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Get grilled by airport customs even if you import gold within limit
March, 26th 2014

Get set for some intense grilling by customs officials at the airport even if you import gold within permissible limit from abroad. As per the new guidelines issued by the finance ministry to the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of the customs department, such passengers must be questioned on the source of their purchase and amount paid as duties in foreign currencies. The antecedents of passengers must be checked before giving them the clean chit, the guidelines state.

Passengers will have to answer questions such as the reason for their journey, who financed their trip and details of the person who purchased the tickets. There are strict instructions to the AIU to mention details of the engraved serial number of gold bars on the baggage receipts. In case of gold jewellery, passengers will have to give details of item-wise inventory.

Eligible passengers can import maximum 1kg gold by paying 10 per cent customs duty in foreign currency. They include people of Indian origin and those with a valid passport coming to India after staying abroad for not less than six months.

"At many airports, the engraved serial number of gold bars and tola bars are not mentioned in the baggage receipts. There is a possibility of such documents being used by unscrupulous elements as cover documents for easy circulation of many more gold bars that are smuggled into the country," said the notification signed by director (customs), RP Singh.

The new guidelines are a result of the spurt in gold smuggling cases, especially at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

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