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What Can I Bring Back Duty Free?
Beginning on  November 4, 2002, the standard personal exemption-the total value of merchandise travelers may bring back to the United States without having to pay duty increased from $400 to $800. The increase was contained in the Trade Act of 2002, which became law on August 6, 2002. All other personal exemption rates remain unchanged. The duty-free exemption applies if: The items are for your personal or household use. They are in your possession when you return to the United States. Items to be sent later may not be included in your $800 duty-free exemption. The items are declared to Customs. If you do not declare all items that you obtained during your trip, you risk forfeiting them. You are returning from an overseas stay of at least 48 hours. You have not used your exemption, or any part of it, in the past 30 days. If you use part of your exemption you must wait another 30 days before you are allowed another $800 exemption. The items are not prohibited or restricted. Family members who live in the same home and return together to the United States may combine their standard personal exemptions. Children and infants are allowed the same exemption as adults, except for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. Only 1 liter of alcohol and 200 cigarettes or 100 cigars may be included in this exemption. Items purchased in "Duty Free" shops are subject to duty if the value of your total purchases exceeds $800. For more information on duty-free exemptions, please read Customs "Know Before You Go" brochure. This publication is also available on the U. S. Customs Service Web site.