New customs rules under which Indian flyers will no longer be required to fill immigration forms when they return from abroad, among other changes, will now be applicable at international airports in the country from March 1.
According to the new rules, under Customs Baggage Declaration Regulations, 2013, an Indian citizen would need to fill up the immigration form only when he or she goes out of the country. There will be no immigration form for Indian citizens returning from abroad.
These regulations were to come into force from January 1 but now the date to implement them has been set ahead by two months. The Customs Baggage Declaration Regulations, 2013, will be implemented from March 1, a notification issued by Finance Ministry said.
All passengers coming to India will be filling up a new 'Indian Customs Declaration Form' which will seek details that will be different from the detachable perforated strip which is part of the immigration card at the moment.
The 'Indian Customs Declaration Form' carries additional fields for declaration of dutiable and prohibited goods, which will help authorities in checking customs duty frauds and keep a record of gold jewellery and bullion being brought into the country, customs officials said.
For the first time, travellers would be asked to specifically declare any prohibited articles, gold jewellery (over free allowance), gold bullion and Indian currency exceeding Rs 7,500 in the new form.
A passenger will have to give details of countries visited in the past six days and mention the passport number on the new form, which was not there earlier.
Old fields like declaration of satellite phone, foreign currency exceeding USD 5,000 or equivalent, aggregate value of foreign exchange including currency exceeding USD 10,000 or equivalent, meat, meat products, dairy products, fish or poultry products and seeds, plants, fruits, flowers and other planting material have been retained in the new format.
The passengers will also have to give details of baggage being carried by them in a separate column, instead of the number of hand baggage, and checked in baggage separately when new rules come into force.
The country has 19 international airports in Srinagar, Amritsar, Jaipur, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Nagpur, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Goa, Bangalore, Chennai, Calicut, Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Port Blair.