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Duty Free Shopping Lie

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18 minutes ago, Cruzaholic41 said:

$10k is a key figure regarding monetary instruments. You might want to look at US code. 

 

Hey Cruz, I normally agree with you but in this case, 31CFR596 doesn't apply unless they are exporting cash to pay for the watch.  A watch isn't considered currency.  

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2 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/kbyg/customs-duty-info 

The flat duty rate will apply to articles that are dutiable but that cannot be included in your personal exemption, even if you have not exceeded the exemption. For example, alcoholic beverages. If you return from Europe with $200 worth of purchases, including two liters of liquor, one liter will be duty-free under your returning resident personal allowance/exemption. The other will be dutiable at 3 percent, plus any Internal Revenue Tax (IRT) that is due.

😄 Well, this last part reminds me of something that happened on my very 1st cruise wayyy back in 1987 on the Carnival Mari Gras ! I was a solo passenger but had a friend in the States that inhaled, even BLED ( I bet) BlackJack whiskey. On the ship the total price amounted to the second bottle being free if I had to buy 2 fifths here. So, I figured even if I had to pay extra duty tax for the second bottle I'd still come out cheaper and goodness knows he'd drink JD like it's water so I knew he'd love this gift.

 

On debarkation day in Port Lauderdale I was standing in that longgggggg customs line with a lone Customs official, sitting behind a wooden desk, and he was checking out the blue/white forms and after an 30 minutes my time came to present my form. I handed it to him and told him, ' I also have an second bottle with me' He looked shocked, and loudly proclaimed, 'WELL !! You WILL have to pay duty on that bottle !' I smiled, and said pleasantly, 'Oh I know, that's not a problem, showing him I had 1 ten, 1 five, and 10 one dollar bills in my hand. He seemed confused, like this sort of thing is out of the ordinary, and taking pencil and blank sheet of paper he began to scribble numbers while muttering to himself ' Lemme see, if the bottle cost this, times this then divided by, no, that's not right ...How about divided by X' Meanwhile behind me the line was getting longer😲 Finally, after about fifteen minutes, he disgustedly threw said pencil across the room and said with a red face, 'Awww, the HECK (of course he didn't say 'heck' but it did start with an H and followed by two l_ L_'s )  just take bottle and GO !!' I bid him a good day, and left. It's been over thirty years ago and I can still remember it like it was yesterday.

 

Mac

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58 minutes ago, Aquahound said:

 

Hey Cruz, I normally agree with you but in this case, 31CFR596 doesn't apply unless they are exporting cash to pay for the watch.  A watch isn't considered currency.  


Oops. You are correct. Sorry about that. 

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5 hours ago, SilkShirt said:

Cruising in the Caribbean people talk about duty free shopping. They don't tell you about the US Customs Duty Tax you owe when you finish your cruise.

If you buy a $10,000 ring on one of the islands how much will you be charged when you declare it to US Customs?

Please share your experience with high value jewlery purchases, and how much you were charged from Customs. Thanks

 

well if I can afford 10 k on a piece of jewelry, I can afford a few hundred more in customs fees.

Edited by c-boy

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Thanks for all the information. I'll make sure to declare my purchase. Good to know I'll need to bring a decent amount of cash to pay customs duty. I usually don't bring a lot of cash because I don't spend any money in the casino. Cash is just for extra tipping.

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19 minutes ago, SilkShirt said:

Thanks for all the information. I'll make sure to declare my purchase. Good to know I'll need to bring a decent amount of cash to pay customs duty. I usually don't bring a lot of cash because I don't spend any money in the casino. Cash is just for extra tipping.

Why not just bring a check? From the link I shared above:

How to Pay Customs Duty

If you owe Customs duty, you must pay it before the conclusion of your CBP processing. You may pay it in any of the following ways:

  • U.S. currency only.
  • Personal check in the exact amount, drawn on a U.S. bank, made payable to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. You must present identification, such as a passport or U.S. driver's license. CBP does not accept checks bearing second-party endorsement.
  • Government check, money order or traveler's check if the amount does not exceed the duty owed by more than $50.

In some locations/POEs, you may pay duty with either MasterCard or VISA credit cards.

 

You also might get lucky and be using a Port of Entry that accepts plastic.

Edited by sparks1093

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How am I not surprised by this discussion? While I know it is a hypothetical, people would absolutely spend $10k on jewelry they thought was a "deal" only to fight tooth and nail over a few hundred.

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18 hours ago, ItsAllAboutTheSass said:

OP didn't specify on ship purchases vs on shore purchases. I know people that bought jewelry on an island and just slipped the ring on a finger. I was answering based on off ship purchase.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

I bought my earrings shore side.   not only did I get paperwork  detailing the transaction and customs/duty requiements, I also had to sign a paper stating I understood they were sending that information ahead to the proper authorities.  ( details are fuzzy so I can't remember if they said the ship or not..and the ship absolutely sends that info to the  dockside authorities.  )

 

I even had taken along single blank check because I knew in advance I was going to be buying.  showed everything to the poor beleaguered guy at the  terminal. who barely looked at it before sending me on my way.  

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4 hours ago, SilkShirt said:

Thanks for all the information. I'll make sure to declare my purchase. Good to know I'll need to bring a decent amount of cash to pay customs duty. I usually don't bring a lot of cash because I don't spend any money in the casino. Cash is just for extra tipping.

 

The other option would be to not spend a significant enough amount on souvenirs to go over the limit. I think you get $1,000 for free. 

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29 minutes ago, sanger727 said:

 

The other option would be to not spend a significant enough amount on souvenirs to go over the limit. I think you get $1,000 for free. 


$800.  If you are traveling with members of your household that can (usually) be pooled for one expensive item.

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If you aren’t a Rolex expert, you might want to have a long talk/tutorial with your local trusted jeweler. Some (hesitant to say many) island jewelers don’t represent their merchandise is the same manner that jewelers here do. I don’t know whether it’s a matter of best practice or regulation.

 

Visited an island jewelers store with a cousin who is a semi-retired jeweler and someone we dined with. After listening to the sales pitch for a watch that a cruiser we dined with thought was a good value cuz asked several, what to me were technical, questions. Apparently they were very on target as the store manager came over, listened for a bit, informed us that cuz knew too much, and politely asked us to leave. 

 


 

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It is duty free up to a limit.  Not unlimited duty free.

Edited by ed01106

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Duty free to the store means the goods were not charged duty getting into THAT country.

 

They may or may not be subject to duty when you return to your home country.

 

I don't know of any country that has export duty on individual purchases.

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54 minutes ago, SRF said:

Duty free to the store means the goods were not charged duty getting into THAT country.

 

They may or may not be subject to duty when you return to your home country.

 

I don't know of any country that has export duty on individual purchases.


There are export duties on very limited, very specialized items from a handful of countries.  Probably nothing the average tourist would be bringing home though.

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19 hours ago, CPT Trips said:

If you aren’t a Rolex expert, you might want to have a long talk/tutorial with your local trusted jeweler. Some (hesitant to say many) island jewelers don’t represent their merchandise is the same manner that jewelers here do. I don’t know whether it’s a matter of best practice or regulation.

 

Visited an island jewelers store with a cousin who is a semi-retired jeweler and someone we dined with. After listening to the sales pitch for a watch that a cruiser we dined with thought was a good value cuz asked several, what to me were technical, questions. Apparently they were very on target as the store manager came over, listened for a bit, informed us that cuz knew too much, and politely asked us to leave. 

 


 

 

While true, there are many jewelers even in the US who are also not "trusted"

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2 hours ago, Joebucks said:

 

While true, there are many jewelers even in the US who are also not "trusted"

amen, been there done  that. 

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3 hours ago, Joebucks said:

 

While true, there are many jewelers even in the US who are also not "trusted"


Agreed. At least if you locally, you have more resources to correct problems. And it’s easier to vet the retailer.

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3 hours ago, Joebucks said:

 

While true, there are many jewelers even in the US who are also not "trusted"

Absolutely.  However, it is a lot  easier to research my local jeweler by checking BBB, friends, family etc. 

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I think the OP has it wrong on many levels.  1.  Duty Free, if true, does not necessarily mean you are getting a better price.  It simply means that the merchant was able to obtain the merchandise without the merchant having to pay any duty.  The merchant could then charge you 10 times what you might pay for the same item at home where it is not duty free.  2.  There are 195 countries in the world and they each have their own import rules.  The world does not revolve around the USA and its specific import Duty regulations.

 

And finally, as one who has traveled and cruised extensively (all over the world) I can confidently tell the OP that many of the products sold at Duty Free shops are not bargains.  The warranties on many products are also not necessarily the same as you would get at home.  And finally, as a USA resident you have certain consumer protections (some are the result of Federal and State Laws) none of which are enforceable on products you purchase outside the USA.

 

And one final related comment about so-called "recommended stores."  Those stores are only "recommended" because they pay a promotional fee and/or a commission to the cruise line or its third party port shopping contractor.  You might want to consider that these stores generally recover that extra cost by inflating their prices.

 

Hank

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On 2/17/2020 at 8:49 AM, ItsAllAboutTheSass said:

Why would you declare it? 

Maybe because someone is a law-abiding, ethical and moral person...   

 

I tended to give the Customs folks a chuckle when I had to turn in my blue form (pre-GE).  I kept every receipt I got.  I would take time to fill out that form to the penny, itemizing as best I could ("clothes", "jewelry", "food", "hard goods" etc).   I only once went over my limit (I went on a spending spree in Egypt and Jordan), but the Customs guy just looked at my bookkeeping, smiled, and said "Welcome back."    I always know I COULD cheat, but I know that Karma will come and bite me on the a$$ sometime.  

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On 2/17/2020 at 9:49 AM, ItsAllAboutTheSass said:

Why would you declare it? 

Because if you don't and the eagle eyed customs agents see it, they can charge you with failing to declare, and you end up paying a large fine, or possibly forfeiting the piece.  They may ask you to prove you brought it from home by having you produce a bill of sale, or by calling the jewelery store to verify the purchase.   It's always better to declare something, pay the duty, and have them wave you through, than having them stop you and start the inquiry.

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

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On 2/17/2020 at 6:58 PM, That sinking feeling said:

In the UK most people have a very low opinion of the inland revenue (taxman). So anyone fleecing the tax man doesn't always get criticised. Unless its ahuge corporation not paying their fair share.

 

But the little guy sticking it to the man is encouraged.

 

Not every Brit thinks this way!

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