Can I Carry Sandalwood in Flight?

Are There Restrictions on Carrying Sandalwood on India Flights?

While it is generally permissible to carry small quantities of sandalwood, sandalwood handicraft products, or essential oils in your carry-on baggage for personal use, large quantities are prohibited.

What sets Indian sandalwood apart from other varieties is its exceptionally high concentration of alpha and beta santalols, comprising 70-90% of these compounds.


Is Sandalwood Banned from Export in India?

Yes, the export of sandalwood is highly regulated in India. Due to the declining population of sandalwood trees and their high value, the Indian government has placed strict controls on the trade of this precious wood. The export of sandalwood and its products is generally prohibited, except under certain conditions and with the necessary permits.

If you attempt to export sandalwood without proper authorization, customs officials are likely to confiscate it. The regulations are in place to prevent illegal trade and ensure the sustainable management of sandalwood resources.

If you are considering exporting sandalwood, it is essential to consult with the relevant authorities and obtain the necessary permits and documentation to comply with Indian laws and international regulations.

Will Customs Confiscate Sandalwood?

Carrying sandalwood in passenger flights is a violation of the provisions of India's Customs Rule. If you are caught with sandalwood without proper authorization, customs officials are likely to confiscate it. These regulations are in place to prevent illegal trade and to protect the diminishing sandalwood resources.

Guidelines for Carrying Sandalwood in Flight

If you need to carry sandalwood, it is always recommended to check with the airline beforehand to ensure there are no specific restrictions or regulations in place. While sandalwood is generally allowed in carry-on bags, there are some guidelines you should follow to ensure a smooth travel experience:

  1. Pack Separately: When packing your carry-on bag, it is suggested to pack religious or cultural items, such as sandalwood, in a container that can be separated from other belongings and placed by itself in a bin for X-ray screening.

  2. Use Clear Containers: It is recommended to use a clear plastic bag or other clear plastic container that can be easily opened for screening. This will help expedite the security process and minimize the risk of your items being mishandled.

  3. Avoid Checked Baggage: It is recommended not to place delicate religious items in checked baggage, as there is a chance they may need to be inspected during the screening process. Keeping these items in your carry-on ensures they remain under your control and reduces the risk of damage or loss.

While it is generally permissible to carry sandalwood in your carry-on baggage for personal use, exporting sandalwood without proper authorization is a violation of Indian laws. To avoid complications, always check with your airline and ensure you have the necessary permits and documentation if you plan to carry or export sandalwood. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your travel experience remains hassle-free and compliant with all regulations.

Sandalwood is sold in retail markets in India through the Khadi and Gramodyog Bhavan network. Wholesale buyers can access sandalwood from licensed wholesalers who obtain their stock through Forest Department auctions. Private individuals growing sandalwood trees must register them with the Tree Officer and obtain permission for cutting and transporting the wood and branches for extracting sandalwood oil.

Forest Department AP

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