Expats in the UAE and elsewhere may soon be able to carry more gold to India without paying custom duty and without confronting any hassles once the government’s new customs clearance framework is ready and implemented.
India’s Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) is reportedly working on a new set of guidelines to ensure trouble-free customs clearances for such travel into and out of India if the jewellery is for personal use.
Currently, Indian expats from the UAE or any other country need to go through a complicated and lengthy process to carry gold even if they’re returning back to India after a long period.
Male Indian expats (residing in UAE or elsewhere for over one year) can only import about 18gm worth of duty-free gold jewellery at current gold prices while ladies are allowed double that allowance.
As per the gold allowance revised in 2015, men can carry gold worth Rs50,000 (Dh2,725) while women have double the allowance (Dh5,450).
Until last year, the baggage allowance regulations forbid male passengers from carrying gold jewellery worth more than Rs10,000 (Dh545), and Rs20,000 (Dh1,090) for women.
Even the revised allowance isn’t much considering gold-loving expats often visit their home country to attend weddings and other occasions when they like to show off their jewellery.
“We are examining the norms. We understand that some people get jewellery for weddings and take it back as well,” Indian business daily Economic Times quotes a senior finance ministry official as saying.
India has imposed a 10 per cent duty on the import of gold to reduce the gold inflow into the country in order to save precious foreign exchange, which the Asian economy needs to pay for other critical imports such as oil.
In addition, some expats have said they had to deposit their gold jewellery at the customs office lockers after recording it in their passports, and collect it while on their way back out of India.
On the other hand, tourists from India need to fill up an ‘export certificate’ from customs if they intend to carry gold and any other valuable item/s back from India to another destination with the intention of bringing it back after their vacation.
Failure to do so could result in them having to pay the 10 per cent duty on their pre-owned jewellery or, worse, confiscation of the said jewellery of the weight exceeds the prescribed limits which might end up in a loss.