The term "Baggage" is defined as "Baggage that includes unaccompanied baggage but does not include motor vehicles". A passenger (tourist) is required to comply with certain provisions of the Indian Customs Law. The owner of any baggage shall, for the purpose of clearing it make a declaration of its contents to the customs officer (no written declaration is needed and oral declaration is usually acceptable). The rate of duty and tariff valuation, if any, applicable to the baggage shall be the rate and valuation in force on the date, on which a declaration is made in respect of such baggage. In respect of the goods personally brought in by the passengers it means approximately the retail price of the goods paid abroad (always carry the original invoice/bill to settle the disputes).
Presently goods of various values brought as accompanied baggage or on person can be cleared free of duty by passengers, based on their duration of stay abroad and their age. Goods brought as unaccompanied baggage are not entitled for the concessions mentioned below.
Goods taken out from India by a passenger while going abroad can be imported again into India free of duty provided the passenger had received an export certificate from the Customs in respect of that particular item while going abroad. Please note that Baggage Rules are different if coming from Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar or China by air or land routes. Indian Custom's Tariff
In General, If you are travelling from USA, Canada, Australia, Europe,.. and aged above 10 years... stayed more then 3 days abroad... carried on the person (carry on baggage) or as accompanied baggage (checked baggage)... you are entilted Duty Free Allowance of Rs 25000 (Approx $580) and 1 Laptop (18 years / one Laptop Duty Free) + unlimited used personal effects (excluding jewellery)
The free allowance shall not be pooled with the free allowance of any other passenger. A tourist is supposed to take back the items which have not been consumed during the stay in India when he/she returns.