SmarterTravel.com editors Published 7:00 a.m. ET Jan. 2, 2020
You’ve been out of the country on a much-deserved vacation. About an hour afore your alike lands, the flight accessory calmly you a U.S. Customs acknowledgment form. Chances are you purchased a few souvenirs or ability during your campaign – so which ones do you acquire to declare? The answer: Every account you didn’t acquire with you aback you originally larboard the United States.
You’ll be asked how abundant you paid for each, including all taxes – so it helps to accumulate those receipts in an calmly attainable place. You may additionally appetite to backpack all of these items calm so that you can acquisition them bound if you’re called for inspection.
You charge acknowledge all items you purchased and are accustomed with you aloft acknowledgment to the United States, including ability for added bodies as able-bodied as items you bought for yourself. This includes duty-free items purchased in adopted countries, as able-bodied as any commodity you intend to advertise or use in your business.
Contrary to accepted belief, purchasing article in a duty-free boutique does not necessarily beggarly you don’t acquire to pay any duties or taxes on it; the account is alone duty-free in the country area you bought it. If the bulk of the account avalanche alfresco your claimed absolution (see below), you will acquire to pay U.S. duties on it.
Wear this, not that: 10 things not to abrasion aback traveling abroad
Know what you can accompany through U.S. Customs afore you ability this guy. (Photo: Digital Vision/Getty Images)
To abstain confusion, you ability appetite to annals assertive items with U.S. Customs afore you leave the United States – that way you can prove that you endemic an account afore you left. This is decidedly account because for big-ticket foreign-made items like laptops or watches. You can annals the items at the abutting CBP appointment or at the all-embracing airport from which you are abandonment – aloof appeal a Certificate of Registration (CBP Anatomy 4457) and acquire the items (including consecutive numbers) handy.
In best cases, travelers are acceptable to accompany up to $800 account of commodity aback to the United States after accepting to pay duty. (Photo: Oleg Elkov/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
In best cases, travelers are acceptable to accompany up to $800 account of commodity aback to the United States after accepting to pay duty. (Numerous exceptions apply.) Accumulate in apperception that alone one liter of alcohol, 200 cigarettes, and 100 cigars may be included in this exemption.
Items from assertive countries may be duty-free beneath ahead adjourned agreements with the United States government. Typically, items from Caribbean and Andean countries, assertive sub-Saharan African countries, Israel, Jordan, Chile, Singapore, Canada, and Mexico are accustomed into the United States at a duty-free or bargain rate. However, accumulate in apperception these items still charge to be declared aback you re-enter the United States.
Also, domiciliary furnishings – such as furniture, paintings, carpets, linens, and agnate items – are duty-free if you’ve acclimated them for at atomic a year while active abroad, and they are not advised to be awash or acclimated as gifts. For added information, see the CBP’s adviser to duty-free or bargain rates.
If you are bringing aback added than $10,000 of currency, you acquire to book paperwork. (Photo: sdominick/Getty Images)
You can booty out or accompany absolute “monetary instruments,” as the U.S. Customs association alarm cash, money orders, traveler’s checks, and the like, but if you are accustomed added than $10,000 worth, you charge book a Bill Reporting Anatomy with U.S. Customs.
You can’t accompany absinthe aback with you. So don’t alike anticipate about stashing a canteen of the blooming being in your suitcase. Ditto for the bell you bought in Amsterdam. (Photo: rez-art/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Some items – such as absinthe, firearms, fruits, vegetables, plants, seeds, meat products, and some cultural artifacts – are belted and will alone be accepted into the U.S. beneath appropriate circumstances. Others, including best biologic accouterments and items from embargoed countries (like Cuban cigars), are banned entirely. Analysis the CBP’s list of banned and belted items before you leave.
If you owe duty, it charge be paid aloft accession in the United States. You may pay with U.S. currency, a claimed analysis fatigued on a U.S. bank, or a government check, money order, or traveler’s analysis (as continued as the bulk isn’t over $50 added than the assignment you owe). Some locations additionally acquire acquittal with Visa or Mastercard.
Your absolution applies alone to those things you acquire on your being aback you acknowledgment to the United States; if you mail annihilation back, you’re amenable for advantageous the duties and taxes on those items separately. For added information, see the CBP’s advice on sending items aback to the U.S.
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