Indian Import Customs Regulations

Indian Customs Regulations for Transfer of Residence to India and Unaccompanied Baggage to India

Eligibility Requirements for Availing Transfer Of Residence

Indian nationals, foreign nationals including those of Indian origin, transferring their residence to India or coming to India on employment, can import their personal effects and household goods into India under Transfer of Residence rules subject to the following conditions.

  1. The owner of the goods must have lived/stayed abroad for a minimum period of 2 years and must be transferring his / her residence to India. Indian nationals must not have visited India for more than six months in the preceding two years.
  2. Foreign nationals must have a resident/business/work / entry visa.
  3. Goods must be shipped out within 30 days of the arrival of the owner in India. If there is a delay then goods can be cleared only if the delay is condoned by the customs authorities. Every case is decided on its merits.
  4. The owner or his or her family members should not have availed of Transfer of Residence Concessions in the preceding 3 years.

Duty-Free Allowance

Under Transfer of Residence Rules following items can be imported free if used and old

  1. Personal effects and household goods like clothes, books, kitchenware, furniture, and small appliances like mixer, juicer, iron etc. are allowed to be imported duty-free if these goods are old and are used by the shipper.
  2. Video Cassette Recorder or Video Cassette Player or Video Television Receiver or Video Cassette Disk Player. 
  3. Washing Machine
  4. Electrical or Liquefied Petroleum Gas Cooking Range
  5. Personal Computer (Desk Top Computer)
  6. Laptop Computer (Notebook Computer)
  7. Domestic refrigerators of capacity up to 300 litres or equivalent

Concessional Duty

Under the Transfer of residence duty for the following items the import duty has been reduced to 16.5%

A. Colour Television or Monochrome Television. (LCD, LED & Plasma is charged @ 38.5%)
B. Digital Video Disc Player. 
C. Video Home Theatre System.
D. Dish Washer
E. Music System
F. Air-Conditioner
G. Domestic refrigerators of capacity above 300 litres or its equivalent
H. Deep Freezer
I. Microwave Oven
J. Video camera or the combination of any such video camera with one or more of the following goods, namely:-

  • a. Television Receiver
  • b. Sound recording or reproducing apparatus
  • c. Video reproducing apparatus

K. Word Processing Machine
L. Fax Machine
M. Portable Photocopying Machine
N. Vessel
O. Aircraft
P. Cinematographic films of 35 mm and above.
Q. Gold or Silver, in any form, other than ornaments

A concessional customs duty rate of 16.5% of the value is allowed only on the first unit. If the owner has two or more similar units, or the combined value of the appliances & personal & household effects exceeds Rs. 5,00,000/= (USD 6,250) Then customs duty @ 38.50 % will be charged on the additional units or the additional value.

Non Transfer of Residence, New & Other Goods

Import Duty for all other goods will be charged @ 38.5% of the assessed value

Other Information

Foodstuff imports:

Foreign nationals can import foodstuff in their main household goods shipment duty-free up to a limit of Rs. 1,00,000/=

Import of Alcohol, Spirits etc.:

Import duties on alcohol, wines, spirits, etc. are very high in India (approx. 160 % + fine & penalty). Hence it is not advisable to ship wine & liquor into India. However, if it is a must to ship then please complete our Alcohol Declaration Form with details of Brand, Type of Liquor, Quantity, Alcohol Content, Purchase Price etc. It is also advisable to pack them separately and load them at the beginning of the container to enable easy retrieval for customs inspection.

Import of Motor Cars and Bikes:

Motor cars can be imported by paying customs duty @ 165% of the CIF value for both used and new cars. Motor Bikes can be imported by paying customs duty @ 116% of the CIF value for both used and new bikes. However, other rules & regulations apply, so please check with us prior to shipping.

Import of Pets:

Two pets per passenger. Veterinary certificates and other health documents are required. Please get in touch with us for more information prior to shipping.

Restricted / Prohibited goods:

Porno-graphic material, obscene literature, narcotics, wildlife items like ivory, horns etc and firearms, ammunition and other weapons. Should you need further information please contact us prior to shipping.

Customs examination:

Generally, all import consignments are physically inspected 100% as per Indian customs regulations.

Owner's Presence:

  1. All goods can be custom cleared only after the owner of the goods arrives in India.
  2. The owner's personal presence is generally a must and is advisable
  3. In case the owner cannot be present, a power of attorney can be executed in our favour.
  4. Completed customs forms should be duly signed and attested to ensure smooth customs clearance.

Duration for Clearance of FCL Shipments:

  1. Unloading & Placement of container in Customs bonded warehouse: Day 1 / 2
  2. Customs Inspection and Assessment of Duty: Day 2 / 3
  3. Payment of duty and release of goods: Day 3 / 4
  4. Delivery in the same city as POE & unpacking of goods: Day 4 / 5
  5. Delivery in different city as POE: Add 2 to 5 days

Duration for Clearance of LCL Shipments:

  1. Unloading & Placement of de-stuffed goods in Customs bonded warehouse: Day 4 / 7 
  2. Customs Inspection and assessment of duty: Day 4 / 9
  3. Payment of duty and release of goods: Day 5 /10
  4. Delivery in the same city as POE & unpacking of goods: Day 9 / 12
  5. Delivery in a different city as POE: Add 2 to 5 days
    (The above information is based on the average duration taken for clearance & delivery. The actual time can be less than or more than the above)


To ensure smooth clearance at customs, we suggest that all major electronic appliances be loaded in one liftvan or in the beginning of the container and their make, model no, serial number and quantity be provided to us along with the inventory.


Although Globe Moving & Storage Company has tried to make the above information as accurate as possible, Globe Moving & Storage Company accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by any person resulting from the information given above. Globe Moving & Storage Company encourages you to verify any critical information with the relevant authorities before you book the consignment.

Do you have more questions about International Shipping? Are you looking for Contact Globe Moving for hassle and stress free international packing and moving services.

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