I'll be flying from the US to Malaysia with a 2-day transit in Chennai. Is there a place where I can store my bags at MAA airport before customs? The reason being, I'll be bringing quite a few stuff for resale in Malaysia and don't want to be charged customs duty in Chennai, as those are not for use/sale in India.

Also, I'm happy to receive any suggestion for alternative solutions.

  • I don't know about India, but generally speaking if you bring an item into a country and also take it out when you subsequently leave, it does not count as importing and you don't pay import dues/fees. Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 22:43

1 Answer 1


While I can't speak for Chennai in particular, the general rule of thumb that a stay of up to 24 hours between two flights on the same ticket is considered a "transit" and the airline will hold and transfer your bags for you for free. However, if your stay is over 24 hours, it's now a "stopover" and you will need to collect your bags.

Customs may also have a bonded warehouse facility for temporarily bringing items into the country without paying duty. That said, I used this once in Finland and it was bureaucratic nightmare involving lots of confusion, phone calls and driving around the airport; I can't imagine the amount of red tape this would involve in India.

  • Indeed if its just a layover, then no issues. However this will be 2 days so i have to collect the bags. And if can be a nightmare in Finland, i can only imagine how it'll be in India. Was your's regular luggages on passenger flight or commercial shipment?
    – Ghan
    Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 1:21
  • 1
    @Ghan I brought the item with me in hand luggage (it was a small but very expensive prototype on its way to a conference) and collected it when leaving the country for my final destination. Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 3:58

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