Customs Officials Asked To Follow Rules In Clearing Gifts

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New Delhi: Taking a serious note of delay in Customs clearance of gifts coming through couriers, the revenue department has asked top officials to “scrupulously” follow rules while dealing with packages sent by overseas Indians.

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) said it has received representations on problems faced by Indians abroad who wish to send gift items to India through courier.

“It has been brought to the notice that courier agencies abroad are refusing to book bonafide gift consignments for export to India, citing non-clearance and embargo imposed on such gift parcels by the Indian Customs,” CBEC said.

Issuing instructions to Chief Commissioner of Customs and Customs & Central Excise, CBEC said: “Extant instructions on import of bonafide gift items through post/courier should be scrupulously followed.”

Imports/exports through couriers are governed by the Courier Imports and Exports (Clearance) Regulations and the Courier Imports and Exports (Electronic Declaration and Processing) Regulations. These regulations facilitate goods in terms of quick Customs clearance after discharge of duties, if any, for delivery to the consignees.

Unless the goods brought by post are within the value limits prescribed for free gift or free samples, these have to be assessed for duties by the Customs and the same is indicated to postal authorities.

The duties are collected before the goods are delivered to addressees.

Under the Customs regulations, a “gift” has been defined as any bonafide gift of articles for personal use of a value not exceeding Rs 25,000 per consignment in case of export goods and Rs 10,000 in case of import goods. Also, it says that the item should not be prohibited or restricted for import or export.