What exactly happens at India customs?

This is what I found from google:

I get a paper on flight, where I choose I am going to use the green or red channel. Say I choose green, do they scan my luggage at the green channel?

And what exactly happens at the customs? I have never been through one.

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    I get a paper on flight, where I choose I am going to use the green or red channel Where did you get that from ? Have flown quite a number of times into India but never done that. – DumbCoder Jun 28 '19 at 11:40
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    By ‘a paper on flight’ do you mean a Customs Declaration? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customs_declaration If you choose the green channel you are inherently stating that you are not bringing in any goods over the allowed limits. In most airports you just walk through the Green channel and exit, however Customs Officers (sometimes out of sight) are monitoring passengers and you may be stopped and your luggage checked, either randomly or because you’ve somehow attracted their attention eg single traveller returning with lots of bags – Traveller Jun 28 '19 at 12:08

Never done this in India, but other countries have a similar system.

If you walk through the green channel, then normally your baggage will not be searched or scanned. You just walk through and out into the public area.

So, you ask, doesn't everyone do this, whether or not they have things to declare? Because there are people watching the lane, and if they want they can stop you and search. If you are found with items to declare you will be charged with smuggling, which is criminal offence. If you are lucky you might be able to talk the punishment down to a fine, but there is a chance you could end up with a criminal record.

Also the people doing the watching are trained to spot likely smugglers, so it isn't just a random chance.


I have traveled through multiple Airports in India and abroad. Most airports scan luggage for international travelers, most of the time.

I had my luggage scanned for every time when I landed in India, except once. On contrary, Singapore airport scanned only twice out of my 20+ landings.

They don't enforce every rule though. For instance, I am only allowed one laptop when landing, but I almost always travel with two or sometimes 3. I guess they are mostly looking for liquor and drugs.


Kinda late answer but I didn’t declare anything in Hyderabad airport. My checked luggage was scanned but my hand luggage was not so I didn’t get in trouble for taking at least 2 phones and two laptops.

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