All goods imported into India from abroad is liable to duties of Customs under Section 12 of the Customs Act and also is liable to all the restrictions under the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulations) Act 1992. However, the Government has exempted gifts received from abroad by persons residing in India from the whole of duties of Customs and from restriction under FT (D&R) Act. At present, import of goods upto the value of Rs. 5,000/- is allowed as gift, duty free. This exemption is allowed only for bonafide gifts imported by air or post. For the purpose of calculation of this value of Rs. 5,000/- the air freight or postal charges paid are not added. The clarifications that may be needed are as under:
VALUE RELATES TO WHICH COUNTRY:
Whether the value of Rs. 5,000/- means the value of the goods in India or at the country of the sender?
The value of Rs. 5,000/- is the value of the goods in the country from where the goods have been despatched. The sender may not necessarily be residing in the country from where the goods have been despatched.
CAN BE IMPORTED BY SEA :
Whether this concession is allowed for import through Land Border or by Ship?
No, the import has to be only through Air or through Post Parcel.
Who can send the gifts?
Any person abroad can send gifts. There is no specific restriction that only relatives can send the goods. Business associated, friends, relatives, companies or acquaintances can also send the gifts to residents in India.