It is very necessary to know about the customs laws and regulations before entering into another country. If you are aware of the customs laws and regulations of a c country, you will correspond with it and don’t have any legal complications. Therefore, it is a must to know about the customs and regulations of that country before you book the travel.
The custom laws prevail in Nepal since ancient times. Nepal’s medieval rulers have also made some custom laws and regulations act as the trade with India and Tibet started to grow. The custom laws are more improvised and there are many changes up to now. The Government of Nepal does make slight changes in the customs law after the completion of every fiscal year.
The Department of Custom at the Tribhuvan International airport monitors the things you have brought while coming or taken while returning from here. Therefore, you must be careful about your baggage and the stuff you tend to bring into Nepal or take from here while you return.
First of all, you don’t possess any kind of narcotic drugs while coming to Nepal. In Nepal, penalties for drug-related offenses are severe. Possession of small amounts of marijuana can lead to a prison sentence of over 5 years, usually after a lengthy and expensive legal trial.
Bringing precious metals into Nepal is strictly regulated. Foreign nationals are permitted to carry gold ornaments up to 50 grams and silver ornaments up to 100 grams. Undeclared gold or silver will be subject to a fine equivalent to the value of the goods and imprisonment from one month to five years depending upon the value of the goods, in addition to the confiscation of the goods. They may be also taken into judicial custody (detained) during the proceedings.
It’s illegal to buy, sell, kill or capture any wild animal or trade its parts without a license. Nepal is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which bans the trade of wildlife products without a permit. Those caught purchasing or trafficking such goods as well as accomplices who knowingly assist anyone in committing any offenses against the law will be prosecuted and receive prison sentences or fines or both.
The currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR). If you are visiting Nepal, you can bring cash or travelers’ cheques (in US dollars and pounds sterling) and/or a bank card with you and exchange or withdraw US dollars or Nepalese rupees from ATMs in Nepal. Scottish and Northern Ireland banknotes are not accepted in Nepal. There are ATM cash machines in most large towns, cities, and hotels in Nepal.
You will have to declare any amount exceeding USD 5,000 in banknotes, or USD 10,000 in notes and travelers’ cheques combined on your Customs Declaration when you arrive in the country. When you leave the country, you need to present the receipt for the exchange you made during the entry into Nepal. The airport desk will then help convert your Nepali currency back to the foreign currency.
According to the Customs Law of Nepal, the following goods may be imported into Nepal by foreign visitors without incurring customs duty. All baggage must be declared on arrival and departure. Certain goods including video cameras, videos, and electronic goods may only be imported duty-free if they are exported on departure. That is to say, you must not leave in Nepal.
- Clothes and goods of personal use
- Tobacco not exceeding 250 grams (Equiv. to 250 cigarettes)
- Whisky/wine not exceeding 1.15 liters or beer up to 12 cans
- Cloths and goods for personal use
- Medicine not exceeding NPR 10,000
- Fruits or canned food not exceeding NPR 2000
- 50 gram of gold ornaments and 100 gram of silver ornaments
- Steel camera film: 15 pieces and Movie Camera Film: 12 pieces
- Beef and beef products
- Plastic Bags less than 20microns thick
- Valuable metals and jewelry
- Firearms and ammunition
- Radio equipment
- Poppy seeds
- Goods of historical, archaeological, and religious importance
- Wild fauna
- Firearms and ammunition
- Certain herbs and woods
Other Useful Regulations for Foreign Visitors in Nepal
- Free export of personal effects previously imported and declared by the passenger. A clearance certificate from the Customs is required for the export of antiquities and curios.
- Cats and dogs must be accompanied by a veterinarian health and rabies certificate.
- Baggage is cleared in Kathmandu.
- No airport tax is levied on passengers upon embarkation at the airport.
- To avoid additional exchange rate charges, you would better travelers’ cheques in US dollars or Pound Sterling.
- It is illegal to exchange currency with persons other than authorized dealers in foreign exchange. You should obtain Foreign Exchange Encashment Receipts when changing currency and keep them. This will help get visa extension and trekking permits
Customary traditions in Nepal
- Women should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless tops where this might be seen as inappropriate, e.g. temples and other holy places. Remove shoes before entering certain holy places. Non-Hindus are not permitted in some temples.
- Nepali people are friendly, befriend them, and greet them by saying Namaste, a very formal way of greeting in Nepal. Hugging and kissing in public is unwelcoming.
- Eating leftovers, eating with the left hand, eating off someone else’s plate, sipping from someone else’s bottle touching with your lips, etc. are all taboo.
- To convey respect, offer money, food, or gifts with both hands or with the right hand while the left touches the wrist. Never receive or give something with your left hand.
- It is also inappropriate to expose your bare body in public. Wearing short skirts or clothes that exposes too much body is not appropriate.
- Slaughtering cows is prohibited in Nepal. The cow is also a national animal of Nepal. Moreover, it is worshipped by Hindus. It is regarded as the symbol of non-violence.