I have purchased 15 iPhones in Chennai and I want to bring them to Delhi. Will I have to pay duty for that in Chennai? I have the receipt proving I bought them in Chennai.

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    Chennai and Delhi are both in India, so you wouldn't pay duty. There might be other tax laws involved in such an operation though, since you're essentially running a business buying and moving around so many phones. That's probably off-topic for a travel site though. Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 7:23
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    @ZachLipton Sadly, two places being in the same country doesn't preclude the existence of legal barriers to movement of goods between them; in Canada, for instance, there's often less red tape for businesses to import products from Asia than from another Canadian province!
    – Urbana
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 10:53
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    @blackbird Unless that linked question covers traveling from one Indian state to another, I highly doubt it's a duplicate!
    – Urbana
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 11:34
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    (And I think it's impressive that someone was trigger-happy enough to upvote the duplicate suggestion within 58 sec of your flag--hardly enough time to read the linked question and make an informed decision.)
    – Urbana
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 11:35
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    @davidvc I am sure there are legal barriers within many countries (the US has a number related to agriculture for instance), but I think a question about moving thousands of USD worth of phones around a country, presumably not for personal use, is ultimately a legal question about doing business in India and not a travel question, especially if the aim is to sell the phones. Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 15:57

1 Answer 1


No, you don't have to pay duty fees when carrying cell phones from Chennai to Delhi. Both cities are in India, India is a unified federal republic, and import taxes are extremely rare between states. There are apparently some import procedures related to vehicles and some special goods into a small minority of states, but I don't believe this applies for bringing such a small number of cell phones to Delhi. Such laws are likely made for major retailers and big businesses. 15 is a relatively small number, bordering on personal use. They could all be gifts to friends and family.

I have crossed state borders in India many times, both through bus and through plane. I don't recall ever having seen any domestic customs checks. I don't even know how it would be possible to find facilities to try and declare something after a domestic flight or while crossing state borders by road.

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    You're the local here, but I wouldn't dismiss the existence such a duty off-hand. India has one of the most famously convoluted tax systems in the world; I see article after article in the news about how burdensome the red tape is for people trying to produce things in one Indian state and sell them in another. I'm sure there's a personal use allowance, but if OP is bringing the phones to re-sell them, it seems well within the realm of possibility that he'd need to pay some kind of duty.
    – Urbana
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 10:51
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    @davidvc I agree with you regarding the red tape and general convolutedness of Indian laws. I didn't dismiss it off-hand, I tried searching in various ways to look for such domestic restrictions. I believe that if such laws were in place, it would be easy to find information about it online, but I have been unable to find anything. While there may theoretically be a law like this that we don't know about, I consider it extremely unlikely. I have personally crossed state borders within India countless times, both by bus and by plane, and I have never seen any domestic customs checks.
    – Fiksdal
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 10:57
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    Fair enough, but be careful to pay your 6-12% "Tax on Entry of Specified Goods into Local Areas" duty if you bring a car, marble, or Kota stones into Gujarat from another state in India, with the intent of "consumption, use or sale".
    – Urbana
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 11:09
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    I don't know much about Indian law, but it does seem this is the case. The reference to "transactions of business nature" seems to imply the tax would apply on goods which would be resold or used by a business, but I really have no idea and don't want to do much further research on this topic. All I wanted to do was cast a shadow of doubt on your certainty that the OP wasn't liable for any tax.
    – Urbana
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 11:30
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    There is a Delhi-Sugham 2 form that needs to be filled in my registered dealers only: delhi.gov.in/wps/wcm/connect/doit_publicity/…
    – Berwyn
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 12:22

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