Travellers Asked to Declare iPhone 6s on Arrival in India
Those trying to get their hands on the latest iPhones from abroad via the grey route market could land in deep trouble. Also, those who bring in the phones from outside into India without paying duty are likely to be fined.
Mumbai Customs has seen a growth in the number of iPhones 6s and iPhone 6s Plus smuggled into the country. Since the 25th of last September, around 200 handsets have been seized at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai from foreign returning passengers.
“We seized 200 of the latest iPhone models, valued at Rs 1.23 crore, over the last week. They were being smuggled into India by fliers from Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Dubai, etc. We have increased screening of baggage, besides profiling of passengers,” said Milind Lanjewar, Additional Commissioner, Customs.
Customs has issued a press release informing fliers to “voluntarily declare iPhones to customs on arrival.” They also warned that passengers picked up from the Green Channel will be liable to pay a fine, and those carrying iPhones in commercial quantities are likely to be arrested.
“For goods above Rs 45,000, technically passengers have to declare but most people are not aware of it. A duty of 36% is levied on the amount above this limit,” Lanjewar said. This means that duty will be levied if a passenger is carrying even a single iPhone, if the value of it exceeds Rs. 45,000.
India prices released by Apple distributor Ingram Micro on Tuesday pegged the 16 GB iPhone 6s at Rs 62,000 and the 16 GB iPhone 6s Plus at Rs 72,000 with successive variants having higher price tags. Basically, all the prices exceed the permissible free duty limit.
“As the models are still to be launched in India, passengers are trying to smuggle these iPhones for monetary benefit by sale through grey market,” the authorities have said.
Other parts of the country are also tightening the noose and are on the look out for more such cases, which is expected to rise with only 10 days to go before the official launch in India. Apple has sold over 13 million units of these phones since the launch across US, UK, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico and Singapore.