Shopping is one way to bring home memories of your time spent traveling abroad. You will encounter so many interesting local crafts and art on your travels. It is likely you will find some things you want to bring home! Please review the Customs requirements for what you are allowed to bring back home, how much you can bring back tax-free, and what your options are for paying applicable taxes.


The United States Customs Office allows you to bring home up to $800 worth of goods (retail value) without paying customs duty, if:

  • articles are for personal use or gifts
  • articles accompany you
  • you have not claimed an exemption within the preceding 30 days

You may include in this duty-free exemption:

  • 100 cigars or 200 cigarettes (1 carton)
  • one liter (33.8 ounces) wine, beer or liquor, if 21 years of age or over

You may choose to mail purchases to your home residence, but it will be necessary to pay the applicable customs duty on the merchandise upon your return to the country. Gifts worth up to $100 may be sent, free of duty and tax, to friends and relatives in the U.S. as long as the same person does not receive more than $100 worth of gifts the same day.

Gifts for more than one person may be shipped in the same package (called a consolidated package) if they are individually wrapped and labeled with each recipient’s name. The package must be marked “unsolicited gifts and consolidated package” with the total value and nature of each gift and the name of the recipient.
If any single gift is over $100, duty will be charged on the entire package. These gifts will not reduce your duty-free allowance. Articles accompanying you in excess of your $800 duty-free exemption will be assessed at graduated rates of duty based on the fair retail value in the country of acquisition. These articles must be for personal use or for use as gifts and not for sale.

When returning to the USA you will receive a customs card on the flight which needs to be completed before you cross through immigration. It is best to fill it out while on the plane to save time at immigration. If you are bringing over $800 in purchases back with you, all items must be declared on this card. If you have spent less than $800, you do not need to list the items, you just need to indicate the total amount you spent on items you are bringing back into the country.