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Former Indian citizens presently settled abroad, who are contemplating a return to India for settlement, have an option of using the transfer of residency rules that offer those returning after extended stays to benefit from relaxed rules regarding import of their personal belongings.

Transfer of Residency – Customs duty

NRI/PIO who are returning to India for an extended period, should consider using transfer of residency, so that they can take advantage of relaxed customs duties. Transfer of Residence is a facility provided to persons who intend to transfer their residence to India after a stay abroad of at least two years. This facility allows the import personal and household articles, free of duty and certain other listed items, on payment of a concessional rate of duty. Those taking transfer of residence are no longer subjected to any minimum stay requirements in India.

Transfer of Residence Rules

Requirements to qualify for transfer of residency concessions: A minimum stay of two years abroad, immediately preceding the date of arrival on transfer of residency is required. Total stay in India on short visits during the 2 preceding years, should not exceed 6 months, and such persons have not availed concessions under transfer of residency in the preceding three years.

Duty free items allowed under transfer of residence

The total combined value of such goods should not exceed rupees five lakh.  NRIs should also be aware that, not more than one unit, of each item of such goods is allowed, per family. Items allowed duty free under transfer of residence are: 1. Used personal and household articles 2. Jewelry up to Rs. 50,000 by a gentleman passenger or Rs. 10,0000 for a lady passenger. 3. Jewelry taken out earlier by the passenger or by a member of his family from India. (Proof may be required) 4. Video Cassette Recorder or Video Cassette Player or Video Television Receiver or Video Cassette Disk Player. 5. Washing Machine. 6. Electrical or Liquefied Petroleum Gas Cooking Range 7. Personal Computer( Desktop Computer) 8. Laptop Computer( Notebook Computer) 9. Domestic Refrigerators of capacity up to 300 liters or its equivalent.

List of items with reduced customs duty

For the following items a reduced customs duty of 15% plus a 3% educational cess is charged.  It does not matter whether these items are new or old.  Color Television or Monochrome Television. Digital Video Disc Player. Video Home Theater System. Dish Washer. Music System. Air Conditioner. Domestic refrigerators of capacity above 300 litres or its equivalent. Deep Freezer. Microwave Oven. Video camera or  the combination of any such video camera with one or  more of  the following  goods, namely:-       o Television Receiver; o Sound recording or reproducing apparatus; o Video reproducing apparatus. Word Processing Machine. Fax Machine. Portable Photocopying Machine. Vessel. Aircraft. Cinematographic films of 35 mm and above. Gold or silver, in any form, other than ornaments.

How to calculate customs duty in India on used items . . .

In case a person knows the rate of duty for a particular item, it's easy to calculate the duty that will be charged.  However for used items the value is determined by allowing depreciation on a yearly basis. Normally depreciation would be calculated as: 1. First year depreciation @ 16% 2. Second year depreciation @ 12% 3. Third year depreciation @ 10% Hence, for an item that is four years old the price works out to the new item price less 38%.

Returning to India from abroad! Things that you should take back to India

Prepare a list of the items to ship back to India for transfer of residency. Such a list will ensure that your customs broker on arrival of goods in India will easily be able to get customs clearance for your shipment. Such a list also helps in deciding what items to take with you when you return to India. A sample list is provided. Check the list out, you can print out the list and then add or subtract as you wish. more info >>
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Disclaimer: Information provided is for general knowledge only and should not be deemed to be professional advice. For professional advice kindly consult a professional accountant, immigration advisor or the Indian consulate. Rules and regulations do change from time to time. Please note that in case of any variation between what has been stated on this website and the relevant Act, Rules, Regulations, Policy Statements etc. the latter shall prevail. © Copyright 2006 Nriinformation.com
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Tips for NRIs taking personal jewelry to India from abroad . . . . . . . . . . . . . Understanding how customs duty on gold and silver is calculated in India
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