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Govt may cap gifts received by individuals to prevent misuse of customs norms

June 12
15:29 2019

The government is reviewing customs norms regarding gifts and will likely announce a change during the Budget to be presented on July 5, according to a report by The Economic Times.

The government might set an upper limit on overseas gifts an individual can receive during a year. “Norms are being reviewed… There is a growing view that a tighter framework is needed,” the article quoted a government official as saying.

The move is being considered due to fears that foreign online marketplaces, especially Chinese companies, are misusing India’s no-cap rule on duty free gifts. There are individuals who receive packages on a daily basis, the official added.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the story.

Domestic e-commerce companies have approached the government on the subject, the report said.

At present, individuals can receive free samples and gifts up to Rs 5,000 via courier without paying customs duty. But there is no limit on the number of gifts a person is allowed to receive in a year.

The number of overseas gifts received can be tracked using an individual’s Aadhaar or passport number, the report said.

The government is also considering tightening Know Your Customer (KYC) norms for courier service providers. These providers are required to carry KYC checks, but smaller companies tend to ignore this rule, the official told the newspaper.

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