Customs Clearance

The procedure to be followed as regards clearance of Accompanied Baggage is as follows:

Customs Clearance after arrival from abroad:

Keep a list of the articles in baggage giving their description and value as per the table given below:

Name, Nationality, Passport No. & date of issue, Date of departure, Date of arrival, Duration of stay abroad, Previous visit, if any, Flight no. Country visited, Purpose of visit.

Inventory of Goods


Description of goods


Value in Rupees

Exempted dutiable








Properly fill in disembarkation card given to you by the airlines crew before the landing of the aircraft.

At the health counter, your health certificate will be checked by the Health Inspector who will put his stamp on the reverse of disembarkation card in token of having cleared you from health formalities.

Then at immigration counter your visa etc., will be checked and if everything is in order, your passport will be stamped with the date of disembarkation etc. and upper portion of the disembarkation card will be detached whereas the lower portion called ‘gate pass’ will be delivered to you.

Collect your baggage from the arrival hall and proceed for customs clearance in the same hall.

There are two customs channels for clearance of the baggage viz., green channel and red channel. Green channel is for passengers not having any dutiable or prohibited / restricted goods. Red channel is for passengers having dutiable goods. Passengers are advised to report at the appropriate channel for customs clearance. They are normally cleared on oral declaration. But it would be better if you have a list of the articles in your baggage giving their description and value. You should also keep all purchase receipts for articles brought as baggage. If you have imported goods which are misdeclared, not declared, concealed then they are liable for confiscation and you may be liable to fine, penalty and even prosecution.

If you are carrying currency including travellers’ cheques exceeding US $ 10,000 in value, do not forget to declare this to the Customs; non-declaration can result in confiscation. The CDF may be required by the authorised dealer in foreign exchange for endorsement. After encashing foreign currency into Indian rupees they issue Encashment Certificate. Retain the encashment certificate for endorsement by the bank at the time of reconversion into foreign currency.

For your mishandled baggage, obtain a landing certificate before passing out of Customs. In the case of loss of landing certificate, the baggage can be got released against an indemnity bond.

Foreign / Indian currency drafts and other instruments have to be declared irrespective of their value.

Detention of Goods:

All dutiable/prohibited goods, imported by passengers, in respect of which a true declaration has been made, may be held in safe custody or detained in accordance with the provisions of Section 80 of the Customs Act, 1962 for the purpose of being returned to him on his leaving India for re-export.

If for any reason, the passenger is not able to collect the article at the time of his leaving India, the article may be returned to him through any other passenger authorised by him and leaving India or as cargo consigned in his name.

Similarly, dutiable goods which passengers desire to clear subsequently, may also be detained temporarily for clearance on payment of duty and/or fine and other dues. Unclaimed packages found in the Baggage Hall and handed over by Airlines, will similarly be received by the Detention officer for safe custody.

Before detention of the Baggage concerned, the same should be examined and inventorised. The Detention Officer shall issue Detention Receipts, for all the goods detained by him, wherein he shall enter the particulars of goods detained and the name and address of the importer/owner.

The detained package is sealed with Customs seal in the presence of the passenger and his signature obtained as an evidence. A separate register is maintained for keeping a record of such detained packages. Such packages are kept in the custody of the Customs Department.

Subsequently as and when the Passenger claims the packages, either for re-export or clearance on payment of duty, the same are shown to the passenger and his signature obtained regarding the seals being intact. Thereafter the packages are re-examined and dealt with appropriately for release or re-export. Necessary entries are made in the Detained Goods Register regarding release of the packages.

Disposal of detained passenger Baggage at International Airports

In respect of the goods detained at the International Airports temporarily at the request of the passengers either for payment of duty or for the purpose of re-export or subsequent production of documents, action is initiated by the Customs authorities for disposal of goods after confiscation if the passenger does not come up for clearance of goods within the time limit given in the detention receipt.

To give effect to the above decision it may be ensured that the full address of passengers in India is retained at the time of issue of the Detention Receipt. In case the passengers are not resident in India, they should be requested to give the name of an authorised representative who would be accepting the amount due to the passenger from the Department. From the sale proceeds the customs duty etc., can be deducted and the balance may be sent to the passenger.


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