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Antiquated Duty-Free Baggage Allowance Limits

July 22nd, 2010 · 5 Comments

When we landed back in Mumbai, one of our checked-in bags was missing. (It arrived the next day – had gotten missed out in the transfer at Hong Kong airport from Shanghai.) As we went through the process of filling out the forms for its customs clearance, I became aware of the fact that as Indians arriving from China, our duty-free allowance was – hold your breath – Rs 6,000 ($130) per person.

In today’s day and age, why have such ridiculous limits? Why force people to lie their way through? Why make me give answers like “Oh, I think we only spent Rs 10,000 on the stuff we got in these bags, and the bag that’s coming tomorrow has about Rs 1,000 worth of stuff.”

The only objective of such limits seems to be to assist people at Customs supplement their incomes. How does one get these limits increased to sensible levels – or even removed?

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ananth // Jul 22, 2010 at 5:11 am

    I also had such an experience when I was coming from the US. I had an office laptop and one personal laptop. I saw scared that I should pay more custom duty and I was searching people beside me who could carry it with them because the allowed limit was one laptop per person. Luckily there was an obscure rule that we can bring two laptops if we are exporting one again. So as I would go back with another one, I was able to bring them. I also feel that those rules have to revised fast…or otherwise it will just add to the corruption..

  • 2 Kasi // Jul 22, 2010 at 11:04 am

    $130 sounds ridiculous … but 1-laptop/person seems reasonable.
    Some limits are required to stop illegal imports.

    I know of a service called “kurivi-service” that means “Sparrow-service” where people are asked to travel to foreign countries just to take something from here and bring back something…which by the way they send people where these limits are little liberal.

    I know of a retail-chain biggie which does this with their employees…they take around 50-100 of the their employees on holiday-tour…it is nothing but Sparrow-service…employees are also happy they have seen a foreign land which they can’t imagine in their life-time.

  • 3 Parth // Jul 22, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Fineprint –

    http://www.cbec.gov.in/travellers.htm

    Its hilarious, in the end it sounded more like rules on how the corrupt custom officers can earn more under the table..

  • 4 vishal // Jul 23, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    rules once designed doesn’t change, i hope Commonwealth games influx might force govt to relook at it or the opening of delhi’s new hub will force them as more customer come in

  • 5 smith // Jul 26, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    At least now you can overcome one problem which is to buy your duty free on arrival and you can now check the globe and all your customs allowances at http://www.dutyfreeonarrival.com

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