Custom Formalities for Nepal
Nepalese Customs Administration collects Customs duty, Value Added Tax, Excise and other taxes at the border points.
All baggage must be declared and cleared through the customs on arrival at the entry point. Personal effects are permitted free entry. Passengers arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) without any dutiable goods can proceed through the Green Channel for quick clearance without a baggage check. If you are carrying dutiable articles, you have to pass through the Red Channel for detailed customs clearance.
Apart from used personal belongings, visitors are allowed to bring to Nepal free of duty: cigarettes (200 sticks) or cigars (50 sticks), distilled liquor (one 1.15 liter bottle), and film (15 rolls). You can also bring in the following articles free of duty on condition that you take them out with you when you leave: binoculars, movie or video camera, still camera, laptop computer, and portable music system.
The export of antiques requires special certification from the Department of Archeology, National Archive Building, Ram Shah Path, Kathmandu. It is illegal to export objects over 100 years old, such as sacred images, paintings, manuscripts that are valued for culture and religious reasons. Visitors are advised not to purchase such items as they are Nepal’s cultural heritage and belong here.
Driving into Nepal
Overland tourists entering Nepal with their vehicles must possess an international carnet.
• Passengers who want to export antiquities, articles or curios are advised to consult the Curator of the Nepal Museum in Kathmandu whether or not export it is allowed.
• A clearance certificate of antiquities or curios from the Customs
• Local currency (Nepalese Rupee-NPR) and foreign currencies: up to the amounts imported and declared. Only ten per cent of the amount exchanged into local currency will be re-exchanged into foreign currency at the airport upon departure.
Customs and duties are a principle source of domestic revenue. Import tariffs are generally assessed on an ad valorem basis, with duties ranging from 0% to 140%. Most primary products, including live animals and fish, enter duty-free. Machinery and goods related to basic needs are charged 5%. Duties on agricultural imports were fixed in 2003 at 10%. Cigarettes and alcoholic beverages are charged at 100%, although alcoholic beverages with more that 60% alcohol is prohibited altogether. Other prohibited imports include narcotic drugs and beef and beef products. Products that may be imported only under special licenses include arms, ammunition, and explosives; and communication equipment, including computers, TVs, VCRs, and walkie-talkies. Valuable metals and jewelry are prohibited except under bag and baggage regulations. According to the World Bank, Nepal's weighted average tariff rate in 2000, the most recent data available, was 17.7%. This average probably increased in 2001 and 2002 because of "security surcharges" levied on most imports. No special fee was assessed on goods with tariff rates less than 2.5%. For goods with charged duties up to 5%, the surcharge was 1%, and for all those with duties above 5%, the surcharge was 3%.
The export service charge is 0.5% and there are export duties on vegetable ghee and plastic goods of 2 to 10%. Prohibited exports include archeological and religious artifacts; controlled wildlife; narcotics; arms, ammunition and explosives; industrial raw materials; imported raw materials, parts and capital goods; and timber and logs. Since 1960, under the duty refund procedure (DRP), India has refunded to Nepal the excise duties levied on its exports to Nepal. Goods imported from India are granted a rebate of the application of ad valorem of 10% in tariff rates up to 40% and of 7% on rates above 40%.