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Old Nov 24, 06, 7:01 pm   #1
 
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Bringing alcohol into India?

Last month when my husband and I transited through EWR we were pleasantly surprised at the good price on Bombay Sapphire gin in Duty-Free ($18). I'd like to pick up 2 more bottles next week when I fly ORD-EWR-DEL. Will they have any problem with me bringing it into India, or will they charge a duty? I plan to keep it with me and take it home in my checked bag.

(I know I'll have to declare it when I get back into the US.)

Last edited by Athena53; Nov 25, 06 at 6:18 am.
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Old Nov 25, 06, 9:34 am   #2
 
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You get a per person duty free allowance of 1 litre each of liquor and wine.
http://www.cbec.gov.in/cae/customs/i...s/tourists.htm

Something like 400% tax on anything exceeding that.
http://www.cbec.gov.in/cae/customs/i...%20of_duty.htm
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Old Nov 25, 06, 9:38 am   #3
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DEL doesn't have compulsory customs inspection for all arriving pax anymore. So you could walk thru customs without being checked. Visiting travellers are usually not bothered. I've entered the country alone with 2-3 bottles on me each time. Just don't make it too obvious and transfer it into your carry on.
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Old Nov 25, 06, 9:53 am   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oliver2002
DEL doesn't have compulsory customs inspection for all arriving pax anymore. So you could walk thru customs without being checked. Visiting travellers are usually not bothered. I've entered the country alone with 2-3 bottles on me each time. Just don't make it too obvious and transfer it into your carry on.
My experience is that as of 3 months or so ago every time I arrive in BOM from abroad my checked and carryon luggage is x-rayed. Is this not the case at DEL?
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Old Nov 25, 06, 10:00 am   #5
 
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I had my extra batteries confiscated (again) in Delhi last month.

But they've never bothered me about the bottle of JW Black I keep in my hotel room. ($17USD/shot in the Sheraton!)
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Old Nov 25, 06, 10:04 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yosithezet
My experience is that as of 3 months or so ago every time I arrive in BOM from abroad my checked and carryon luggage is x-rayed. Is this not the case at DEL?
Yeah, BOM does x-ray everyone (although in peak times they usually have a customs guy roving around the queue to the x-ray asking people what they have in their bags and depending on their answers they are allowed to skip the xray - usually students who reply that they are only carrying books and clothes). They're terrible at using the x-ray though - on one occasion they couldn't figure out what a ball of Edam cheese in my checked baggage was and asked me if it was a bomb. On another, they kept insisting that I had something in my bag when in fact it turned out to be the next guy who had it in his bag.
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Old Nov 25, 06, 10:06 am   #7
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Originally Posted by TierFlyer
I had my extra batteries confiscated (again) in Delhi last month.
I assume you were leaving DEL when they were confiscated?
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Old Nov 25, 06, 10:08 am   #8
 
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I got married in India and had to take liqour from here. My dad, mom , brother and took 2 bags each with 4 bottles inside...

total 8 bottles a person x 4 = 32 bottles

did not get stopped or evn asked in BOM ... even if I did, I did have a couple thousand ruppees with me to grease my way thru....

You cannot get good tequlia in India and forget getting triple sec --- cannot make a margarita the right way !!!!
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Old Nov 25, 06, 10:15 am   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yosithezet
My experience is that as of 3 months or so ago every time I arrive in BOM from abroad my checked and carryon luggage is x-rayed. Is this not the case at DEL?
DEL is hit or miss in terms of this for carry-ons. [Checked luggage is generally screened on arrival in the back right by the baggage belts, immediately before the bags come into public view. (More often than not they ignore most things in regards to checked luggage at DEL; less so at BOM.)]

It used to be rarely the case that they'd barely ask for carry-ons to be screened on arrival into DEL from abroad, then it increased, then it scaled back and now it's sort of back again. There's no consistency so far -- certainly far less than in BOM -- except perhaps: 1) that the carry-on baggage screening, when done, is done after immigration is completed and upon entering the baggage claim hall; and 2) that it is usually only done to the extent that a line does not occur there too; and 3) that plenty of people get around having all their carry-ons screened on arrival in DEL.

BOM is more consistent than DEL in checking checked luggage and carry-on luggage screening on arrival. People have their own theories about why that is.
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Old Nov 25, 06, 12:25 pm   #10
 
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Thanks, everyone! I'm going to stick with one bottle of gin. Since it will be delivered to me on the plane in a conspicuous Duty-Free bag and I wouldn't have the chance to put it into my checked bag till we got to the Baggage Claim Hall, there would be too many ways for someone to enforce the rules. They could report seeing me put it into my suitcase after I retrieved it, or X-ray my carry-on if I tried to hide a second one there. Probably very little chance that I'd get caught, but I won't want to deal with Indian law enforcement of any kind at 10 PM after coming off a 14-hour flight. And just declaring the second bottle and paying duty kind of eliminates the cost savings!
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Old Nov 25, 06, 3:41 pm   #11
 
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Originally Posted by yosithezet
I assume you were leaving DEL when they were confiscated?
This time coming in from BLR, last time coming in from ORD.

I bring extras for my driver for his walkman - they're expensive and krep compared to what we get.
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Old Nov 25, 06, 9:00 pm   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yosithezet
Quote:
Originally Posted by TierFlyer
I had my extra batteries confiscated (again) in Delhi last month.
I assume you were leaving DEL when they were confiscated?
Quote:
Originally Posted by TierFlyer
This time coming in from BLR, last time coming in from ORD.
Are you saying that DEL authorities confiscated your batteries on arrival into DEL (from BLR) and then on arrival into DEL from ORD?

If that's what you are saying, that's not the norm for my experiences when unescorted. For BLR-DEL, any battery confiscation would happen in BLR and not DEL. For ORD-DEL, there'd generally be no battery confiscation at all, including none in DEL.

If you are talking about BLR-Europe/Asia (i.e., not connecting in DEL), then the batteries would get confiscated in BLR and not in DEL (and in BLR that would generally be done by BLR security and only rarely at BLR departure customs). If you are talking about DEL-ORD, then yes battery confiscation may well happen at DEL security (and occassionally at DEL departure customs).

However, if DEL security is confiscating batteries on arrival from BLR or if DEL customs is confiscating batteries on arrival from ORD, that's rather unusual. Either you are importing volumes of batteries beyond that permitted or something messed up is going on (which is rather surprising given DEL customs is supposed to be under close watch as of late).

My apologies if I'm misunderstanding your responses, but I'm trying to get an understanding of where and when in DEL your batteries are being confiscated. On flights from DEL (to anywhere in India or abroad) I can understand the battery confiscation in DEL; however, on flights into DEL (from within India or from outside of India), I cannot understand why the battery confiscation in DEL.
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Last edited by GUWonder; Nov 25, 06 at 9:09 pm.
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Old Nov 26, 06, 1:29 am   #13
 
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I'm with GUWonder--that is quite unusual. This used to happen on departure, but have never seen it on arrival. In my opinion, batteries are not that expensive in India anyway.
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Old Nov 26, 06, 7:19 am   #14
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Strange that the indian security is still desparate to take away batteries (this came up after lockerbie in the late 80s) but our TSA friends have somehow missed that trend...
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Old Nov 26, 06, 9:45 am   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oliver2002
Strange that the indian security is still desparate to take away batteries (this came up after lockerbie in the late 80s) but our TSA friends have somehow missed that trend...
The batteries being taken away by airport security in India was there for several years and then faded away only to come back again. (It really was a dog and pony show too as it was rather easy to circumvent.)

Some "geniuses" in the Indian "security" establishment were trying to peddle a ban against pens and cell phones somewhat more recently too (i.e., within the last 24 months). That was in relation to so-called "pen guns and cell phone guns". Nothing came of that, or we'd soon be separated from our pens and cell phones too.

For a while in the 1990s, a handful of routes in India (including four that I fly) had near complete carry-on bans. In India, you really can see it all.

While I don't advise it, there are at least two ways to exceed the duty free allowance a bit and not pay duty, including once receiving them on board putting the duty free allowance in one carry-on and pulling out a duffel bag or backpack from the carry-on in which to put the "excess" that by itself would not exceed the duty free allowance either. At DEL, in the rare circumstances that they would catch this, the worst that would happen is having the "excess" taken away or paying duty on it. DEL customs is much more concerned about harder core drugs and weapons coming in than an extra bottle of alcohol (and that effort against drugs, weapons, etc. is mostly directed toward checked luggage and cargo).
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