If I'm to buy a fender stratocaster guitar (price: $1,000) from USA and bring it to India box unopened (or opened- not a big deal), will I be asked to pay custom duties? If yes, how much?

The box weighs around 4- 8kgs I think. And can I hope to see my guitar in one piece when I get to India (meaning, will they let me have the guitar with me in the plane or if not, how safe will my guitar be in the luggage compartment)?

  • 3
    You probably need to split this into two questions, one about the customs/import duties, one about getting the guitar safely half way round the world with you
    – Gagravarr
    Jan 13, 2015 at 11:13
  • Will it arrive in one piece? See here: youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo
    – Phil
    2 hours ago

2 Answers 2


Declare the Guitar to Customs

When you arrive in India you will have to declare the guitar to customs. Since 1000.00 USD = 62315.00 INR (today's rate from Google) you are in excess of the 35000.00 INR duty-free allowance accorded to Indian citizens returning from a trip abroad longer than 3 days, you will have to pay customs duty for this excess. With today's rates your excess amount is 27315.00 INR.

Computing Custom Duty

The Indian Central Board of Excise and Customs Travellers Guide (last updated 11 June 2014) states that:

The goods over and above the free allowances shall be chargeable to customs duty @ 35% + an education cess of 3% i.e. to say the effective rate is 36.05%.

For your guitar this becomes 36.05% of 27315.00 INR which equates to a total custom duty of 9847 INR.


I have carried my 2 strats by unscrewing the neck from bodies and took in my suitcase 2 times. Wrapped it with bubble wrap and padded with cotton garments.

I would do this again anytime i have to carry my strats. I had sold off the cases as you can buy them india again

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