This is my first time going to India so please cope with me. I have been doing some reading and discovered a 'potential landmine'.

From Singapore we fly to Kochi (Indian airlines) and connecting flight is in Bengaluru (SIN 21:10 -> BLR 23:15, Only one hour for connection BLR 00:15 -> COK 01:30 ), then by train that leaves 5:10 (which is usually late 1 hour) go to Goa.

Having read about customs horror stories involving electronics I need some advice... We are 5 persons (2x adults, 9-year-old, 7 years old, and baby). We have 4 laptops (2x Alienware 17), projector, iPad and 4x smartphones, (also some other stuff like oral irrigators, electric guitar, MiFi routers, etc..), everything has wear and tear marks (and has no physical receipts bought 2+ years ago on eBay, Amazon).
The way I understand our customs situation: One phone and one Alienware goes to me(price becomes irrelevant) and projector (~600 US) and this fills my allowance for 45k IRS. The second mobile and Alienware goes to my wife... (then this part I am uncertain of) can other 2x laptops + Ipad 2 + 3x phones and other stuff go to my wife as 45k IRS allowance or is it one of above (most expensive of the items), and we have to pay duty on the rest, or we can use our kids for some item allocation?

What I am worried about is that we will get stopped at COK due to the number of electronics and will miss the train to Goa.

What could I do in case this happens to prepare as much as possible (print the receipts from PayPal, make and show item allocation to persons...), or I am just being usual paranoid myself?

  • 2
    Are you visiting or moving permanently? Four laptops seems a lot to take on holiday, not strictly relevant to your question but do you have sufficient travel insurance? There’s usually a limit on electronic items
    – Traveller
    Oct 11, 2018 at 8:18
  • 2
    I assume your flight is with Air India (Indian Airlines merged with Air India about 10 years back). 1 hour is an incredibly tight international-domestic connection. Did you buy it as a single ticket? I'm only asking because even if you sail through customs, you may not make the connection.
    – RedBaron
    Oct 11, 2018 at 8:55
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    Also it seems you are mistaken about the free limits. The 45K limit is for people residing in India or tourists of Indian origin. Tourists of foreign origin can only bring goods worth 15K with them as per rules. Infants do not have the 15K allowance but I assume children do. Unfortunately you cannot pool the allowance together.
    – RedBaron
    Oct 11, 2018 at 9:08
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    Have the receipts printed if you can. And one thing the customs are more interested in you not importing the stuff, but bring it in while arriving and take it back while departing. The customs will try to charge you if you are a foreigner under number of guises. Explain to them plainly and without any nicety that you aren't going to give a dime as you ain't importing anything. If they try to seize it, tell them plainly I need a receipt for the goods confiscated as I intend to take them back when I depart.
    – DumbCoder
    Oct 11, 2018 at 9:25
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    Else tell them to mention the goods on your passport so when you depart they can tally what you brought in and what you are taking back. They are more interested in taking some money off you and you shouldn't be in any way willing to give them anything. But considering you have limited time, I am not sure how much drama you can create. This all I got from a friend's father who was a customs officer, quite a high ranking officer.
    – DumbCoder
    Oct 11, 2018 at 9:27

1 Answer 1


COK is a very small airport, so assuming no delays, the connection may work out (wouldn't expect the bags to make it though, so keep essentials in cabin bags). The fact that your final airline destination is GOA, not BLR, would add complexity/delay to getting your bags sent-on. In terms of flying within India and officious customs etc. it's not has bad as it used to be (I've travelled in India about a dozen times). I was in Kochi, Mumbai and Delhi last week. We didn't have super high-end stuff, but had 4 tablets, expensive headphones (which didn't survive the 300 ohms outputted by Air India's Dreamliner), digital SLR, smartphones, headphone amps a Microsoft Surface i7 etc. No-one batted an eyelid at any of it. Obviously you will face different customs officials, but in general Indians carry a lot of high-tech gear these days now (especially via BLR), so I wouldn't be super concerned. Download any receipts from eBay/Amazon if you can - or check your inbox. Or take a date-stamped photo of stuff.

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