Indian Customs Gold Duty, Allowance And Rules (2022 Guide)

Indian Customs Gold Duty, Allowance And Rules

From gold jewellery gifted at weddings to investments in gold coins, there are several reasons why we Indians are obsessed with yellow metal.

A notable advantage of gold as an asset is that it is highly liquid and portable. It can be converted to cash when an emergency arises and is easy to exchange whenever needed.

Indian expatriates, in particular, love to buy gold from abroad due to its lower prices and superior quality. However, over the past few years, restrictive conditions and customs duty on gold imports are discouraging many people from carrying gold to India.

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

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:

1. Is carrying gold to India legal?

Absolutely! An Indian national can legally carry gold jewellery to India subject to certain restrictions on the quantity. The quantity allowed and customs duty payable will depend upon his residency status and the duration of his stay abroad.

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

An Indian passenger who has been residing abroad for over one year is allowed to bring jewellery, free of duty in his bonafide baggage up to an aggregate weight of :

  • 20 grams, subject to a maximum value of Rs. 50,000/- (in the case of a male passenger)
  • 40 grams, subject to a maximum value of Rs. 100,000/- (in the case of a female passenger)

Please note that since the current market price of gold per gram is more than Rs 2,500/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 also?

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 allowance is only for gold jewellery. Gold in any other form is liable to pay duty.

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

The main conditions are as below:

  • The passenger should be an Indian citizen.
  • The passenger should have stayed abroad for one year.
  • The gold has to be in the form of jewellery only. Gold coins, gold biscuits or gold bars cannot be part of the duty-free allowance.
  • The maximum duty-free allowance is Rs 50,000 (for men) and Rs 100,000 (for women).
  • Gold above this limit will be liable to customs duty.

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

For those who stayed abroad for more than a year, the discounted duty payable is 13.75%.

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

If you carry gold above the standard duty-free allowance, you must declare it. Importing gold by concealment in baggage coupled with no declaration will lead to confiscation and the imposition of a fine/penalty, and the offender may also be arrested.

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

All gold jewellery bought in India is exempt from duty if the passenger exiting the home country duly declares it and secures an export certificate at the airport customs desk.


Export Certificate For Gold

An export certificate is a document issued by customs and contains information like the passenger’s name, passport number and details of the item. In the case of gold jewellery, it will have weight, description etc.

Passengers departing India can obtain an export certificate for high-value items if they intend to bring such items back on their return to India.

Once you have this export certificate for a piece of jewellery, you can bring it in or take it out any number of times without any hassle.

How To Get Export Certificate From India

You must fill out the form and apply with a valuation certificate from an authorised valuer. You can search online for a government-approved registered gold valuer near your place and contact them for the valuation certificate.

Once you have the valuation certificate, produce the certificate and items to the Customs Officer for examination along with a boarding pass and passport. He will issue an export certificate for this item.

Please check with your departure airport well in advance, as the procedure is different for some airports.

Export Certificate Validity

The export certificate will be valid for three years. It must accompany the item when brought back into India by the passenger or any member of his or her immediate family to clear the item without paying any customs duty on gold.


Part 2: Importing Gold As Baggage


1. Who can import gold as baggage?

Any passenger of Indian Origin or a passenger holding a valid Indian passport coming to India after a period of not less than six months abroad can import gold as baggage.

However, short visits during these six months shall be ignored if the total duration of such short visits does not exceed 30 days and the passenger has not availed of the exemption under this scheme at the time of such short visits.

Except for these passengers, no other passengers are allowed to import gold in Baggage.

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

The customs duty payable for importing gold is as below:

Period of Stay AbroadDuty-free AllowanceDuty Payable
One year and aboveMax value of Rs 50,000 for male;
Max 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?

Holder of Indian passport who has at least one-year continuous stay abroad can bring in up to 1 kg of gold on payment of duty. This can be jewellery or crude gold or gold coin, 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 of 30 days or less are ignored in calculating this period of six months. If the total days on short visits to India is less than 30 days during the preceding six months, 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 the passenger bringing in the gold has not stayed abroad for six months, then the duty @ 38.5% may be charged on all the gold the passenger arrives with.

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

The passenger can either bring the gold himself at the time of arrival or import the same within fifteen days of his arrival in India as unaccompanied baggage. There is no restriction on the sale of gold in India.

The passenger can also obtain the permitted quantity of gold from the Customs bonded warehouse of State Bank of India and Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation 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. According to market conditions, this value is subject to change from time to time. A purchase receipt can be good to show the source. However, prices are calculated as per value on the date of travel.

Payment of Gold Duty

To pay customs duty at a discounted rate, you must bring foreign currency. If the duty is paid in Indian Rupees, the duty rate would be 38.5%.

If the passenger is not able to furnish authentic information for the gold jewellery they bought or money to pay the duty, the only course available to customs officials is to detain the jewellery giving an option to the passenger to release the gold jewellery on payment of duty OR to hand over the gold jewellery to the passenger when he is going to a foreign country (which is called re-export).

Related Articles:

  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

Frequently Asked Questions


Am I allowed to carry small jewellery for daily use?

Usually, customs officials do not mind if ladies wear small jewellery for daily use (e.g. a small chain, a pair of earrings etc.). To be on the safer side, you can get an export certificate.

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

The duty-free allowance applies only to pure gold jewellery. Jewellery studded with stones does not qualify for free allowance.

How much gold is allowed on international flights to India?

The duty-free gold allowance for male passengers is 20 grams (maximum Rs 50,000) and for female passengers is 40 grams (maximum Rs 100,000).


Copyright © NRIGuides.com – Full or partial reproduction of this article in any language is prohibited.

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


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  1. Stephanie Ellison

    I am a non-Indian American spending a lot of time in Gujarāt state and like to buy gold as savings. What are the laws as far as taking gold with me (to prevent theft at the domicile where I stay at) out of Bhārat and back here? Do I need the Export Certificate? I know the laws for declaration at American ports, but not for Bhārat ports (on the assumption that I have previously bought the gold within Bhārat and have all the receipts for them).

    1. NRI Guides Team

      Hi Stephanie, You should get a valuation certificate from an approved jeweller in India and then get an export certificate from customs officials before leaving India.

      1. What exactly is the process for doing that? I tried to do that at the Indira Gandhi airport, even with the help of airport staff, and we did not find the customs officials on the way to boarding the flight. Fortunately, I had only one biscuit with me. It went through security 4 times (each leg of the flight out and back to my city), and nobody said anything. Also, I was told by the jeweller that I only needed my receipts and not the valuation certificate.

        1. Hi Stephanie, For a jewellery valuation certificate, you need to search online for Government Approved Jewellery Valuer in your city. There are more than 1000 approved valuers in India.
          PS: Our advice is not to carry gold biscuits or coins while travelling to India as they are not included in the duty-free allowance. Even if the officials don’t notice them doesn’t mean it is legal.

      2. Is platinum a way around customs? Disclaimer: my money that I get from the US gov’t is post-tax dollars, free to do whatever I want with it.

        Does the platinum have to be declared? It appears that there are limits for duty-free entry on EVERYTHING, with the exception of bullion. If you have high-value, low-volume items such as this or anything else, it has to be declared. Right? Platinum is not mentioned in customs documents ANYWHERE, but again, they mention “in general” anything that is valued over a certain amount has to be declared. Again, is that correct?

  2. Hi,
    Our Jewelery are cheassed by Customs in Chennai and they asking 38.5% Duty due less than 6 Months Stay Outside India. we are unable to pay this charges. we are planning to return the same country, Can you please advise what’s the procedure for Re Export.
    Thanks & Best Regards.

  3. Karthik Kannappan

    Hi,
    Three family members and having OCI card with US passport, planning to take two gold coins(total of 62.2 gms) from USA to India and bring back as Jewelery, Is that allowed? Do I need a export certificate for this? will there be any tax need to be paid at India?

  4. Sir,
    I am here in abroad for more than 2.5years, Now i am planning to visit my home country India. How much grams of gold is eligible as a duty free for myself to carry???

  5. Dhiren Shukla

    Today’s gold price is 51000. If anyone bring 20 grams to come to 102,000.00. So do he has to pay for difference ?. What is use of 20 grams free allowance with cap of 50,000. This is insane.

  6. Sufiyan Shaikh

    Hi
    What if a family is coming to India on vacation and the lady of that family is wearing excess jewelry then the specified limit and she will be taking those back after returning from vacation. Does she still needs to pay duty?

    1. Hi sir I’m planning to take 30gm of Gold bar to India but as I came to know that it’s not allowed to take that much so what should I do ?

    2. Hi IAM working from 6 years in abroad how much gold I can take ? Only 20 grams ?? Is it possible to take more than that?? It’s 218 dirhams now. ..it means only 12 grams… Equal to 50000rs
      Right??

  7. Hello. I am working in Thailand on work visa. I have to visit India for 7 days after nearly 2 years. I want to carry approx 800 gms of silver decoration price with bill . Am I allowed?

  8. Mohammad irfan

    dear sir / madam
    i have gold gold 4 bracelet almost 50 grams how much I have to pay duty in Delhi airport

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