Transfer of Residence to India


Indian nationals or foreign nationals including those of Indian origin, transferring their residence to India or coming to India on employment, can import their personal effects and household goods into India free of duty subject to the following conditions.

'Shipper of the goods must have lived overseas for at least 2 years and must be transferring his/her residence to India. Indian nationals must not have visited India for more than 180 days in the preceding 2 years.'

Foreign nationals must have a resident/business/work/entry visa.

Shippers presence is required during customs clearance and therefore owner should have arrived into India before shipment arrives else demurrages/container detention will be quite heavy. 

Duty free Goods: Old & used personal effects and house-hold goods such as clothes, books, kitchenware, furniture small appliances like mixer, juicer, iron etc. are allowed to be imported free of duty if these are used by the shipper.

Motor Vehicles

Indian nationals coming to India on transfer of residence are allowed to import one vehicle. Import of both new as well as old cars is now allowed. Payment for the car must be made prior to arrival or owner in India. Shipment can be effected within 6 months of arrival. In lieu of a motorcar, one motorcycle can also be imported.
A no sale bond for 2 years has to be filed at the time of import. Duty can now be paid in Indian rupees and not in convertible foreign exchange.
Foreign nationals coming to India on employment can import one car regardless of cc. Customs duty on new cars in approx. 85.56 % of the value assessed. Customs duty on new cars is approx 182%.

Under Transfer of Residence (TR) rules and customs concessional duty of 25% of the value adjudicated is levied on the following new/old items: TVs, DVD players, VCR’s/Player or Video Television Receiver or Video Cassette Disk player, Home Theater Systems, Stereos, Dishwashers, Air-Conditioners, electric cooking range, electrical or liquefied petroleum gas cooking ranges, washing and drying machines, microwave oven, refrigerator with capacity over 300 Liters, deep freezer, video camera and accessories, sound recording equipment, video reproduction equipment, cinematographic films of 35 mm and above. Word processors, PC’s (desktop computers), laptop computer (Notebook Computer), domestic refrigerator (of capacity up to 300 liters or its equivalent fax machine, portable photocopiers, boats or aircraft.

Prohibited Items

  • Firearms, cartridges of firearms exceeding 50.
  • Ammunition and weapons are strictly prohibited unless a license is obtained prior to importation and applicable duty is paid. 
  • Cigarettes exceeding 200 or cigars exceeding 50 or tobacco exceeding 250 grams.
  • Some prohibited drugs include DHEA, narcotics, hallucinogens, amphetamines, barbiturates, and tranquilizers, steroids and performance enhancing drugs. 
  • Beef or products with beef.
  • Gold or silver in any form other than ornaments.


All returning Pakistani Nationals who have lived abroad for 2 years or more are eligible for claiming Transfer of Residence Concessions, under T/R Concessions. All “Used Household Goods” like Furniture, Crockery, Kitchenware, Clothing etc are released Duty Free by Local Customs, however Duty/Taxes are applicable on all Electrical Appliances whether used or new.

120 Days Short Visits to Pakistan: Consignees claiming Transfer of Residence must be fully aware that T/R facility is only offered to Pakistanis who have stayed abroad for 2 years or more and during their last 2 years their total visits/stays in Pakistan do not exceed 120 Days. If their total duration of stay exceeds 120 days, they would not be eligible for claiming T/R on their HHG. Subsequently, all HHG would be subject to Customs Duty.

Passport must show Travel Records of the last TWO years To/From Pakistan.

In case of New/Fresh Passport, Old Passport Must also be attached.

15 Days Shipment Deadline: all HHG shipments must be shipped from Origin Port/Airport within 15 Days of arrival of Passenger/Consignee in Pakistan. For e.g. if the Consignee returns back to Pakistan on 1st January, their shipment should be shipped from Origin Port/Airport prior to 15th January & this must reflect in their Bill of Lading /AWB.


If a person possesses any other country’s nationality/Passport but also has a Pakistani ID Card or a NICOP, he/she can also claim Transfer of Residence Allowances provided he/she fulfills all above Transfer of Residence / TR requirements. Further he/she must also present his/her Original Passport (Any Country/ Not necessarily a Pakistani Passport) & that Passport should contain his/her travel record of the past two years To/Fm Pakistan. If the client has a Fresh Passport, he/she must also attach his/her Old Passport. Further if the Customer also has a Pakistani Passport on which he/she has Pakistan Airport Arrival or Departure Stamps of Last Two Years, he/she will also be required to Attach that Original Pakistani Passport along with other Passport.
Pakistani Passport will NOT be required if No Pakistan Arrival or Departure Stamp is fixed. Customer can also call us for Further Clarifications prior to shipment & we will advise him/her with the complete procedure at this end. Required Documents are listed below.


  1. Original Passport (Consignee must be in Pakistan at the time of arrival of shipment)
  2. Packing List
  3. Original OR Express Bill of Lading
  4. Authority Letter from Consignee




Documents Required

 Customs Form DA 302 and P.1.160
 Original Passport (including page with Entry Stamp)
 Detailed inventory for attestation
 Permanent residence documents / Temporary Residence Permit and Work Permit
 Affidavit (stating reason for arrival in to South Africa)
 Original Bill of Lading (OBL) / Air Waybill (AWB)  Diplomatic Clearance (Diplomats)  Certificate from Embassy, signed by South African Department of Foreign Affairs (Diplomats)

Specific Information

 The shipper must be present for Customs clearance.
 The shipper must possess required documents and forward a copy to agent prior to import.
 The shipment of household items, new furniture, and precious metal objects are treated as a commercial import and subject to the payment of full duties.
 The following household goods may be imported duty free if meeting the following requirements:
o Works of art forming a part of a bona fide household shipment or are over 100 years old.
o The articles have been in the use and possession for more than 12 months and are not for sale or other disposal.
 Returning residents must have been abroad for a period of at least 6 consecutive months.
 Diplomats may import items duty free.


Motor Vehicles Import to South Africa

Documents Required
Automobiles / Motorcycles
 Customs Form DA 304/A
 Vehicle Registration
 Document showing that vehicle has been in the owner’s use and possessions abroad for more than 1 year before the importation of the vehicle (e.g., original Purchase Invoice, Insurance Certificate, etc.).
 Import Permit
 Letter of Authority (LOA) issued by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) in Pretoria (must be submitted at the time of clearance)

Mopeds / Power-Driven Boats with Inboard Engines

 Document showing that vehicle has been in owner’s use and possession abroad for more than 1 year prior to importation of the vehicle (original Purchase Invoice, Insurance Certificate, etc.)
 Import Permit
 LOA / SABS in Pretoria

Caravans / Trailers

 Import Permit
 LOA / SABS in Pretoria

B. Specific Information

 Only left-hand drive motor vehicles purchased after January 1, 2000, can be imported.
 The transferee must be in possession of the Import Permit and LOA prior to the arrival of any
motor vehicles, motorbikes, motor scooters, or motorcycles (anything motorized); delays
related to the permit may result in demurrage charges.
 The shipper must be in the country at least 10 business days prior to arrival of an ocean
 A faxed copy of the LOA and the Import Permit must be received by the agent to avoid a
delay of Customs clearance.
 Motorized vehicles should not be shipped until transferee has proven possession of all
required documents to Customs and has received written permission for import.
 Temporary residents must pay in cash.
 Vehicles cannot be sold for at least 2 years after the date of importation.
 The rate of value added tax (VAT) is assessed on the import value of the vehicle.
 A fee of R1800.00 per vehicle, payable to the SABS is required.
 Incomplete or missing documents may result in the detainment or destruction of the shipment.
 Returning residents must pay full duties and taxes.
 Temporary residents must provide a Customs bond to cover full duties and taxes and do not
need an Import Permit. A refund may be possible at the time of export; contact agent for
 Foreign Diplomats pay no duties or taxes, subject to provisions of the Diplomatic Clearance
Certificate, and proof of value.


 Items are subject to the payment of duties.
 Local currency of over $10,000; gold coins, coin and stamp collections and unprocessed gold
must be declared.
 Endangered species of plants or wildlife, alive or dead, including parts and articles made from
them (require CITES Permit)
 Animal and animal byproducts
 Medicines for personal use (note from physician and prescription required)
 Cigarettes (200), cigars (20), tobacco (250 g)
 Perfume (50 ml)
 Eau de toilette (250 ml)

 Wine / Liquor / Alcohol
o Import Permit and Liquor Removal Certificate required.
o Items subject to payment of duties.
o Documentation requirements must be met prior to the arrival of the shipment.
 Dangerous Goods / Firearms
o Import Permit and South African Police Firearm Registrar Certificate SAP 312 are

Note: Travelers may be asked to pay deposit on expensive items like laptops, which is refunded at
re-exported. Returning residents are advised to register personal items (jewelry, watches, cameras,
laptops, etc.) before leaving the country to avoid paying duty on these items upon re-importation.



 Narcotics
 Illegal drugs
 Plants and vegetable products
 Pornographic books and magazines
 Walkie-talkies and radios (may include other prohibited communication devices)
 Animal products (certain feathers, furs, skins, tusks, or animals identified under protected
specifies regulations)



Documents Required

· Original Passport (for returning residents, a Passport used for the last 2 years or any previous Passport other than the current Passport are also required; the Entry and Exit stamps are used by Customs to check the compliance of the regulation)
· Original Bill of Lading (OBL) / Air Waybill (AWB)
· Original Work Permit
· Packing list
· Form C-18 Declaration, signed by shipper (Baggage Claim form)
· Detailed inventory
· PRO 1B (Diplomats)
· PRO 1A (Diplomats)

Please note below points before you are moving your personal  goods to Kenya

· The shipper must be present for Customs clearance.
· All shipments will be inspected by Customs.
· All cosmetics, toiletries, perfumes, alcohol and foodstuffs will be subjected to radioactive analysis which will cost Kshs 3,000 per sample per item.
· Computers are not classified as personal effects and are subject to tax and duties.
· For non-Diplomats, the goods must have been owned for more than 1 year by the shipper and must be imported within 90 days after approval of the Work Permit.
· Documents must be received by agent 15 days prior to arrival in order for shipper’s employer to obtain the Duty-Free Exemption Certificate, if applicable (Diplomats).
· Diplomatic goods are not subject to inspection with an approved PRO 1B in place (Diplomats).
· The PRO 1A is required if importing alcohol and must be approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Diplomats).
· Diplomats must apply for exemption from duty and value added tax (VAT) through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kenya; the approval for the exemption can take several months.
· Returning residents must have lived abroad for more than 2 consecutive years and cannot have visited Kenya for a total of more than 90 days from last date of entry in Kenya for duty-free import; shipment must be imported within 3 months of entry date.
· For the duty-free importation of personal effects, the shipper must have owned the items for at least 1 year prior to import (returning residents).
· The shipper must not have visited Kenya for a total of more than 90 days in the last 2 years prior to his last date of entry in Kenya (returning residents)


Motor Vehicles Imports to Kenya

Documents Required
· Original Passport
· Original Work Permit
· Personal Identification Number (PIN) Certificate
· Original Certificate of Registration / Logbook of the vehicle in English
· Import Declaration Form (IDF)
· Certificate of Conformity (COC)


· If a shipper wants to pay duties on the car, the following document will be required:

o Importer's PIN Certificate
o Import Declaration Form (IDF) plus IDF charges to be paid (EUR 50)
o Purchase Invoice in English
o PRO 1B form approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Diplomats)
· Left-hand drive vehicles cannot be imported.
· Vehicles older than 8 years cannot be imported.
· A fee of EUR 120 for processing must be paid to Kenyan Customs.
· If the IDF is not available, a penalty of 15% of the cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value of
the car will be charged by the Kenyan Bureau of Standards (non-Diplomats and expatriates).
· The Certificate of Road Worthiness must be provided by the owner of the vehicle to the
Kenya Bureau of Standards agent (JEVIC); it is required for a pre-inspection at origin to
obtain the Certificate of Conformity (COC) for cars coming from Japan / Dubai Singapore /
South Africa / UK (cars from origins than these can be inspected in Kenya by KBS for a fee of
EUR 150).

· The OBL and AWB must show the details of the motor vehicle (e.g., chassis and engine
numbers, make, model, color, etc.)

· The shipper must have owned the vehicle for at least 1 year for duty-free import or
approximately 61% of taxes will be charged.

· All shipment documentation must be sent to agent at least 1 month prior to shipment arrival to
reduce the possibility of demurrage / storage charges.

· Diplomats are allowed to import 1 vehicle or motor cycle per shipment; additional vehicles or
motorcycles will be subject to duties and taxes at the rate of 45% + value added tax (VAT) at

· Motor vehicles must be imported within 90 days after the last date of arrival of the shipper.

· A guaranty deposit can be requested by Customs of the value of the duties while waiting for
confirmation of any exemption.

· Shipper must not have visited Kenya for a total of more than 90 days in the last 2 years prior
to the last date of arrival in the Kenya.

· Only one duty-free car per returning resident in a lifetime is permitted.

· If the vehicle is older than 1 year, there is no tax provided that the vehicle is registered in the
name of the person moving.
· Vehicles imported duty free are not transferrable for a period of 1 year.
· Taxes on vehicles are based on a percentage of the local value for a similar vehicle
(approximately 55%) and the vehicle must not have a seating capacity of more than 13
· All shippers must pay motor vehicle processing fees (currently USD 145 per motor vehicle).

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