Duty-free goods and gifts: what restrictions apply when imported into the United States
Products purchased at duty free stores are not automatically duty free when you import them into the United States. Non-taxable minimum - the amount for which goods can be imported without duty - can be $ 200, $ 800 or $ 1 600, depending on the country of visit. You can include only small amounts of alcohol and tobacco in non-taxable goods, reports US Customs and Border Protection.
- All that you received as a gift abroad and bought as a gift to other people, you need to declare.
- Gifts can be included in the amount not subject to duty.
- Gifts for commercial or business purposes should not be included in the amount not subject to duty.
- Gifts worth more than $ 5 containing alcohol, tobacco, and perfume containing alcohol should not be included in any non-taxable amount.
Do not wrap gifts that you personally import or send to the USA in gift paper — you may have to unwrap them.
Which is better: send a gift by mail or import it in person?
- Gifts worth up to $ 100 can be sent without taxes and fees to the addresses of your friends and relatives, provided that one person does not receive gifts for more than $ 100 per day. When sending gifts from Guam, American Samoa or the US Virgin Islands, the duty free amount is $ 200.
- Alcohol and tobacco products should not be sent as gifts without paying a fee.
- Gifts sent home do not need to be declared on the form 6059В or to the officer of the customs and border guard service when returning to the USA.
If you send gifts home, you need to put the following marks on the box:
- “Unsolicited Gift” (“undelivered gift”); if there are gifts for several people in the same package, also add the “Consolidated Gift Package”.
- The total cost of the package.
- Names of recipients.
- To avoid taxation, each gift must cost less than $ 100. You must also specify the cost and content of the gifts being sent.
When sending new products for personal use, indicate on the parcel what is there and what is its value. If it is less than $ 200, you do not have to pay taxes. If more, then the amount of taxes will determine the transport company.
Things that you used in your home abroad are not subject to duty if:
- You have used them for at least a year abroad.
- They are not intended for anyone else or for sale.
- Clothing, decorations, photographic equipment, electronics and vehicles are personal belongings and cannot be imported or mailed as household goods. As a rule, things that are more than a year are not taxed. For all vehicles you need to pay a fee.
- Prohibited goods can not be brought with you to the country, regardless of whether you bought them or received as a gift. Even if they seem harmless to you, prohibited goods may harm human, animal or plant health. Prohibited items may also violate US trade laws.
- Be careful when buying items from street vendors. If they are fake or unsafe, you may need to hand them over to customs officers when you return home.
Almost all medicines of foreign origin are prohibited from being imported into the United States. More information regarding personal importation of goods can be found at this link.
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