Air Travellers to Pay Import Duty on LCD / LED / Plasma TV in India
The Government of India has banned duty-free import of flat panel LCD / LED / Plasma TV by travellers arriving into India with effect from August 26, 2013. According to a notification, it has been decided to "disallow import of flat panel (LCD/LED/Plasma) television as part of free baggage allowance" with effect from August 26, 2013. This means that even if the total value of goods brought by an air traveller into India including the value of a flat panel TV is within Rs. 35000 (the official duty free allowance), the traveller will have to pay import duty on the value of the TV at the rate of 35% plus education cess of 3%. There is more to it. Sometimes, Customs officials refuse to accept the value of the TV written on the invoice and charge import duty based on their estimation of the value of the TV in India. This effectively means the end of the personal imports of flat panel televisions into India. LED / LCD TVs are a popular item of shopping abroad for Indian tourists particularly in Thailand and Singapore and this trend is likely to come to a sudden end. This rather panicky import duty is a follow-up to raising the import duty on Gold / Platinum / Silver to 10 per cent. Government of India is likely to take more steps to curb imports of non-essentials to support the faltering Indian Rupee.