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Faq Household Goods

HouseHold Goods

Q. Why do you require my original passport? I will bring it with me at time of clearance?

Ans: Original Passport is required at every stage of import clearance in India. This starts from showing the passport to liners to collect delivery order, to filing documents at customs, to schedule inspection date etc.

Q: Should I be personally present during customs examination?

Ans: Owner's personal presence is generally a must as per government regulations. It is also advisable because you can see for yourself the condition in which the goods arrived and how the customs are examining your goods. In cases, if owner cannot be present due to exceptional circumstances like health condition / age / physically challenged etc. a power of attorney can be executed in favor of a friend, relative or moving company, provided completed customs forms should be duly signed and attested.

Q: I want to know the exact date of shipment's arrival and date of customs inspection so that I can plan my work schedule or travel?

Ans: This is not possible know this because of various reasons, there could change in vessel schedule, delays due to port congestion, delay by liners in filing manifest, delay in liners issuing delivery order, delay due to customs holidays, delay due to lack of space in inspection yard, delay due to lack of customs officers to examine goods etc. Your agent, can the clearance process only after liners issue the delivery order and make container / goods available for the inspection. So moving companies can inform you only a tentative date of cargo’s arrival / inspection. The exact date can be informed to you only after your moving company files the documents at customs and in most cases this is at very short notice. There is also the constraint that liners and port authorities allow only 3 free days to clear the goods after which they charge detention and port storage fees.

Q: How long does it take for customs clearance & delivery to residence?

Ans: As indicated above clearance of goods in India is complicated, time consuming and varies a lot depending upon the port, the no. of customs officers present, space available in port, no. of shipments at port etc. Hence an exact time cannot be given. But below is an average time taken for the clearance. The actual can be less than or more than indicated below.

FCL Shipments:
LCL Shipments:
Unloading from vessel & Placement of container or de-stuffed goods in Customs bonded warehouse:
Day 1, 2 & 3
Day 1 to 8
Customs Inspection and assessment of duty
Day 4
Day 9
Payment of duty and release of goods:
Day 5
Day 10
Delivery in same city as POE & unpacking of goods:
Day 6 & 7
Day 11 & 12
Delivery in different city as POE:
Add 2 to 3 days
Add 2 to 3 days

Q. Are all goods physically examined?

Ans: , generally all import consignments are physically inspected 100% as per Indian customs regulations. However, in some cases if there is a proper packing list and if the goods randomly checked, tally with the packing list the customs officials do not check all goods but only open about 20 or 30%. If diplomatic shipment – then there is no physical examination.

Q. I want my goods to be delivered in the shipping container - Is this possible?

Ans: A shipping container is treated as an bonded item which is allowed into the country duty free since it will be shipped back. Hence the container must remain within the Port or Customs area. However, there are provisions to take the container to the residence provided necessary bank guarantee is given to the shipping line. The common practice is to destuff the goods on to smaller vans for deliveries. This is also done because of the restrictions for movement of large vehicles in most Indian cities.

Q: Under what rules can good be imported?

Ans: Household goods can be imported in to India under Transfer of Residence or As Unaccompanied baggage. For more information please visit

Q: What is the difference between Transfer of residence & Unaccompanied baggage?

Ans: >Under transfer or residence goods can be imported at an concessional duty of 15% whereas under unaccompanied baggage the duty is 40%.

Q: Are all my goods dutiable under Transfer or residence?

Ans: No, Personal effects and house-hold goods like furniture, clothes, books, kitchenware, small appliances like mixer, juicer, iron etc. are allowed to be imported duty free if these goods are old and have been used by you.

Q: Can I import all my goods under Transfer or residence?

Ans: No, as per the latest update to the Indian Baggage regulations as on 8 Jan 2004, under transfer of residence, besides used furniture and personal effects, following items can be brought in to India duty free.

  1. Video Cassette Recorder or Video Cassette Player or Video Television Receiver or Video Cassette Disk Player.
  2. Washing Machine.
  3. Electrical or Liquefied Petroleum Gas Cooking Range
  4. Personal Computer (Desk Top Computer)
  5. Laptop Computer (Notebook Computer)
  6. Domestic refrigerators of capacity up to 300 litres or equivalent

Under Transfer of residence duty for the following items the import duty has been reduced to 15%

  1. Colour Television or Monochrome Television.
  2. Digital Video Disc Player.
  3. Video Home Theatre System.
  4. Dish Washer.
  5. Music System.
  6. Air-Conditioner.
  7. Domestic refrigerators of capacity above 300 liters or its equivalent.
  8. Deep Freezer.
  9. Microwave Oven.
  10. Video camera or the combination of any such video camera with one or more of the following goods, namely:- a. Television Receiver; b. Sound recording or reproducing apparatus; c. Video reproducing apparatus.
  11. Word Processing Machine.
  12. Fax Machine.
  13. Portable Photocopying Machine.
  14. Vessel.
  15. Aircraft.
  16. Cinematographic films of 35 mm and above.
  17. Gold or Silver, in any form, other than ornaments."

Q. Will customs duty be levied on old and used Personal Effects and Household Goods under Transfer of residence?

Ans: No, under transfer of residence rules, duty is not levied on used personal effects and household goods which are more than 6 months old.

Q: I have some new furniture & personal belongings, which, are not in the list of 17 articles. Are these goods dutiable.

Ans: : Yes, new items less than 6 month old will be dutiable @ 40%.

Q. What happens if the goods exceed the free allowance limit?

Ans: Customs duty @ 40 % has to be paid on the excess value of the goods

Q. Can other members of a family also claim duty concessions under transfer of residence?

Ans: Transfer of residence concession is provided to a family as a whole. Individual members of a family cannot claim additional concessions.

Q. I did not carry any dutiable goods when I travelled into India. Can I use my free allowance at the time of arrival into the country be used for my unaccompanied baggage?

Ans: No. The duty free allowance of Rs. 12000/- is available for consumption only at the arrival. It cannot be combined for any unaccompanied baggage shipments coming by air or Sea freight.

Q. If I claiming Transfer of Residence concessions - do I have to remain in India?

Ans: No, under the new baggage rules there are no such compulsions.

Q. What are the allowances for import of professional equipment?

Ans: An Indian passenger who was engaged in profession abroad can import professional equipment free of duty upto the value of

A) Rs. 10,000/= if he or she is returning after three months of stay abroad B) Rs. 20,000/= if he or she is returning after six months of stay abroad

Professional Equipment means such portable equipment, instruments, apparatus and appliances as are required in his profession by a carpenter, a plumber, a welder, a mason and the like and shall not include items of common use such as cameras, cassette recorders, dicta-phones, personal computers, typewriters and other similar articles.

Q: Am I allowed to import food stuff into India?

Ans: Yes, if you are a Foreign national - you can import foodstuff in the main household goods shipment duty free up to a limit of Rs. 50,000/= (USD 1050/=). Besides Foreign nationals who are resident in India can import foodstuff worth Rs. 1,00,000 Per Annum (USD 2100). However, please note that Wine, spirits, beverages, etc. are not allowed duty free under this facility. It is also important that payment for the foodstuff must be made out of funds of the foreign national available outside India.

Q: Am I allowed to import Wine, Alcohol & spirits into India?

Ans: Yes, you can import wine, Alcohol & spirits, however, please note that the import duties on such items are very high - Approximately - 244%. We would also like you to note that it is not advisable to import liquor into India as most international brands of liquor are available in India at reasonable prices. However, If you must ship Wine or Liquor, please pack them separately and clearly mark them so it is easily identifiable. If you do not disclose them - it could lead to unnecessary problems with customs if found during physical examination.

Disclaimer:Although Ship2India.com has tried to make the above information as accurate as possible, Ship2India.com accepts no responsibility for any loss or inconvenience sustained by any person resulting from information given above. Ship2India.com encourages you to verify any critical information with the relevant authorities before you book the consignment.