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I have an old laptop which I carried from India to the US & has an export certificate with it(so it's duty-free). Can I buy the laptop in the US and bring both the laptops, duty-free into India?

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    This is not an answer. But depending on the airport you are arriving at, and the route you take this may end up being not an issue at all. With my very anecdotal knowledge, a majority of the time the customs authorities don't care for an additional laptop, and I know multiple examples where the passengers go via the 'green channel' and are very rarely stopped. Again very anecdotal and YMMV.
    – Nivas
    Nov 16 '20 at 4:23
  • Can you not contact the Customs office?
    – jcm
    Nov 17 '20 at 10:16
  • @Nivas, agree with you entirely. This is a total non issue from my perspective. Unless the OP is bringing multiple items to resell, customs won't even bat an eyelid.
    – nikhil
    Nov 17 '20 at 20:28
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If your export certificate correctly lists the earlier laptop with serial number, then items on it will not be counted against any limits.

The new laptop will fall into the category of one duty-free laptop and can be brought in without any duty.

Moreover, it is very common to bring in two laptops (one personal and one company) while travelling from the US to India and this is not practically questioned. Of course if questioned one has to somehow show the work laptop belongs to their company, but that is the default assumption made by customs.

Transfer of residence limits will not be needed for this, also if possible this privilege should be saved for when you actually have to transfer residence, perhaps at the end of your course.

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