Antiquated Duty-Free Baggage Allowance Limits

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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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.