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When you return to the USA be sure to have receipts for anything you took with you on the trip that you bought in the USA before you left. You may need to register these items before you leave. Cameras are the main sort of item that is included in this area.

The USA has customs regulations that are quite complicated. Yet they offer help through their web site. HERE are the general details about returning USA citizens:

When You Return to the United States


 

illustration of suitcases with the U.S. Flag in the background

When you come back, you'll need to declare everything you brought back that you did not take with you when you left the United States. If you are traveling by air or sea, you may be asked to fill out a Customs declaration form. This form is almost always provided by the airline or cruise ship. You will probably find it easier and faster to fill out your declaration form and clear Customs if you do the following:

Keep your sales slips! As you read this brochure, you'll understand why this is especially important for international travelers.

Try to pack the things you'll need to declare separately.

Read the signs in the Customs area. They contain helpful information about how to clear Customs.

 

 

 

Be aware that under U.S. law, Customs inspectors are authorized to examine luggage, cargo, and travelers. Under the search authority granted to Customs by the U.S. Congress, every passenger who crosses a U.S. border may be searched. To stop the flow of illegal drugs and other contraband into our country, we need your cooperation. If you are one of the very few travelers selected for a search, you will be treated in a courteous, professional, and dignified manner. If you are searched and you believe that you were not treated in such a manner, or if you have any concerns about the search for any reason whatsoever, we want to hear from you. Please contact the Executive Director, Passenger Programs.

 

 

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You may want to follow some of these text links for more information that may be useful to you:

 

 

 

 

The amount of your duty-free exemption depends on the country you are returning from. In most cases, each individual is allowed to bring back $400 worth of goods without being required to pay duty. Family members traveling together and living in the same home may combine their personal exemptions by filing a joint declaration. These exemptions apply if:

The items you are bringing back are for your personal or household use.

They are in your possession (that is, they accompany you) when you return to the United States. Items to be sent later may not be included in your $400 duty-free exemption.

They are declared to Customs. If you do not declare something that should have been declared, you risk forfeiting it. If in doubt, declare it.

You are returning from an overseas stay of at least 48 hours. This time limit does not apply if you are returning from Mexico or from the U.S. Virgin Islands.

You have not used your exemption, or any part of it, in the past 30 days. If you use part of your exemption - for example, if you go to England and bring back $150 worth of items - you must wait another 30 days before you are allowed another $400 exemption.

The items are not prohibited or restricted.

If you are returning directly from certain Caribbean Basin countries your customs exemption will be $600 and if you return directly or indirectly from the U.S Virgin Islands, American Samoa or Guam, you are allowed a $1200 exemption. If traveling to one of the countries mentioned above, you may wish to check in with your nearest Customs office for specific details.

U.S Customs > Making a Declaration > Duty-Free Exemption > Duty-Free Shops > Paying a Duty > Prohibited and Restricted Items

 

 

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