As a foreign national, can I take my motorbike to India on a 5 month trip there?
India is a signatory to the International Custom Convention and the ATA Carnet Convention and allows import of motor vehicles into India without payment of customs duties.
‘Triptique / Carnet De Passage en Douane’ is a travel document for the purposes of temporary importation of private road vehicles into India by a tourist, free of duty. This document is issued by an approved Automobile Association abroad. Carnet de Passage and Triptique are identical in purpose, except that Triptique is meant for a single country while the Carnet is for more than one country.
This facility allows you to bring your motor vehicle into India free of customs duties for a period of six months. The motor vehicle has to be re-exported from India within this period. Import of Tourist Buses is also allowed subject to certain conditions.
Extension of the Retention period: Only the Central Government has the powers to extend this time frame of retention of the motor vehicle in India and this extension is very rarely given and that too under exceptional circumstances. The initial period of six months is extended for another six months only if the Carnet book is valid till such time.
The tourist’s passport will be endorsed when a vehicle is cleared under Carnet/Triptique. Such an endorsement will also clearly mention the exact date by which the vehicle is to be re-exported.
If tourist has to travel out of India temporarily, the vehicle must be deposited into a customs bonded warehouse. When the tourist returns, such vehicle will be handed back to him. Under no circumstances, can or should a tourist leave the country leaving behind his vehicle unattended or with a friend or relative.
Documents Required for Customs Clearance:
- Importers Original Passport
- Original Carnet book / Triptique
- Original Shipping Documents (Bill of Lading/Air Way Bill)
- List of any extra fittings in the car along with their values.
- A letter addressed to Commissioner of Customs for Non Gainful Employment.
- Insurance Policy.
If the motor vehicle is not re-exported for any reason the customs will demand duty, fines, and penalties as applicable. Re-export of badly damaged vehicles shall not be required in case of fully authenticated accidents, provided the vehicles:
- are subject to import duties and import taxes to which they are liable.
- are abandoned free of all expenses to the Exchequer of the country in which they are imported.
- are destroyed, under the official supervision at the expense of the importer as the Customs authorities may require.
Author of this tip Mr. Yogesh Thakker is based in Somerset, New Jersey (USA) and is an expert on ’relocation to India’. For any questions, you can reach Yogesh at email@example.com.