Rigorous norms that were put in place to abnegate gold smuggling through personal baggage had led to problems for those, especially the NRIs bringing in jewellery for personal use. To mitigate the problem, the Indian government is considering a framework to ensure trouble-free customs clearances for such NRIs visiting India loaded with gold jewellery to wear at functions, as well as for citizens travelling overseas and carrying gold for similar occasions.
The Indian Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) is readying a new set of guidelines that will make it easier at customs ports to bring in precious jewellery only for personal use under the baggage rules.
The strict rules that were established to curb smuggling through personal baggage has led to problems, so the CBEC is preparing new guidelines to make the procedure hassle free for law abiding passengers and it has already unveiled a series of measures to make it easier and less time-consuming. Importantly, the Gold smuggling through passenger traffic has increased after the government raised customs duty to 15% in stages to discourage imports.
The challenge is now how to permit movement of jewellery while ensuring the route is not abused for smuggling. Various options are being considered - One options considered is paying the duty on entry and refund happening when the passenger returns to wherever they came from. This would ensure that even if such jewellery is brought in and not taken back, customs duty would have been paid. Other options such as paying duty through cards or online are also being considered.
A final call on the matter would be taken shortly, the official said.