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GoaCentral > Travel to Goa > Customs & Immigration formalities

Customs & Immigration formalities

International tourists  should fill in the Disembarkation Card handed over to them by the airline during the course of the flight. They are then also required to comply with the Baggage rules in effect upon disembarkation. Click on for more...

Introduction Duty Free Baggage Formalities for Dutiable Goods

Departure Formalities

Immigration formalities at departure

Foreign Travel Tax

Mumbai Emergency Telephone Directory Foreign Missions in India Indian Missions Overseas
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The term "Baggage" is defined as "Baggage that includes unaccompanied baggage but does not include motor vehicles". A Passenger is required to comply with certain provisions of the Indian Customs law. The owner of any baggage shall, for the purpose of clearing it make a declaration of its contents to the customs officer. The rate of duty and tariff valuation, if any, applicable to the baggage shall be the rate and valuation in force on the date, on which a declaration is made in respect of such baggage. In respect of the goods personally brought in by the passengers it means approximately the retail price of the goods paid abroad. 

The baggage clearance at the major International Airports in India consist of  two channels for clearance.

 Green channel - Not having any dutiable goods to declare.
 Red channel -     Having dutiable goods to declare

On arrival in the baggage hall, passengers who do not have any dutiable goods in his / her baggage can orally declare to the customs officer manning the "Green Channel'  in all major airports and walk through to the exit. Passengers carrying dutiable goods should pass through  the " Red Channel ".  No written declaration is needed and oral declaration is usually acceptable. Non-declaration & wrongful declaration of the dutiable goods may attract confiscation of goods, fine  or penalty. Serious offences  like attempting  to smuggle Gold,  without declaration may lead to arrest & prosecution .

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Duty free Baggage items allowed for International tourists

Personal Effects

All the personal effects like clothing and other articles new or used, excluding merchandise for commercial purposes are allowed free of duty.

Travel Souvenirs

One is allowed to  bring in  travel souvenirs up to a total value of Rs.2,000/- and these will be  free of duty.


If visiting India for a stay of more than 24 hours, one can bring articles up to a value of Rs.750/- (Rs.6,000/- for tourists of Indian origin) free of duty, which are intended as gifts, or even for his personal use.

Cigarettes, Cigars, Tobacco, Alcohol,  Liquors

Tourists, whether of foreign or Indian origin, are allowed the following items duty-free but within the free allowance:  200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 gms, of tobacco and Alcoholic liquor & wine up to 1 liter each.

Import of Foreign Exchange

There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travelers' cheques a tourist may bring into India provided he makes a declaration in the Currency Declaration Form upon arrival. This will enable him not only to exchange the currency bought in, but also to take the unspent currency out of India on departure. Cash, bank notes and travelers cheques up to US$ 1,000 or equivalent, need not be declared at the time of entry. Any money in the form of travelers cheques, drafts, bills, cheques, etc. in convertible currencies, which one  wishes  to convert into Indian currency, should be exchanged only through authorized money changers and banks. They  will issue an encashment certificate that is required at the time of re - conversion of any unspent money to foreign currency. Exchanging foreign currency in other than banks or authorized money changers is an offense under India's Foreign Exchange Regulations Act 1973.

As is everywhere weapons are not ordinarily allowed. 

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Formalities for dutiable goods

Dutiable articles or unaccompanied baggage or high-value articles must be entered on a Tourist Baggage Re-Export Form (TBRE). These articles must be re-exported at the time of departure. A failure to re-export anything listed on the TBRE becomes a payable duty levied for each missing item.

Depending on the attitude of the custom's official, one may or may not have to enter a portable computer on a TBRE form.

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Departure Formalities

Export of Indian Currency

Rupees are not allowed out of India. Exchanging them before you depart is the best option. Banking facilities, for the conversion of rupees into foreign currency are usually located in the same airport hall as the check-in counter. Its best to access these facilities before immigration as they are not available thereafter. 

Other export restrictions

All animal products, souvenirs, and trophies are subject to India's  Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The export of skins made from protected wildlife species is not allowed. Such items cannot be imported into many countries, including the United States. As a general rule, avoiding such souvenirs that could be made of animal skins (except crocodile - leather goods )is a good idea. Items more than 100 years old cannot be exported without a permit from the Archaeological Survey, which has an office in major indian cities. Reputable shops will provide you with the required permit or help you procure it. Items without permits will be detained by Indian Customs if they are believed to be over 100 years old.

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Immigration formalities at departure

Foreign nationals about to depart from India must surrender their Certificate of Registration either to the Registration Officer of the place where he is registered or to the Immigration Officer at the Port of exit from India.

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Foreign Travel Tax

For those departing from India, a Foreign Travel Tax  (F.T.T) of Rs. 500 is payable at the port of exit (  Rs. 150 for trips to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives ).

No tax is payable on trips  by ship from Rameshwaram to Talaimanar and in the case of transit passengers, provided they do not leave the customs barrier. Transit passengers traveling by air who have to leave the airport on account of  their plane developing mechanical problems but  who then continue their journey by the same aircraft and the same flight number, are also exempt from F.T.T. Transit passengers leaving their  ship for sightseeing, shopping etc. during their ship's call at any of the Indian ports will not be required to pay F.T.T.

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