I bought some jewellery during the black friday sale for my family. The total cost of which is around $500 but the actual value is higher.

Can I still take all of the items I purchased without paying custom charges or should I return some stuff so that the actual value that I take across borders does not cross more than the allowed threshold?

Keeping in mind I'm on an F-1 visa and have been staying in the states for more than a year.

P.S. I would appreciate if someone can list a resource to check what is the actual value of the allowed items allowed to be taken from the United states to India without paying the custom duty.

  • 1
    This should not be closed as duplicate, because all of our other India customs/importation questions (that I can find) have not been about jewelry, which is called out in a separate rule, with no exceptions or relaxations of allowances.
    – CGCampbell
    Dec 2, 2020 at 14:51
  • Sorry, new user here, closed the post unwittingly, anyway I can reopen it? Dec 3, 2020 at 5:16

1 Answer 1


Jewelry importation is handled under Rule 5 of the Customs Baggage rules, and is kind of different than all other rules (which would define, for example, household goods, or electronics, such as multiple laptops.)


A passenger residing abroad for more than one year, on return to India, shall be allowed clearance free of duty in his bona fide baggage of jewellery upto [sic] a weight, of twenty grams with a value cap of fifty thousand rupees if brought by a gentleman passenger, or forty grams with a value cap of one lakh rupees if brought by a lady passenger.

I would add that Rule 5 (jewelry) is not part of the relaxation of allowances granted for extended stays (for things like un-accompanied baggage). Rule 5 basically stands alone and does not appear to be modified by any other rules or exceptions.

NOTE Please realize that anything I state, as an unknown Internet stranger, should be taken with a very large grain of salt, so to speak. My interpretation of the rules, is just that: my interpretation of the rules. Another Internet stranger may have a different interpretation. The only people who count are the Customs officers at your arrival point. My actual recommendation to you is to be able to pay 100% of the most expensive valuation of the jewelry using the highest exchange rate possible. That way, no matter what the officers decide, you are covered. If you can't afford to pay it, then why take the chance of having your gifts confiscated, or worse, being jailed for a crime you never intended to commit.

  • Please note, I'm not suggesting that the OP is intending to commit a crime. I'm saying that until the OP actually goes through customs in India, none of us can really truly now how the officers will react.
    – CGCampbell
    Dec 2, 2020 at 15:03

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