unaccompanied baggage for details)
  3. Only one unit of each item (Items 1 to 14 of above) per family is allowed and total value of these items should not exceed Rs.1.5 Lakhs.
  4. The person claiming this benefit affirms by declaration that no other member of the family had availed, or would avail this benefit. The term "family" includes all persons in the same house and forming part of the same establishment.
  5. Passenger has not availed this concession in the preceding three years.
  6. Minimum stay of two years abroad, immediately preceding the date of the passenger's arrival on transfer of residence. Shortfall of upto 2 months in stay abroad can be condoned by Assistant Commissioner of Customs if the early return is on account of -
    1. Terminal leave or vacation being availed of by the passenger, or
    2. Any other special circumstances.

  7. Total stay in India on short visits during the 2 preceding years should not exceed 6 months. Commissioner of Customs may condone short visits in excess of 6 months in deserving cases.

Note 1:Transfer of Residence entitlements are applicable to returning Indians as well as Foreigners transferring their residence to India subject to the fulfillment of prescribed eligibility conditions

Note 2:Earlier there was a clause of minimum stay in India of 1 year after taking TR. This has since been abolished.

Depreciation of value on old and used items

Though there are no specific guidelines in the Baggage Rules for according depreciation benefits to old and used items of baggage for the purpose of their valuation, as a matter of practice, the following depreciation benefits are given on the purchase value of old and used items:

  1. For every quarter during 1st year - 4%
  2. For every quarter during 2nd year - 3%
  3. For every quarter during 3rd year - 2.5%
  4. For every quarter during 4th year & after - 2%

Since there are no specific guidelines, the assessing officer uses his / her judgement and discretion for determining the maximum limit. The depreciation for each year is supposed to be calculated on the reduced value of the previous year and not on the original value. However, for quick calculation and clearance, sometimes the straight line method of calculation of depreciation is followed at the airport, which incidentally is more beneficial for the passenger.


Baggage Transfer to USA said...

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Unknown said...

I think that the Baggage Rules are out of date. No one is going to spend the money to ship it to India by container when you can buy better and cheaper product (most brands) locally. I think that the Baggage Rules should be more practice inviting people to return to India to boost local economy.

Harish Patel, wellington New Zealand

Unknown said...

I think that it would be an enormous task to change the thinking of Indian officials to think outside the square. Any household items older than five years should be attracting no duty because the NRI’s when retire in India would be spending considerable amount of money locally. This would encourage many of us to retire and live happily among our family and friends.

Stubbron said...

Indian customs rules are just ridiculous. They are just not good are for any one returning to India. Indian Govt. time to wake up now. Drink TATA Tea. Thanks

Shirin said...

I dont beleive that Indian Custom Authorities can treat so badly to an NRI returning home. I returned home after spending more than four years in one of the middle east countries and instead of throwing away my household and used stuff, i thought to take it back since my company allowed me a free cargo of up to 100kg. The used stuff mainly included an old vacume cleaner, food mixer and old dresses and crockery. The brainless people at customs charged me Rs 22,000 for all these items as they said these items are considered as imported from outside India. I told them these items do not even wirth more than Rs 10,000. Even i told them that i do not want to take these items, and just throw it away. They did not allow me even this option, they said you pay us the custom and then take these items out and throw away. I had to take these items at any cost. I can not beleive that after i return back home the Indian authorities will grab my hard earned money in this way. I have all the receipts of these payments, can some one advise me how can i get my money back as it dose not make any sense to me that i pay customs for the items used more than 4 years.

Unknown said...

The Kiwis retiring in India would be able to claim 100 % pension (superannuation) as from now. It means I would spend around $500 a week if I stay in India. This has been a long awaiting news for many of us. The furniture and other goods have no value. If I decide to sell the stuff by having a “Garage Sale,” I will be lucky to get even couple of thousand dollars !! I might as well rent my house and the let tenant use my nice stuff. Why go through all this hassle? The rules are made by the Indians who has never put their foot out of India.

Unknown said...

There is a lesson for many of us who lives abroad that we should know how to keep away from Indian authorities. Just donate few dollars if necessary (Don’t count in Rupees) and go with flow like others. Any money paid to Indian Govt,is non refundable.

Anonymous said...

India is screwed and so are the rules and it will keep getting worse. The only sensible advice is to stay abroad in the civilised western countries and simply visit India for a holiday.If you have to return abck for whatever reason sell your stuff overseas and only bring your clothes.

Anonymous said...

These Custom people are mostly idiots and cheap people. Try to fool them if posible, otherwise if you offer them little money they will let you go with minimum duty or no duty at all. It's actually fueling bribing, but other option is to get robbed by them.

Anonymous said...

these rules looks very confusing and i dont no how to calculate the cost i guess one need to put the calculator which can let a normal person know what duty they are paying on over all goods they are taking along with them. as i feel there should not be duty on regular household item like tv and microwave because when we have purchased it almost a year ago and already paid duty once. and agin not making any profit on it after moving to India its just our own goods. pl any one can help me with some simple solution.

Anonymous said...

Hi, transfer of residency(4.6 yrs abroad), will be brining my LCD. I know that its not allowed free of duty. Can you tell me what the % duty imposed and source link on (CBEC.gov.in) and also whats the % of deprecation used. the TV is 7 months old and cost SG.1549

I am confused somewhere on your site it says 30% and somewhere it says 15%.


Anonymous said...

Shocking!! Most of these duties are anywhere from 20-40% of the original price of the item. In which case one might as well just buy the item in India, even if it is of cheaper quality and comes with no guarantee.
What I don't understand is that how come these idiots have been getting away looting people for decades? Local and NRIs. And at this pace, will keep getting away with it for a long time it seems.
How come no one has tried to counter these officials. I mean there must be a way.
People of India don't get the same luxury as others around the world just because government asks outsider merchant for taxes, so that the local merchants can compete with the outsiders, to keep our economy in balance. But the reality is that at the end of the day the consumer is the one that suffers the cost, not the merchant. Consumer pays for the shipping and high taxes. And it doesn't do good to the local merchants nor the outsiders. It is a lose lose situation for both sellers(not enough buyers, since items are not as cheap as they can really be), local merchants (since they get away with selling cheap products, leading to not having the healthy competition from outsiders and information they need in order to compete in the global market ), consumers (since they pay the high prices for no reason, I mean the money from these taxes are just going to some politician's pockets, some bhai, or an idiot customs officer at the end of the day anyways).
If anyone wants to change this by analyzing some numbers, researching this issue further, and making a report to find out in real numbers of how much people of India are losing because of this outrageous taxes levied by robbers, please contact me "titiksha901@yahoo.com". I am a college student; it would be a great project to work on.

Anonymous said...

Whats goods can a person bring with worth of only Rs1,50,000? The normal person doesnt even know how to calculate the duty tax and on top of it a person returning from abroad would have a lot of items like good furniture and working electrical goods. It would make a lot of sense to just sell those items and buy new ones in india. Best part of our customs department is they just find ways to get money out of peoples pocket. There is tax everywhere and in everything. Every year we get to see a new tax. A person even cant bring is personal laptop or computer. The Baggage rules are just crazy. Best solution is just take the number of clothes needed and buy the rest of things when you get back thats how it is. Its their way of increasing local trade which completely makes no sense. So the best solution for NRI's sell your goods and buy new ones in india that is a good solution but if you want to pay then well just do it without complaining.

Blog Mantra said...

I am moving after 17 yrs. from Canada to India.
I have sold & donated also 80% of my stuff. Please let me know the surprises I may face and the true picture of custom walas...would it make a difference to hve someone like a customs broker in India clear the container for me.

Reading your blogs have helped me but still there is lot to learn as there are many unanswered questions.

Anonymous said...

I am moving after 17 yrs. from North America to India. Please tell me of the surprises I may face and the true picture of custom walas...

Reading your blogs have helped me but still there is lot to learn as there are many unanswered questions.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am going to India to teach for a while, if I like it I plan to stay long term. My questions are: I am shipping books that I wish to use for my work...will I be charged for these? I am taking "two" laptops on the plane with me. Will I be charged on one of these? How much do they charge for an extra used laptop??
Thanks for all the great info, sure happy I found this site! Thanks again, and waiting for your inputs.

Anonymous said...

Thanks @ Everyone for all the information. I am also in the process of relocating back to India from Dubai and am now reconsidering taking my used household stuff with me or not. FYI - The limit has been raised to INR 500,000.00 as per the 2011 Customs Manual.

Srini said...

Hi friends,
This blog is helping me. I will be returning to India from USA after 7 yrs. I have a basic question. To whom I should give my goods un USA for transfer of residence? also can I collect in chennai? pls advice me how soon I need to send my stuff before I fly from US?

Thanks in advance.

AS said...

Note 2:Earlier there was a clause of minimum stay in India of 1 year after taking TR. This has since been abolished.

Where can I find this rule in - can someone point me to the circular

easyinchennai said...

I have three questions:

1. I am USC and hold OCI. I guess this status is OK for Transfer of Residence?

1. During the 2 year period one must spend abroad to qualify, is one allowed to make short visits not exceeding 6 months(total). Is this correct?
2. Instead of Transfer of Residence, can we take things as "unaccompanied Baggage"? What are the rules for that? Any experience? Pros and Cons?



Anonymous said...

It is customary for Indian customs officials to make you pay at least one rupee to the government as a proof of their integrity, honesty and sincerity at least thousand rupees to them as a family and professional commitment. Unless you are prepared for this you will be charged even for a ball pen. This is my personal experience.

Anonymous said...

corrupted officers should be brought to justice...

Anonymous said...

Mumbai airport personnel..greedy...they demand at any cost whether u purchased less than 25K or whether u purchased in duty free...they have diffn rule..for them price in india is more imp than actual buying price..but if you show them currency thn they ll let u go...stupid mentality ppl...

Anonymous said...

I brought some used household goods to Bangalore in 2001 from Dubai. There were around 20 cartons full of stuff but nothing of high value and therefore it fell under the limit allowed free of duty on Transfer of Residence. I did end up spending the major part of a day at the customs office, but didn't have to pay any money at all - as duty, or otherwise! Thought since my experience is so different, I should post it here!

Unknown said...

if a person living in usa more than three years and his/her status expired i mean overstay of visa more than two years is it posible for ToR

samar said...

I wanna to know more costume rule to apply on foreigners who live in india. . . . Excess Baggage Shipping

Anonymous said...

Look NRI's no one is crying in India for you guys to return. Please do not return and do all your showoff in India. Loosers and Beggars overseas act like crorepathis in India bringing their cheap foreign products. Who the hell do you think you idiots are to call Indian products cheap?? So your school where you studied was cheap?? The university where u went was cheap. Talking Shit is what you guys know well. So please do not return we can live without you ass holes.

Anonymous said...

Dear sir, please let me know what value of used personal goods is allowed on transfer of residence, as of 29th Jan 2016.
What is the time gap in number of days for leaving the country again.

Unknown said...

Is there any rule to send cargo to India with free of charge if the family is resided more than 3 years. And what is the procedures if like a service available.

Anonymous said...

Hi.Its ok, as all countries have somewhat similar rules. Ofcourse, here rules are not much updated - for exampleas who used DVD or VCD players today as USBs are freely available. Although an NRI can bring back stuff of Rs 500000 (5 lac) after minimum 3 year of stay outside, in that not more that 6 month stay should be in India. and one should not have availed TR (Transfer of Res), in the last 3 years. Listing in Annexure 1 of Govt rules will not be included in the free goods. For Example for gold a man is allowed 50k INR value & a women for 1,50000 INR only. Similarly for TVs & high value audio equipments like HK or Bose, a 36% duty will be charged - although a 15% approximate depreciation till 4 year (totalling 60% all) will be given to you.....

on request custom team helps in low pricing - not to worry, they value human.
all the best. For more details please visit Govt Customs website for rules.

Unknown said...

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Ruhul Shoikot said...

I want to visit a cousin in India. He lives in kolkata. And i want to bring two TV Sony Android 3D TV Bravia W800C 43 Inch LED Full HD Wi-Fi" and Sony Bravia KDL-55X7500F 55" with me which cost 98k rupee.I am not sure what will happen in custom check. Can anyone please give me advice?

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