Flying abroad? Not declaring goods may land you in trouble

MUMBAI: After angadias emerged from anonymity following a recent raid on trucks filled with cash, gold and diamonds, people have been asking if a person carrying a lot of money and valuables can be pulled up for doing so, especially if one is flying. Can a flyer be refused security clearance for carrying cash and valuables above a limit? The rules are different for international and domestic travel.

As per customs rules, for carrying gold and expensive items from India to other countries, one needs to procure a certificate from the precious cargo complex a day in advance.

For travelling abroad, one needs to be careful about one’s baggage. It is usual for one to carry jewellery, cash and expensive gadgets, but unless one declares the goods and their value before leaving, one can fall into customs’ net upon return. As per customs rules, for carrying gold and expensive items from India to other countries, one needs to procure a certificate from the precious cargo complex a day in advance. Upon return, the certificate can be shown to customs to claim duty exemption. “The traveler can thus leave the airport without any hassle,” said an officer from the Air Intelligence Unit.

What about bringing home goods bought abroad? “One needs to pay duty if one brings into the country things that cost more than a certain limit,” said a customs official. The duty is 36% for goods worth more than Rs 35,000. For gold, the duty regime is more liberal for women, the allowance being amounts costing up to Rs 20,000. For men, the limit is Rs 10,000. Amounts of gold above these limits attract a duty of 36%. As for cash, one is allowed to bring into the country $5 000 and an equal amount in traveler’s cheques (above what one declared at the time of leaving India).

Customs officials say travelers should never knowingly hide valuables to escape duty. “If discovered, they need to pay a fine apart from duty. It could also lead to an arrest and a court case,” said an official. “In 20-30% of the cases, the intention is not smuggling, but the cases are classified as such.”

What about domestic travel? Well, there is no rule on carrying cash, gold, jewels or gadgets, which means one can carry whatever one feels like and in any quantity. “We do not set limits on such items as they do not pose a haz ard to aircraft security,” said an official of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.

But then the income tax department comes into the picture. “If the department receives a tipoff that someone is carrying a huge quantity of cash, its officials can stop and interrogate the flyer,” said an officer. “If one can produce a receipt or otherwise show the origin of the cash, there is no problem.”

Source: The Times of India


RV Travel Fun In Portland, Oregon

It is usually a good thing to begin an RV trip into Oregon at Portland, Oregon’s largest city. From here, it is easy to connect to highways that reach east, central, southern and coastal Oregon. If you are planning to stay at any National or State Parks or Monuments, you will have to make reservations in advance, sometimes a year in advance.

Portland Car Rental Travel To Portland

RV’s are not easy to drive into Portland itself. The highways have lots of curves and multiple bridges, some of which don’t allow RV’s on them. A good place to stay in this are is the Jantzen Beach RV Park. From this park it is an easy drive to the MAX train station which you can take into Portland.

From Portland which is a the northern part of the state, you can easily drive down by the coast until you reach Eureka in California. The northern area around Astoria does not have any RV parks with ocean views. If your rig is not too tall you can stay in the Cannon Beach RV park which is a short walk to the beach. Cities as you go down the coast that have RV parks by the beach include Lincoln City, Newport and Waldport.

Six miles south of Yachats is a great RV park, but this will run you about $60 a night. If you can afford it, this RV park is worth a stay. Going on down the coast, there are RV parks by the beach in Winchester Bay, Coos Bay, Gold Beach and Brookings. As you enter California, there is a beach front part in Cresent City for you to begin your stay in a new state. From Crescent City, you can easily take in Redwood State Park. These redwoods are not to be missed. The RV sites listed here are all a short drive from Highway 101.

From Crescent City you can easily head off to Crater Lake National Park, Oregon’s only National Park. This park is definitely worth a trip. You can also stay at an RV in Bend, which is not that far away from the park. Staying two days in Bend will allow you to see the sites of the Bend area and the National Park as well. From there, you can continue north and cross the Columbia River gorge area which is breathtaking. It is a short drive from here to visit Mount St. Helen. This is in Washington, but this area has much more to do for a family than Mount Rainier, which offers only hiking.

From here, it is easy to return to Portland. You can end your trip here, or visit other places in Oregon. It is a short trip into the Willamette Valley, Oregon’s agricultural area. This area is simply beautiful to drive through with its wooden bridges and green valleys. The area has many vineyards and wineries as well. This trip can be done in a day.

Some other places to fit into your agenda are the Mount Hood area which has spectacular views, skiing in season, and spectacular waterfalls. The high desert area of Oregon features numerous golf courses and rivers to fish. If you want to see the painted desert in Eastern Oregon, there are several places you should plan to visit. One is the Baker City area where you can still see the wagon ruts left by the pioneers. The Oregon Trail Interpretive Center should not be missed. In Kimberly, you can visit the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. This is a large park with several areas and mueseums to visit. These areas offer RV campsites along the route.

If you plan to head home from Portland, along Highway 5 to California, you can also plan to visit Salem, the state capital and Ashland where Oregon’s Shakespeare Festival runs all spring and summer. There is simply so much to see in Oregon, it is hard to decide how to see it all.

Source: Article Base


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More snow in Shimla, Manali

Shimla, Jan 5 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh’s picturesque tourist resorts Shimla and Manali witnessed light to moderate snowfall Thursday, cheering up the hospitality sector as tourists started to pour in.

While Shimla saw a light spell of snowfall in the evening, nearby places like Kufri and Narkanda have been experiencing moderate snowfall since morning, a Met official said here. Shimla experienced the season’s first snowfall Wednesday evening.

Manali town, which saw a low of minus one degree Celsius Thursday, experienced nine centimetres of snow till Thursday morning.

As news of the snow flashed across the plains, tourists started arriving at Shimla and Manali and nearby snow-bound tourist destinations.

‘It’s really marvellous to see Shimla’s Mall Road landscape and Jakhu Hill trees wrapped in a white blanket. It was a dream that came true for us,’ said Neha, who is here with her husband Jatin Sachdeva.

Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corp. general manager Yogesh Behl said: ‘This weekend we are expecting a spike in tourist arrivals.’

The picturesque tourist destinations of Chitkul, a village close to the China border, and Kalpa, both in Kinnaur district, saw moderate snow, according to reports reaching here.

Most hill stations, including Kasauli, Dharamsala, Palampur and Chamba, saw intermittent rain throughout the day.

Shimla recorded the night temperature of 2.6 degrees Celsius, while it was minus 2.6 in Kalpa of Kinnaur district and 4.5 degrees in Dharamsala.

‘The higher reaches in Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti, Kullu, Shimla and Chamba districts have witnessed moderate to heavy snowfall during the past 24 hours (since Wednesday). Such conditions would continue till Saturday,’ the official added.

© Indo-Asian News Service


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