NRIs need to show old notes to customs at airport

By SM.02 Jan, 2017


New Delhi: Non-resident Indians (NRIs) and Indian nationals abroad can deposit up to Rs25,000 of the demonetised currency during the 3-6 month grace period, but only if they show the junked notes to customs officials at the airport and get declaration form stamped. The declaration will have to be submitted at specified branches of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) while depositing the junked currency, a finance ministry notification stated.

While the 50-day window for such deposits at banks or post offices ended on 30 December, the government has offered a grace period for those who were abroad. The window for Indian nationals who were travelling abroad is till 31 March and for NRIs, it is 30 June 2017.

This facility, however, is “subject to the Foreign Exchange Management (Export and Import of Currency) Regulations, 2015. As per these regulations, bringing back such currency into the country is restricted to Rs25,000 per person”.

Those returning from Nepal and Bhutan are not permitted to carry specified bank notes (SBNs) of old Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes. “For the period from up to 31 March 2017 or 30 June 2017, as applicable, a declaration form will need to be filled by resident Indians and non-resident Indians coming to India and carrying SBNs for depositing these SBNs in the specified offices of RBI in India,” the notification said.

“At the airport/land customs stations etc. on entry, customs stamp on the said forms shall be affixed and the same shall be submitted along with other documents to RBI offices.”

A one-page form has been worked out for the purpose. Since the form to be filled in by the passenger bearing the customs stamp will be crucial in subsequently facilitating the deposit of SBNs at the specified issue offices of RBI, the finance ministry asked the customs formations to keep a copy of the same, preferably in a scanned format.

“The customs officer shall strictly count the number of notes and tally the total amount mentioned before stamping the form submitted by the passenger,” the notification said.