Circular No. 16/2002-CUS.
5th March, 2002.

F.No.476/3/2001-LC
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Excise & Customs

Sub: General permission for release of imported currency through post – reg.

As you are aware, under Section 13 (i) of Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973, no person could bring or send into India any foreign exchange or Indian currency except with special or general permission of Reserve Bank of India. Parcels/packets suspected to contain foreign/Indian currency, etc., were to be detained and adjudicated on merits.

2. Import of Indian currency notes and coins by post is not permitted. However, whenever such notes, received by post, are detected by the Customs, the impounded currency is released on the basis of “No Objection Certificate” (NOC) which is issued on merits of each case by the RBI.

3. Packets/parcels containing foreign currency upto Rs. 500/- could earlier be released by the Assistant Commissioner of Customs on caution subject to his satisfaction of genuineness. The particulars of such release were also to be forwarded to RBI and the Enforcement Directorate for information

4. To reduce pendency and to avoid delay in clearance of mail articles, in November, 1997, the RBI had decided to permit the Customs to allow import of both Indian and foreign currencies received by residents by post, provided the value does not exceed Rs. 1000/-, subject to the following conditions:

(a) the power to grant approval is exercised at a fairly senior level in the Customs;

(b) a detailed record should be maintained of the exemptions granted;

c) record of the name and addresses of the remitter and addressee in India should be maintained; and

(d) where a spurt is noticed in the number of covers received over a time, the matter may be reported to the concerned Regional Office of RBI.

5. In view of the liberalisation of foreign exchange regulations under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999, the matter has been reviewed by the RBI. It has now been decided to enhance the existing limit as in para 4 above of Rs. 1000/- to Rs. 5000/-. Accordingly, Customs can allow import of both Indian and foreign currencies received by residents through post without insisting on a NOC from RBI, provided the value does not exceed Rs. 5000/-. Such clearance by Customs shall be subject to the conditions cited at para 4 (a) to (d) above. In the context of condition at para 4 (a) above, Board has decided that imports of Indian and foreign currencies upto a value limit of Rs. 5000/- should be permitted under the approval of the Deputy/Assistant Commissioner of Customs.

6 You are, therefore, requested to issue necessary instructions to the Customs formations under your charge and issue suitable trade/public notice in this regard. Receipt of this Circular may please be acknowledged. Difficulties faced in implementation of these instructions may be brought to the notice of the Board.

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