How much gold can an NRI bring into India?

Limits for bringing gold from abroad



Gold

The reason behind Indians’ obsession with the yellow metal goes much beyond the near mandatory, traditional overflow in weddings. Gold has always been a highly liquid investment with significant resistance to market fluctuations and this makes it a worthy add-on to any portfolio to mitigate the overall risk.

It is even more advantageous for NRIs because they can source gold which is of superior quality, at favourable pricing from abroad. Almost all NRIs intend to bring gold into the country and it is advisable that one has legal clarity regarding the same.

Who can bring jewellery as baggage?

An Indian passenger who has been residing abroad for more than one year can bring jewellery in his bonafide baggage, which will be exempt from customs duty up to certain limits. A male passenger can bring jewellery worth Rs. 50,000 and in the case of a female passenger, the limit is Rs. 100,000. Gold jewellery carried over and above these limits will attract customs duty.

Can you import gold as baggage?

The weight of gold being imported into the country should not exceed 1Kg per passenger, which is about 2.2 pounds. The said passenger must be a Person of Indian origin OR person holding valid passport under the Passport Act, 1967. Imported gold can be in the form of bars, coins or jewellery. Ornaments studded with stones and pearls will not be allowed under this scheme. 

Please keep in mind that this is merely the legal limit on the quantity of gold inflow, the gold so imported is however subject to applicable import duty based on various factors.

Pre-conditions

The pre-condition that tags along with the above scheme is that the passenger carrying or bringing the gold should have been abroad for more than 6 months. Gold can also be brought during short visits to India made during the stay abroad (of six months or more), provided each visit does not exceed 30 days.

The passenger is free to bring the gold by himself or import it as an unaccompanied baggage within fifteen days of his arrival in India. The gold brought this way has no restrictions placed on it regarding its sale in India.

What if you are a crew member?

Crew members are required to submit accurate declarations about the gold jewellery in possession, with the Customs authorities, on arrival and departure.

Investing in gold is always a pragmatic move by any individual while building a secure portfolio. However, to be on the safer side, it is always advised to declare gold every time just in case you are carrying in excess of the stipulated amount. Also, please make sure that you are updated with the latest norms and changes in regulations before travelling with gold.

Disclaimer: The views / the analysis contained therein do not constitute a legal opinion and is not intended to be an advice. Readers of this document are advised to seek their own professional advice before taking any course of action or decision, based on this document.

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