New customs formalities at Indian airports
Travel to India has just become stricter. Beginning January 1, all passengers arriving at the country’s 19 international airports must fill out a new detailed customs form that asks them to specifically declare prohibited goods and dutiable items, including gold jewellery, gold bullion and Indian currency exceeding the permitted limit.
Indian Customs allow male passengers to carry gold worth up to Rs50,000 (Dh3,400) and female passengers twice as much. The currency limit for Indian citizens is Rs7,500 (Dh510). Non-resident Indians can take foreign exchange, but they have to declare amounts exceeding $5,000 or equivalent or when the aggregate value of foreign exchange (banknotes, travellers cheques) exceeds $10,000.
Distinct from the detachable perforated strip that comes as part of the immigration card, the new form has specific fields for declaration of dutiable and prohibited goods. It has to be filled out only when a passenger exits the country. There will not be any immigration form for Indians returning from abroad.
Unlike earlier, passengers will also have to provide details of countries visited in the past six days and mention their passport numbers. This is in addition to existing details like declaration of satellite phone, foreign currency, meat, dairy, fish or poultry products, seeds, plants, fruits, flowers and other planting material. They also have to provide baggage details.