I was going to take two laptops from USA to India, as I am a computer science student. I generally use both of them for programming. As the law is stated in India, only one laptop is allowed as free allowance, and the other is dutiable good. Logically I am a tourist, as I will be returning to USA in twenty days, as my semester starts soon. So I should not be dutiable.

If the customs officer forces me to pay duties, then how much would it be?

First, both the laptops are $710 each. How is their worth calculated by customs officers (i.e. is the exchange rate considered on the buying day or on the day of travel)?

Second, since one of the laptops is free, does that mean I will be only charged duty for the other laptop?

Finally, I believe there's a minimum allowance while traveling (Rs 35000), so will I have to pay duty on $710 minus Rs 35000 or the entire price? Since that will be like only $710 = Rs 41655 minus Rs 35000 = Rs 6655 (*duty rate), that would not be more than 2K. (Does that mean I could buy a new laptop for my Mom and gift it to her while legally paying the duty? (Since 2k is flimsy.)) (I have no idea what the duty rate is!)

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    Its not a duplicate, since no where is the conversion factor mentioned, neither the fact that both were bought in USA. Plus this is a question to pay customs and not evade it May 19, 2014 at 5:45
  • the answer there on the limits, does that not help at all? :/
    – Mark Mayo
    May 19, 2014 at 5:54
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    It doesn't talk about conversion rate and the link doesn't work May 19, 2014 at 6:03
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    @chettyharish To be honest, the difference between INR 58 to 1 USD and INR 59 to 1 USD is not a lot. I've bought extra luggage on the Delhi airport once, in the INR equivalent of USD and the rate was the current (i.e at that time) Inter-Bank rate. May 19, 2014 at 7:27

1 Answer 1


You are entitled to bring 1 laptop over and above your individual allowance of Rs.35000, So your first laptop is cleared.

For the 2nd laptop which is Rs.41500 at current exchange rate is above the customs limit. you may be charged for the difference of 41500 minus 35000. which is Rs. 6500.

One more option is to keep the 2nd laptop at the customs custody and obtain a re-export certificate.

for more information please refer the below link http://www.cbec.gov.in/trvler-guide_ason22may2013.pdf

  • I am bringing two laptops , one is worth $679 (which will go in allowed laptop) , and other one is $499. So I do not have to pay any customs logically. So should I go through the red line (since I wont have to pay anything) , or the green line. Would going through the red line save me the checking time and the hassles which I might face going through the green line? Jun 23, 2014 at 3:38
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    @ Chettyharish: Customs officials would scan all the bagage even if you go on Green line, so i suggest you proceed through the normal channel and if questioned you may provide proofs like bills, invoice to show the value of laptop's.
    – Karthick
    Jun 23, 2014 at 8:42
  • Thanks a lot for the help, I am much less confused now :) Jul 3, 2014 at 17:58

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