Traveling to India? Take Stock of the Gold You’re Carrying

Traditional Indian garb with gold jewelry: MetalsWired Gold Blog

In several recent instances, Indian women travelling to the Gulf with visitor visas were required by customs officials to pay an import duty on any gold ornaments they were carrying on their return trip home. In India, there are strict rules about the importation of gold, which require travelers going through Indian airports to get “export certificates” from customs before they can bring valuables home with them after their trip.

According to individuals living in the area, Indian women are questioned about their gold jewelry, and the items are often recorded in their passports. Furthermore, women returning home after several months are not permitted to carry more than Rs100,000 (around $1,480 USD) worth of gold back with them. This has forced many women to deposit their gold in lockers with customs officials.

In the last year, upwards of 20 passengers were fined and some arrested for not declaring their gold. Non-resident Indians (NRIs) face the biggest hardship from this rule as they may be unaware of the regulation and are often carrying gold jewelry to wear for weddings.

The change is so new that not all officials have caught on yet, so officials at many airports are neglecting to follow this procedure. If the procedure is followed, however, then if the amount of gold a woman is wearing exceeds the amount allowed at departure, it will require a tax or a deposit when she returns.

By obtaining an export certificate before leaving the country, passengers can carry as much gold as they want without paying a duty on the return trip – if the passenger or their relative has the certificate.

Often, those who are unaware of the rule end up selling their gold to jewelers in the area rather than paying the duty.

According to travel agents:

Those who are travelling for the first time and those who are not aware of the customs rule are affected. It is advisable to keep a record of gold ornaments that the passenger is wearing at the customs desk. After recording the quantity of gold that the passenger is carrying, it is not difficult to take the same back to India.

Interested in the gold of India? You can find more information by reading: India’s Secret Gold Stash.

Continue browsing the Metalswired blog for more information about gold (and other metals and precious jewels).