Indians returning home after a year-long foreign stay will have to pay 15 per cent duty on bringing colour television, home theatre system and bullion other than ornaments into the country.
Until now, used personal and household articles including video cassette recorder/player, washing machine, electrical or LPG cooking range, computer and laptop, and domestic refrigerators of capacity up to 300 litres, besides jewellery up to Rs 50,000 by a gentleman and Rs 1 lakh by a lady were allowed duty free.
For other items, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) notifies rules and rates every year.
For 2016-17, it listed 13 items that an Indian passport holder returning after having stayed abroad for at least 365 days during the two years immediately preceding the date of arrival in India, or any person on a bona fide transfer of residence to India can bring in duty free.
These are video cassette recorder/player, digital video disc player, music system, air-conditioner, microwave oven, word processing machine, fax machine, portable photocopying machine, washing machine, electrical or LPG cooking range, desktop computer, laptop computer and domestic refrigerators of the capacity up to 300 litres or its equivalent.
Colour Television, video home theatre system, dish washer, domestic refrigerators of capacity above 300 litres, deep freezer, video camera, cinematographic films of 35mm and above and gold or silver, in any form, other than ornaments would attract 15 per cent ad valorem customs duty, CBEC said.
For Indian passport holders, the total aggregate value of duty goods should not exceed Rs 5 lakh, CBEC said.
In a separate notification, CBEC said an Indian resident or a foreigner residing in India or a tourist of Indian origin, arriving from any country other than Nepal, Bhutan or Myanmar, shall be allowed clearance free of duty articles in his bona fide baggage including used personal effects and travel souvenirs and the 13 items in exempt list for long stay Indians.
For passenger arriving from Nepal, Bhutan or Myanmar, the ceiling of duty free baggage stands at Rs 15,000 for the 13 exempt items, it said.
CBEC said a 35 per cent ad valorem duty would be levied on any article the value of which exceeds the duty free allowance admissible.
These rules would however not apply to fire arms; cartridges of fire arms exceeding 50; cigarettes, cigars or tobacco in excess of the quantity prescribed for importation free of duty; alcoholic liquor or wines in excess of two litres; gold or silver in any form other than ornaments; flat panel (LCD or LED or Plasma) television; and goods imported through a courier service.