Gold holds a special place in Indian culture and is often considered not just a precious metal but a symbol of wealth, tradition, and even a form of investment. For Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), bringing gold to India can be a common practice for various reasons, including gifting, ceremonies, or simply as an investment. However, there are rules and limits imposed by the Indian government on how much gold an NRI can bring into the country.
Limit on Bringing Gold to India
Carrying gold to India has two modes- duty-free allowance and paying customs duty.
Indian passport holders who have been residing abroad for more than six months can bring up to 1 kilogram of gold to India. This gold can be in the form of jewellery, coins, or bullion. However, it is essential to note that this concession is a one-time benefit and can only be availed once in a lifetime.
NRIs returning to India after residing abroad for more than one year are also allowed to bring gold. The limit for male passengers is 20 grams of gold jewellery worth up to INR 50,000, while for female passengers, it’s 40 grams of gold jewellery worth up to INR 1,00,000.
Customs Duty on Excess Gold
If an NRI exceeds the prescribed limits for bringing gold to India, they will be required to pay customs duty. The customs duty rates can change, so it’s advisable to check with Indian customs or the Indian embassy or consulate in your country before travelling. Typically, the customs duty is charged on the value of the gold exceeding the specified limits.
Declaration and Documentation
When bringing gold to India, it’s crucial to make a truthful declaration to the customs authorities. NRIs should complete a customs declaration form that specifies the amount and value of the gold they bring into the country. Failure to declare gold can result in penalties or confiscation of the gold.
It’s also a good practice to retain purchase invoices and documents related to the gold you are carrying, especially if the jewellery has significant value. This documentation can help prove the source and value of the gold, which can be useful in case of customs inquiries.
Gold for Personal Use vs. Investment
The Indian government allows NRIs to bring gold for personal use or as jewellery for themselves and their immediate family members. Gold brought for investment purposes is not eligible for the duty exemptions mentioned above.
While NRIs are allowed to bring gold to India, it’s essential to be aware of the limits and regulations to avoid any customs-related issues. Staying informed about the current customs duty rates and adhering to the rules ensures a hassle-free and legal process when bringing gold to India. Whether it’s for sentimental or investment reasons, NRIs can continue to cherish the tradition and value of gold within the defined limits.