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green_rd July 21st, 2012 10:22 AM

Exceeding Duty Free limits
I know that we can bring 1 liter of duty free alcohol per person plus some amount of purchases depending on whether you go to the USVI or not. What I don't know is what kind of duty do you have to pay on additional alcohol or purchases?

BigMac July 21st, 2012 11:01 AM

I would like to know as well.

I'd like to know more detail about what I can return with. I don't really want anything exotic, I just don't like setting off alarms with US Customs.

So far I have only brought back tshirs and a bottle of Cobo Wabo.

Bruce Chafkin1 July 21st, 2012 12:41 PM

There is no hard and fast rule on this issue.

Much of it depends on what kind of day the Customs Inspector is having, and the attitude you have when you speak with him.

As a general guideline, if the inspectors assess duty for overages, it runs in the 10% to 15% range.

However, bear in mind that these people are American Government Employees who belong to a very strong union - and carry guns.
This is generally not a very good combination - IMO.

In any case, most of these folks are not too excited about filling out extra paperwork in order to collect just a few dollars in duty. If they are having a good day and you treat them with a bit of respect, in most cases they just wave you through and tell you to have a nice day.

There is an additional ploy that I have been using for years.
It is allowed to pay your additional duty with a credit card.
The Customs Officials especially do not want to have to put down their donuts to walk you to the credit card machine to pay what you owe.

Whenever I enter the USA with goods over the limit, I fill out the form honestly, have a big smile on my face, credit card visible in my hand, and find the nearest Officer to ask where I can pay.
In over 30 years of visiting the USA - very often with goods over the limit - I have never been charged anything.

Aerogirl July 21st, 2012 04:00 PM

When we returned from our Carnival cruise both my friends had exceeded the amount of booze you can bring back duty free. When they tried to claim it coming out of customs the agents told her to not worry about it. We thought it might be because of the type of booze it was like liqueurs and not hard alcohol. We were very surprised; it seemed as if they didn’t want to bother with the paperwork.

Marc July 21st, 2012 07:53 PM

Like Bruce said; make sure to claim it on the form and be prepared to pay. I have yet to have an agent ask me to pay anything for over limit alcohol.


Truck Cruiser July 31st, 2012 05:12 AM

I have only had to pay duty one time. I had purchased extra cartons of cigarettes and they charged me $10 per carton. I had dont this on other cruises and never had to pay anything extra so I was a little surprised. No, we never come near the amount we are allowed, dollar wise, duty free either.

zydecocruiser August 2nd, 2012 10:48 PM

Be sure to declare all of it or they can confiscate it AND fine you far more than the duty.

In general, it isn't worth filling out the paperwork for the small amount of duty. If you are bringing back cases, they might decide you are importing for something other than personal consumption.

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