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Indian Airport Customs Rules – Airport Travel Guide

Indian Airport Customs rules to make you travel to India an amazing experience.

Are you preparing for your trip to India? If so, you’ll need to be aware of the customs and regulations that apply when traveling to the country.

This blog will explain all you need to know about Indian airport customs, from what to bring with you on your trip to why there are rules and regulations.

Whether you’re a first-time traveler or experienced, this blog has everything you need to make your journey go as smoothly as possible.

Indian Customs at Airports – What is it?

When traveling to India, it’s always essential to know Indian customs (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs) which comes under Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

This checkpoint checks for illegal items, such as weapons, explosives, and drugs. If it’s illegal, customs officials will confiscate it or the passengers has to pay the penalty or there can be imprisonment or both.

Travelers should also be aware of the items to bring into the country. For example, you must not carry animal or bird eggs, meat, plants, or flowers and many more.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to plan your trip accordingly and be aware of the restrictions that Indian airport customs put in place.

kindly refer to the to guide for travellers which is issued by the Indian Customs for the convenience and easy reference of passengers.

Guide for Travellers – Click Here

What is the process of Indian Airport Customs?

For importing and exporting goods, Indian airports have strict rules and regulations.

  • Inspection: Customs begins with the inspection of the container or object.
  • Safety Check: All items must meet safety requirements and be in good condition before being allowed into the country.
  • Taxes and Duties: After passing the inspection, the item goes through taxes and duties payable by the importer/exporter.

If you’re looking to import or export goods to India, ensure you know the process and follow all the guidelines. Doing so will ensure a smooth and trouble-free journey!

Why do we have Rules and Regulations at an Indian Airport?

When you fly to or from India, there will be different customs and immigration regulations. It is for many reasons, the most important of which is the safety and security of passengers.

International airports in India are subject to different rules and regulations than those found at domestic airports.

These rules and regulations are in place for many reasons like – safety, security, and the welfare of passengers.

It can be confusing, so it’s always best to contact your travel agent or read up online before arriving at the airport.

Customs can be a little daunting, so it’s always best to be prepared. Having all the information at your fingertips will help you navigate the process with ease.

Importance of Custom Declaration

All passengers entering India must go through immigration and then Indian customs check.

Before disembarking, the first step is to complete the customs declaration form provided by the airline or you can file it online well in advance using ATITHI APP which is easy to use mobile application for international travelers to file declaration of dutiable items and currency well in advance.

Make sure to sign and return the declaration to the Indian customs officer at the Indian airport.

You must be aware of 2 channels – Red and Green.

Red Channel

Use the red channel if you carry any prohibited items or items above the permissible limit.

Here is the list of prohibited items:

  • Weapons like firearms.
  • Over 50 cartridges for firearms.
  • Carrying more than 100 cigarettes.
  • Carrying more than 25 cigars.
  • Tobacco with more than 125 grams.
  • More than 2 liters of alcohol or wine.
  • Any form of gold or silver other than jewelry or ornaments.
  • Flat screen TVs with liquid crystal display, light emitting diode, or plasma TVs.
  • Narcotics or psychotropic substances.
  • Anything above the free allowance amount.

Green Channel

Use the green channel if you don’t have anything to declare or not carrying any prohibited items.

Carrying Currency and Valuables into India – What is the limit?

Submit foreign exchange/currency declarations before Indian Customs officials in the following circumstances:

  • The value of foreign currency notes exceeds US $5,000 or equivalent.
  • When the total value of foreign exchange, including currency, reaches $10,000 or the equivalent.
  • Passengers who are Indian residents returning from a trip abroad are permitted to carry in Indian currency up to Rs. 25,000.
  • It is illegal to bring Indian currency notes in Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 denominations.
  • Indian residents who have spent more than a year abroad may bring INR 100,000 in jewelry for ladies and INR 50,000 in jewelry for men.

Duty-Free Allowance

Arriving from somewhere other than Nepal, Bhutan, or Myanmar:

A. Indians or foreign nationals living in India can carry,

  • Used personal items.
  • Articles up to the worth of Rs.50,000 carried in person or accompanied baggage


  • Firearms.
  • Firearm cartridges above 50.
  • Cigarettes above 100 sticks, cigars over 25, or tobacco above 125 gms.
  • More than two liters of alcoholic liquor or wine.
  • Any kind of gold or silver other than ornaments.
  • Television with a flat panel (liquid crystal display/light-emitting diode/plasma).

B. Foreign Tourists:

  • Personal items
  • Items worth INR 15000 carried in person or baggage.

How is Duty charges calculated?

Two types of duty apply to you.

  • Individual Customs duty – for the items you carry.

If you carry above the prescribed limit, then you will have to pay a customs duty charge (35%) and social welfare charge (3.5%).

  • Trade Customs duty – for items you bring to trade.

Let’s discuss the trade customs and other business-related duties in the next blog.

Tips for Traveling with Food Items

When it comes to traveling with food, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

  • Pack your food items in airtight containers to avoid any potential problems.
  • Ensure to label everything clearly, so you don’t have to worry about anything getting lost in the process.
  • If you’re traveling with dairy products or eggs, ensure they are properly refrigerated and wrapped in foil or plastic to prevent them from going bad.
  • Lastly, be patient – things can get pretty hectic at the airport, so don’t worry if everything takes a little longer than expected. Have a great trip!

Things Not to Bring into the Country

When traveling to India, it’s essential to be familiar with the Indian customs of the country’s airports. Some items that are not allowed into the country include,

  • Weapons
  • Drugs
  • Pronography

Other prohibited items include,

  • Food items (Expired, Unsealed and others)
  • Aerosols (sprays)
  • Glass containers

Ensure you understand the specific rules for your destination before you travel. So you don’t get caught up in any trouble.

When to contact the authorities if there’s a problem?

When traveling to India, it is essential to be aware of customs laws and regulations.

If there’s a problem with your baggage, contact the authorities at the airport.

You should also report any injuries or damages you may have sustained during travel.

Be especially careful if you’re traveling with valuable items or if you’re carrying any contraband.

Remember that it is against the law to falsely accuse someone of smuggling drugs or contraband into India.

When traveling to India, it’s always important to be aware of the Indian customs regulations that are in place. Here are a few website links that will help you out:

Also, remember to,

  • Know the dos and don’ts of bringing gifts to India, as this can impact your travel experience.
  • Read through our checklist below to ensure you prepare for your trip to India!
  • When it comes to customs, be patient – most things go smoothly when you plan ahead!


Traveling to India can be an exciting and daunting experience, but it is made much easier by knowing the Indian customs and regulations at Indian airports.

In this blog, we have outlined the process of Indian Customs, listed the items that are not allowed into the country, and provided links to websites.

So, whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, ensure you know what to expect and have the information you need to navigate the airport.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if something is prohibited inbound to an Indian airport?

Traveling with any of the prohibited items listed above can lead to various problems at the Indian airport. Always check if these items are allowed in advance. You can do this by consulting your airline’s website or contacting customer service.

Here is the exhaustive list of prohibited items.

What should I do if my luggage gets lost during transit through Indian airport customs?

If you lose your luggage during transit through Indian airport customs, you should contact the authorities at the airport as soon as possible. You will need to provide your passport number and flight details to initiate a search for your luggage. Kindly read our article on lost baggage.

Joshi Milestoner is a website working continuously to deliver the best on travel, adventure and airports & aviation. Do not forget to read our blogs and for any queries you can write to us our team will be happy to help you.

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