As Richard Russell said, “Gold will be around, gold will be money when the dollar and the euro and the yuan and the ringgit are mere memories”.
Gold has always been an eminent part of an Indian’s life and there are so many questions revolving around when it comes to travelling with gold for example what is the limit on carrying gold without paying custom duty, what are the custom duty rates, if custom department needs to be notified or can you get away with it.
So here, we have tried to compile some simplified information on the basic facts that you can update yourself with regarding custom duties and travelling with gold.
Customs duty on gold when travelling to India
If you are someone who has spent 6 months to 1 year living abroad, then you are permitted to carry duty free gold back to India but the weight and the amount that is permitted is as follows:
For males: 20 grams up to the value of Rs 50,000
For females: 50 grams up to the value of Rs 1,00,000
The rules imply the same for children who have lived abroad for the given period of time and are permitted to carry duty free gold as per the above rule.
If you have had brief visits back to India for less than 30 days in between this period of six months then the rules remain the same.
1) But if you intend to carry up to1 kg of gold with you, a duty of 36.05 % is applicable for the same. It is very import that you notify or declare the correct amount of gold that you are carrying with you and pay the applicable charges on it to make your travelling seamless. You are not allowed to carry more than 1 kg even if you are ready to pay the custom duty for it.
2) The prices of gold are custom to change according to the market and are calculated by the value published by the government regularly.
3) Also note that custom duty free rules given above are applicable only on gold ornaments. But if you intend to carry gold biscuits, coins and bars then you are required to pay the applied duty on it.
Rules when carrying gold out of India
1) Well, the good news is, one does not need to pay any custom duty for carrying your gold jewellery out of India albeit it is for personal use and not for any kind of commercial use. The rules do not imply any kind of upper limit on the gold you carry with you although it is advisable to carry the receipt of jewellery bought in India with you as a proof.
2) Problem arises when you intend to travel with it back to India then the custom duty rules imply. A solution to this would be declaring the amount of jewellery and all its details you are carrying and get an export certificate from the airport customs desk. An export certificate is a document usually contains your passport details and the description and weight of the jewellery you are carrying with you. This certificate is valid for 3 years and can be used as many times as you travel to and fro in this period with your jewellery. With this certificate, no duty will be charged for you travel back to the country with your gold.
3) The rules regarding custom duties on gold and luggage are usually mentioned in the website of the airlines and they differ from county to country. It is necessary to be versed with the basic rules before proceeding with your travel to avoid any kind of mishap or confiscation at the customs department.
4) Small jewellery that you are wearing such as earrings or bangles are usually allowed but it is advisable to include them in your export certificate to avoid any problems with the custom department.
Customs and procedures
1) The best idea would be carrying your jewellery in your hand bag or the carry-on luggage instead of your check in luggage. The custom officials usually carry a checking of your baggage which you should co operate to and produce proper paper works for the gold you are carrying. You can also ask for a private room for the checking procedure to avoid bringing attention of other passengers to the amount of gold you are carrying. Any kind of suspicious activity might trigger the customs officials so it is safe to declare whatever you have and not indulge in illegal activities.
2) If you are caught with more than the declared amount of gold then the officials can confiscate it till you do not pay the applied duty.
3) Although these processes are simple if you follow the rules, we recommend you to confirm with the airport officials regarding the procedure well in advance as the processes might differ at different airports.
The Central Board of Excise and customs is working on framing and expediting new guidelines for developing a convenient system of custom clearance and increasing the amount of gold that can be allowed to be carried although that might take some time. But till then the above rules should be understood and followed.