USA Duty Free Allowances and Exemptions 2013
Travelling to and from the US is easy, but only once you're actually on the plane. The difficult bit has always been the slow trawl through Customs, Immigration and Security.
Understanding the duty free and tax free allowances and exemptions rules in absolute detail also comes under “slow trawl” • So to help, here is our quick guide to the latest allowances ..........
The duty-free exemption, also called the personal exemption, is the total value of merchandise you may bring back to the United States without having to pay duty. You may bring back more than your exemption, but you will have to pay duty on it. In most cases, the personal exemption is $800, but there are some exceptions to this rule.
Family members who live in the same home and return together to the United States may combine their personal exemptions. This is called a joint declaration.
Children and infants are allowed the same exemption as adults, except for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.
Depending on the countries you have visited, your personal exemption will be $200, $800, or $1,600. There are limits on the amount of alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products you may include in your duty-free personal exemption.
The duty-free exemptions ($200, $800, or $1,600) apply if:
- The items are for your personal or household use or intended to be given as gifts.
- They are in your possession, that is, they accompany you when you return to the United States. Items to be sent later may not be included in your $800 duty-free exemption. (Exceptions apply for goods sent from Guam or the U.S. Virgin Islands.)
- They are declared to CBP. If you do not declare something that should have been declared, you risk forfeiting it. If in doubt, declare it.
- You are returning from an overseas stay of at least 48 hours.This time limit does not apply if you are returning from Mexico or from the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- You have not used all of your exemption allowance, or used any part of it, in the past 30 days. For example, if you go to England and bring back $150 worth of items, you must wait another 30 days before you are allowed another $800 exemption.
- The items are not prohibited or restricted as discussed in the section on Prohibited and Restricted Items. Note the embargo prohibitions on products of Cuba
US Nationals and Residents
Returning residents of the United States: up to $800 worth of articles acquired abroad provided their stay abroad was at least 48 hours and their duty-free exemption was not used in the preceding 30 days.
For arrivals directly from American Samoa, Guam & U.S. Virgin Islands: up to $1,600 (not more than $800 of which may be acquired elsewhere than in these islands) The duty-free allowance may include the following maximum quantities:
1,000 cigarettes (not more than 200 of which shall have been acquired elsewhere than in American Samoa, Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands: For residents returning from other countries 200 cigarettes plus a reasonable quantity of tobacco and 100 cigars.
For persons of 21 years or older: 1 litre of alcoholic beverage (for arrivals from American Samoa, Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands, 5 litre not more than 1 litre of which may be acquired elsewhere than on these islands).
Perfumes, lotions, Eau de Cologne if not under a trade mark restriction recorded in the United States Treasury Department.
Visitors and Tourists
For persons of 21 years of age or older: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 2kg of tobacco or a combination of proportionate parts.
For persons of 21 years of age or older; 1 litre of alcoholic beverage
Including minors accompanied or unaccompanied: gifts not exceeding $100 in value, provided that the stay in the United States is not less than 72 hours and that the gift exemption has not been claimed in the previous 6 months.
Duty and Tax Free Items Not To Buy ....
Imports from or exports to Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya & Sudan. Matches and match-books in luggage unless tightly packed in a closed container.
Fresh, dried (canned meat permitted if cooked in can and can be stored without refrigeration) or meat products, poultry meat, narcotics, marijuana, dangerous drugs, plants, some seeds, fresh vegetables & fruits, soil, live insects, snails, and other living plant or animal pests. . Eggs and dairy products, except fully-cured cheese.