Indian Customs Gold Duty, Allowance And Rules (2023 Guide)

Indian Customs Gold Duty Allowance And Rules

The NRI Guides Team regularly reviews this article to ensure the content is up-to-date and accurate. The last editorial review and update were on 30 October 2023.

From gold jewellery gifted at weddings to investments in gold coins, Indians have a deep-seated affection for the yellow metal, driven by several factors.

A significant advantage of gold as an asset is its high liquidity and portability. It can be easily converted to cash in emergencies and readily exchanged as needed.

Indian expatriates, in particular, have a penchant for purchasing gold from abroad due to its lower prices and superior quality. Nevertheless, in recent years, stringent conditions and customs duties on gold imports have dissuaded many from bringing gold to India.

This article explains the Indian Customs gold duty, the latest rules, regulations, and procedures to follow while taking gold in and out of India.

The below information has been prepared after studying the Indian Baggage Rules and traveller guidelines issued by the Central Board of Indirect Customs and Taxes.

Indian Customs Gold Duty Rules

To answer your questions, we will divide this into two parts:

  • Part 1: Carrying gold to India during travel (duty-free allowance)
  • Part 2: Importing gold to India as baggage (by paying customs duty)

Part 1: Carrying Gold To India During Travel


Let’s start with the most obvious question:

Yes, it is entirely legal for Indian nationals to carry gold jewellery to India. However, the amount you can bring and the customs duty you need to pay depend on your residency status and the time you’ve spent abroad.

2. How much gold can I carry to India without paying customs duty?

If you have lived abroad for more than a year, you can bring gold jewellery up to a certain weight without paying customs duty.

  • For male passengers, the limit is 20 grams, with a maximum value of Rs. 50,000.
  • For female passengers, the limit is 40 grams, with a maximum value of Rs. 100,000.

Please note that since the current market price of gold per gram is more than Rs 5,000/gram, you cannot take 20/40 grams. So the limit will be the value of Rs 50,000/Rs 100,000.

Passenger TypeStay AbroadGold TypeMaximum Value
Male Indian passengerMore than one yearGold JewelleryUp to a value of Rs 50,000
Female Indian passengerMore than one yearGold JewelleryUp to a value of Rs 100,000
Male or FemaleLess than one yearAnyNo free allowance

3. Is the allowance applicable to children as well?

Yes, the duty-free allowance on gold jewellery also applies to children, provided they have stayed abroad for one year or more.

4. Can I bring a gold coin, gold biscuit or gold bar within the allowance?

No, the duty-free allowance only applies to gold jewellery. Other forms of gold, like coins, biscuits, or bars, are subject to customs duty.

5. What are the conditions for carrying gold to India as a duty-free allowance?

Here are the main conditions you need to know:

  • You must be an Indian citizen.
  • You should have stayed abroad for one year.
  • The gold must be in the form of jewellery, not in the form of coins, biscuits, or bars.
  • The maximum duty-free allowance is Rs. 50,000 for men and Rs. 100,000 for women.
  • Gold above this limit is subject to customs duty.

6. How much is the customs duty on excess gold jewellery?

If you’ve stayed abroad for more than a year and carry gold beyond the duty-free allowance, you will be required to pay a discounted duty of 13.75%.

7. Do I have to declare the gold if I am not asked about it?

Yes, if you have gold exceeding the standard duty-free allowance, you must declare it. Failing to declare it can lead to confiscation, penalties, and even legal consequences.

8. Do I have to pay duty if I bought the jewellery from India?

Any gold jewelry purchased in India is exempt from duty if you declare it correctly and obtain an export certificate at the customs desk before leaving the country.


Part 2: Importing Gold As Baggage


1. Who can import gold as baggage?

“Passengers of Indian origin or a passenger holding a valid Indian passport, coming to India after a minimum of six months abroad, can import gold as baggage.

Short visits within six months are not considered if they total less than 30 days. Additionally, the passenger should not have utilized the exemption under this scheme during such short visits.

Apart from these passengers, others are not permitted to import gold as baggage.

2. How much is the Customs Duty for importing gold?

The customs duty for imported gold depends on the duration of your stay abroad:

  • One year or more: Duty-free allowance is Rs. 50,000 for males and Rs. 100,000 for females, and for gold above this limit, a 13.75% duty applies.
  • Six months to one year: No duty-free allowance, but gold up to 1 kg can be imported by paying a 13.75% duty.
  • Less than six months: No duty-free allowance and a 38.5% duty applies.
Period of Stay AbroadDuty-free AllowanceDuty Payable
One year and aboveMaximum value of Rs 50,000 for males;
Maximum value of Rs 100,000 for female
Up to 1 kg: 13.75%
Six months to one yearNo AllowanceUp to 1 kg: 13.75%
Less than six monthsNo Allowance38.5%

3. What is the maximum gold I can bring above the free allowance?

If you’ve stayed abroad for at least a year, you can bring up to 1 kg of gold on payment of duty, which can be in various forms such as jewelry, crude gold, gold coins, or gold biscuits.

4. I have visited India for a few days in the last six months. Can I qualify to bring gold?

Short visits to India (less than 30 days) within the preceding six months are not counted when determining eligibility to bring gold. You can import up to 1 kg of gold on payment of duty.

5. What if I did not complete six months of stay abroad?

If you haven’t stayed abroad for six months, a duty of 38.5% may be charged on all the gold you bring with you.

6. Do I have to carry the gold with me while travelling?

You can either bring the gold yourself upon arrival or import it as unaccompanied baggage within fifteen days of your arrival in India. There are no restrictions on selling gold in India.

The passenger can also obtain the permitted quantity of gold from the Customs bonded warehouse of the State Bank of India and Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation. This is subject to the same conditions.

8. How is the gold price calculated? Can I show the purchase receipt?

The price of gold is calculated based on the value notified by the government of India at the time of travel. While a purchase receipt can help prove the source, the value of the gold is determined based on the date of travel.

Payment of Gold Duty

To pay customs duty at a discounted rate, you must use foreign currency. Paying in Indian Rupees incurs a duty rate of 38.5%.

If you can’t provide authentic information about the gold jewellery or the means to pay the duty, customs officials may detain the jewellery and offer you the choice of paying the duty or re-exporting the gold when leaving India.


Frequently Asked Questions


Am I allowed to carry small jewellery for daily use?

Generally, customs officials usually do not object to ladies wearing small, daily-use jewelry (e.g., a small chain, a pair of earrings, etc.). To ensure a smooth experience, you can obtain an export certificate before leaving India.

Is jewellery studded with stones included in the duty-free allowance?

The duty-free allowance applies exclusively to pure gold jewelry. Jewelry adorned with stones does not qualify for this allowance.

How much gold is allowed on international flights to India?

The duty-free gold allowance for male passengers is 20 grams (with a maximum value of Rs. 50,000), while for female passengers, it’s 40 grams (with a maximum value of Rs. 100,000).

How much gold is allowed from Dubai to India?

Male passengers returning to India from Dubai can bring gold jewelry weighing up to 20 grams, valued at not more than Rs. 50,000. Female passengers are permitted to bring up to 40 grams of gold jewelry, valued at no more than Rs. 1 lakh. Exceeding these limits requires payment of customs duty.

How much gold jewellery can I carry to the USA from India?

According to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), there is no specific limit on the amount of gold jewelry that can be brought into the United States. However, if the value of the jewelry exceeds $10,000, it must be declared to a CBP officer on a FINCEN 105 form upon entry. If the jewelry is a personal possession being brought back to the US, there is no need to declare it.

  1. Duty-Free Allowance At Indian Airports
  2. Indian Airport Customs Duty On LCD/LED TV
  3. Indian Customs Rules for Electronic Items
  4. Transfer of Residence to India: Customs Rules for NRI
  5. Indian Customs Cash Limit And Rules
  6. Indian Customs Declaration Form

Copyright © NRIGuides.com – Unauthorized reproduction of this article in any language is prohibited. The information provided on this website is intended for general guidance and informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice, and travellers are encouraged to verify visa requirements and travel advisories through official government sources before making any travel arrangements.

Reference: Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs, Baggage Rules 2016


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  1. Michelle Thomas

    If you are visiting for a wedding but not on indian passport anymore – how much can I bring to wear for a woman

  2. NIVETHA KANNADASAN

    I am going to south Korea through visiting visa period of less than three months . In that period I will be able to put the gold jewellery of chain , wedding ring, earning for the daily issue purpose not for export or import purpose. For that it is come under the duty free allowance. In that period of less than three months for men 20 gram gold and for women 40 gram gold is appilcable in the category. Otherwise we want to collect the valuation certificate to carry the daily use ornaments

  3. Does this apply to foreign nationals as well? How about an overseas citizen of India bringing jewellery while visiting India?

  4. What about the Jewelry that we already own (not purchased within the last one year) and would like to carry with us to and from India? DO we have to pay duty on these old ornaments as well?

  5. How the Indian govt contuious use this old rules of 2014 till today.
    Year 2023 20 grams can value today is 120000rs approx so if a person bring 20 grams the customs officer mouth open like blue whale they charged duty on us.because this happened to me I argued with them regarding this rules they didn’t listen .holy crap this is totally shit need to upgrade the rules.

    1. Syed, you are absolutely to the point. 20 grams today value (in 2023) is over 1 lakh indian rupees. How can this be capped at 50000 rupees while allowing 20 grams ? Publisher of this article needs to correct their statement after proper verification, or indian customs should check their own logic.

  6. India should be ashamed clearly they have no knowledge or don’t care about the price of gold in terms of grams, this makes no sense, india has such uneducated officials it’s mind blowing.

  7. What kind of fuck shit is this. Modi made these regulations with the education of his 10 fake degrees. Nice.

  8. What kind of fuck shit is this. Modi made these regulations with the education of his 10 fake degrees. Nice.

  9. is it needed to complete one year, for 11 months stay abroad how do they calculate for bringing gold jewels to India

  10. South Indian Hindu married women wear Thali (Mangalsutra) which can easily be more than 40 grams. Normally, it will be around “5.5 Savran” (even for the middle class people). Its our tradition and its OUR hard earned money. Thus, this rule is not appropriate for South Indian Hindu women travellers from any part of the world! Its sad Indian government is unaware of this issue. Did not expect this from Hindustan!

  11. I’m a singaporean going to India in September at present I’m wearing thali and chain it’s 100 gm must I declare at Chennai airport

  12. Dear Sir / Mam , I want to do gold business from abroad. How much custom duty will I have to pay for bringing 1 kg of gold officially?
    And what documents and licenses do I need to have for this?

  13. I m a Indian passport holder working in Malaysia from many years if I carry 20 gram gold , custom can ask me questions because 20 gram gold rate in India almost 1 lakh rupees , Ans u said only 50000 rupees gold can carry , how u guys calculate , pls Ans must

  14. Sir , according to Indian price gold rate is almost 60 thousand , 10 gram , so pls clear if men can carry 20 gram gold that price is almost 1 lakh inr , so how we carry our gold, by inr 50 thousand or by 20 gram

  15. Can Indian woman travelling abroad with gold jewels worth more than Rs.4.00lakhs, bring back to India, the same jewels without customs dut
    Y?

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