All tourists have to duly complete the passenger declaration forms on arrival and departure to be presented at the Customs Counter. A person should declare his/her dutiable goods in the declaration form and should note that false declaration shall be liable for fines and penalties.
A tourist shall be exempted from Customs duty and tax on the following articles:
- Personal effects and articles for day to day personal use
- 1 bottles of alcohol/spirits (not larger than one litre)
- 1 bottle of perfume (not more than 100 ml)
- Instruments, apparatus or appliances for professional use
- Photographic equipment, video cameras and other electronic goods for personal use
- Items for sports purposes in reasonable quantities
The high value articles such as sound recording equipment, film projector’s slides and film for demonstration, scientific and professional equipment, other instrument and appliances like video recorders and items for sports must be declared in the arrival form along with an undertaking to re-export the same upon departure from the country. It may be noted that that these goods shall be verified by airport Customs at the time of departure. If any such declared items is found missing or disposed of in Bhutan by sale/gift, you are liable for customs duty and taxes at the prevailing market rate.
Import/export restrictions of the following goods is strictly prohibited:
- All arms, ammunitions, explosives and military stores
- All narcotics, psychotropic drugs and substances except medically prescribed drugs
- Pornographic materials
- Live animals and their products or by products, especially those of endangered species
- Chemicals and fertilisers
- Gold and silver in excess of free baggage allowance (50g and 1 kg respectively)
Import/export of plants, soils etc. are subject to quarantine regulations. Tourists are advised to be cautious in purchasing old and used items, especially of religious or cultural significance, as such items may not be exported without a clearance certificate.
As buying and selling of tobacco products are banned in Bhutan, you may like to bring for your own personal consumption (200 cigarettes and 3 tins of 50g each of pipe tobacco products are permitted subject to 100% customs duty and 100% Bhutan sales tax). It is prohibited to smoke in public offices and within government premises but also sacrilegious to smoke near temples and any other religious sites.