My girlfriend is an Indian national who has been living in the UK for more than 10 years and now has Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. Just recently, her mom in India became ill and she travelled to India to be with her. On departure at Heathrow, she left her work laptop behind accidentally in a tray at security. The laptop has been found, and she arranged shipment to herself in India via DHL. The laptop has arrived in Delhi, but DHL now want ₹38,000 INR / £400 GBP for import duty before releasing it. Is this a legitimate charge?
My girlfriend is staying with her mom until she gets better (recovering from a heart attack and having a pacemaker fitted) so we don't know how long that will take, but she will be coming back to the UK at some point to work (she works for a well-known UK University, who the laptop belongs to) and to be at her home and life. The laptop belongs to her work - she needs it to continue her work while she is away, but it will come back to the UK with her.
So, in summary, she has had her work laptop shipped out to herself whilst on a personal errand to India, after losing it at the airport, but will bring it back when she returns to UK, DHL want import duty, and we're not sure it's applicable in this case, as it is not being imported permanently and doesn't actually belong to her.