425. Problems with customs at airport when taking gold to India from Australia
Questions: Dear Sir,My parents have visited Australia for 3 months and I have sent 3 ounces of gold(bought with my hard earned money) with them. At the Hyderabad international airport after the bag was scanned the staff there made them feel as if they have got the stolen gold and saying that they have to pay 1 lack first or they keep the gold . And finally after they made them pay 500$ (Australian) they did not give them any receipt. This whole experience made them feel scared and spoiled the good experience of their whole trip. they are still experiencing the trauma from this bad experience.I have checked this website after hearing from them what happened , and came to know that people with 6 months stay can carry upto 1kg. Could you please tell me what happens if the people with 3 months stay carry the gold? what is the difference for 6 and 3 months stay in taking the gold. If there is any rule how much is the penalty? Why the staff there did not give them any receipt of the 500$ that they made them paid(which they are carrying for some other purpose given by someone else)How much legally they are supposed to pay for this quantity of gold.why can't the officers show or display this rules in the airport so that everyone can get educated?I appreciate for your prompt reply.thank you(Name withheld by Admin)Answer: I am sorry to hear about the problems your parents faced when they returned to India from their Australian holiday. No ones parents should be placed in such a position and for most of us, such incidents are not easy to get over.However, in my opinion, the responsibility for placing your parents in such a situation rests with you. Clarification of rules and regulations should be sought before taking steps to import gold or anything else for that matter. Had you checked before letting your parents carry the gold to India, you would have known that:1.A minimum stay of six months is required abroad. 2.Gold must be declared to customs officials and applicable customs duty paid in foreign currency.As per rules, your parents were allowed to import goods valued up to Rupees 25,000 each, as their duty free allowance. However the same rules state that ‘The free allowance is not applicable to Gold or silver, in any form, other than ornaments.’Carrying gold if stay abroad is less than three months is not allowed and hence illegal. Your parents did not make a declaration that they were carrying 3 ounces of gold The fact that the gold was discovered when the bag was scanned, would be deemed to be an attempt to smuggle gold. The rules state that attempting to smuggle gold, without declaration may lead to arrest & prosecution. Even the customs declaration passengers fill on arrival in India warns passengers about the importance of making a true declaration.All things said and done, as I am not privy to exactly what happened, it appears that Australian $500, was taken as a bribe from your parents and hence no receipt was given. There is not much that can be done about such a situation as things are not easy to prove. Some people reading this, may even feel that your parents probably got off easily by just paying $500 and avoided prosecution, fines and confiscation of the gold.Arriving in India with GoldAnyone taking gold to India from abroad should NOT walk out via the green channel at the airport. Even if you don’t have any other dutiable items to declare, you must declare the gold, regardless of how small the amount of gold you are bringing in may be.With gold prices currently around Rupees 28,800 plus! the Indian customs officers are probably on alert to ensure that gold imports are in accordance of the law.