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Tackling Customs on Mumbai Airport

Mumbai (Bombay...
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Tackling Customs on Mumbai Airport

I am an Indian citizen currently in USA for a short period of time. I came to US last year (2011) in August and will be coming back to India, sometime this year.

I have read and heard horror stories of custom officers at Mumbai International Airport so i was bit apprehensive about the stuff i can bring safely.

It will be me and my wife traveling and we both have one laptop each. One of them is a company provided laptop (took from India) and another is personal i took from India only.

Can we bring one more laptop additionally to the two we already have ?

Apart from that we have a 10" tablet and two 12" digital photo frames that we are bringing. Would these come in eye of the custom people ?

I know on thing that those corrupt custom people make each and every bag pass through the scanner again even at checkout to detect what is inside the bags and may be rip off the travelers.

46 replies to this topic
21. Re: Tackling Customs on Mumbai Airport

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Removed on: 4:46 pm, December 17, 2012
Auckland Region...
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22. Re: Tackling Customs on Mumbai Airport

I have had unpleasant experience with the Mumbai Customs Officicers at CSIA. On my arrival on December 4, I was not allowed to carry my personal cameras. The officers just would not listen -- stating any goods worth over INR 50000 is liable for customs. Despite my repeated requests that -- (a) the cameras are my own personal belongings; (b) presenting copies of receipts -- I was given the option either to pay customs duty or leave the cameras behind.

It was only after a bit of argument, that I was led to a senior officer, who let us off. The who drama led to our connecting flight to be missed. This is not my first unpleasant experience with CSIA customs officers, but had it in all my past 5 landings at CSIA.

With all the mis-adventures that I have faced at CSIA, I am paranoid of arriving at CSIA Mumbai, and plan to arrive at a better airport in India -- Chennai, Hyderabad or New Delhi -- but never Mumbai. CSIA Mumbai Customs Officers are the most corrupt and incapable officers.

The irony is that these officers trouble only people of Indian origin. Just pathetic.

Houston, Texas
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23. Re: Tackling Customs on Mumbai Airport

The rule for customs duty are different for Indians going abroad and returning (Returning Residents) versus tourists (which includes Indians working abroad visiting on a short trip).

Returning Residents can bring in just one laptop per adult, unless of course the additional laptop(s) were declared when leaving India and an export certificate was taken. Tourists on the other hand are allowed to bring any non-consumable goods including laptops that are going to be taken back with them when they leave the country.

What I'm not sure is how does Customs decide if the item will be taken back with the tourist upon their return.

Suva, Fiji
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24. Re: Tackling Customs on Mumbai Airport

do they allowed to take tin food [tin mutton] in india...

Vadnais Heights...
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25. Re: Tackling Customs on Mumbai Airport

I learned long ago to have receipt for every electronic device or camera WITH SERIAL NUMBER with you as proof of ownership.

You never know if they will ask or give you a chance to declare it when you leave initially.


Atlanta, Georgia
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26. Re: Tackling Customs on Mumbai Airport

Do they still note on the passports the items that will be taken back out of the country ?. I have not been hassaled by Customs that past few times that I returned (US citizen of Indian origin), but had some bad experiences with them when I used to work in the Gulf. They are corrupt, high-handed and rude. Will change my opinion only when I hear good things from folks....still not hearing that.

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27. Re: Tackling Customs on Mumbai Airport

Never had problems with Customs in Mumbai. However, we have never tried to give them problems either. You can choose to declare items on the way out, but having receipts of purchase does help. The youngest member of our family, who is a teenager just happens to be the one who travels with latest gadgets and some expensive equipment because of her interests. She has travelled alone and not had problems. Carried receipts.

Mumbai (Bombay...
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28. Re: Tackling Customs on Mumbai Airport

Exactly the same with me - my teenage kids carry all sorts of gadgets but we carry copies of all receipts including customs duty receipts. The one time we were asked to show these receipts, the customs officer smiled and told us we were really organised. The horror stories I read here seem very different from my multiple good experiences. Shows that all it takes is to be organised and carry the requisite papers.

On the last two occassions, my bags were not even x-rayed. The officer only x-rayed hand bags which was also for random passengers, to act as a deterrent for everyone.

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29. Re: Tackling Customs on Mumbai Airport


I live in Australia last year I came to India, as it was a peak time I didn't got ticket straight to ahmedabad, I had to pass through mumbai customs I had some reading glass frames in my bag and when they scanned it, it came out.

I had 2 iPhones.

So after that I told them that I have this things so the custom officer was like you have pay duty on it so I said ok if have certain amount which I can get off and whatever the remaining amount is I will pay the duty on it.

And they started saying no and started checking my bags, counted my clothes hand bags which I had and made up an amount which nobody can pay, there was a Iady officer I said I can dispose of the frames as I can't pay the duty on it, she said you have to leave everything so I said ok I take this back on my way back to Australia.

So they realised I am not in a mood to pay anything, again they started harassing me it took almost 3 hours to come out of this and still I paid 23000. They wanted a phone from me if I would have given they would have allowed me straight away.

I saw the other officer who took iphone from one of the passenger who was just next to me.

It was the worst experience of my life, and I decided I will pay double the amount of ticket price will never travel again from mumbai.

I wish I could have recorded and uploaded on youtube and could have saved so many people.

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30. Re: Tackling Customs on Mumbai Airport

Hi ,

I am travelling with my wife , through mumbai air port , i have one laptop , 2 phone one each for me and my wife and a samsung tablet which my wife took from india all for personal use .i do not have any liquor or other items . watches etc , nothing .My aunt is sick and i am travelling home to see er after 2 years .

All my luggage are within the limit . i do not have any photo frames, cameras or anything else valuable .

We have heard stories that passport pages get torn there we are really scared , i would keep pictures of my passport before i hand them off to the authorities .

I hope my journey would be safe and hassle free.

Is there any number i can get in touch with if something bad happens .


swarnava datta

Edited: 11:08 pm, October 29, 2014
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