I will be carrying my personal laptop to New Delhi from USA in a laptop bag. I am planning to keep a new iPad (cost $900) in my laptop bag. If I keep it unpacked and keep the box in the checked in bag, would it be counted as a second laptop or computer which violates customs law? Please let me know if I should go ahead an declare it?

  • I do it all the time, assuming it's an iPad you personally use and it intended to go back with you, it should be okay to bring it in. Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 9:08
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    If you are willing to pay all relevant dues and taxes, you can always declare things. It's only ever a problem if customs officials are dishonest or if it is in fact illegal to import the item in question without paying customs duties but you were hopping to do it nonetheless and evade detection.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 14:06
  • @AdityaSomani I will be gifting the iPad to someone and it's not intended to go back. Is it gonna create any problem then? Does custom people check whether I am gonna take that back with me?
    – John
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 15:57
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    They wouldn't have to check whether you are going to take it back. They could "believe" that you are importing it and make you pay import duties, and if you take it out of the country again, you proved that they were wrong and get a refund. The box anywhere in your luggage is a good hint that you are importing the iPad.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Oct 2, 2014 at 14:51
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    @John so you're trying to import an item that needs to be declared and have duties and taxes paid on it, without doing so. That's fraud, could land you with a hefty fine and/or prison time, and get the item confiscated.
    – jwenting
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 7:17

1 Answer 1



Please note that what you are doing is illegal, as you are effectively importing goods in the country, trying to pass them as personal items which you had on you when you left the USA. This is clearly not the case as you said you bought the item in India and are bringing it in with you in the USA. Moreover, the fact that you put the box in the suitcase does not render this procedure less illegal. Although many people often use such methods, these people are all violating custom laws.

Travelling with an iPad and a Laptop

Having said this, in a normal, legal situation in which you complete a return journey with the same number of devices classified for personal use, it would be uncommon for you to be stopped at customs for having both a laptop and an iPad. Questions tend to arise when you carry two similar items. For example two laptops would raise questions.

You can read more about the legal implications here and here is a similar question about iPad and laptop combination.

  • As well, if you lived in the country for some amount of time and possessed the article for some amount of time, that it's your personal belonging and you can take it with you when you move. But that doesn't seem to be the OP's case. (And the amount of time depend on many factors.)
    – yo'
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 18:01
  • @tohecz it isn't, he intends to deliberately and criminally import goods into the country without paying import duties and applicable taxes, aka smuggling, for distribution there to other parties (whether for sale or as gifts doesn't matter).
    – jwenting
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 7:19
  • @jwenting Your personal property are not goods. Well, maybe they are in strange countries like US, but they are not here. And I speak of personal experience: I was receiving a post package of my relative who has been moving back to Czechia, it had to go through the customs, but nothing had to be paid, even if the total value was quite high. Simply because we honestly (and truly) declared that the things are personal belongings of someone moving from one country to another one. So there are situations where you don't have to pay the taxes or whatever, but it's obviously a bit more complicated.
    – yo'
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 9:08
  • @tohecz that's not the general rule. In many countries (including the US, the Netherlands, etc.) you have to pay import duties on gifts. And you certainly have to pay import duties when bringing things across international boundaries from abroad you don't intent to take with you back out of the country.
    – jwenting
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 9:11

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