Just as you made plans to go abroad, it’s equally essential to for you homecoming. Prepare for coming home and your transition back will go smoother.
U.S. customs agents regulate who and what comes in and out of the United States. Regardless if you’re coming home on plane, ship, train or bus, you will have to clear customs when you get back to the United States. Follow these suggestions to help ensure your trip through customs goes smoothly.
Before You Leave
U.S. Customs charges a tax on items purchased overseas if they exceed a certain value. If you bring expensive items (computers, cameras, watches, etc) manufactured in a foreign country, you may have to pay a tax on each item when you come back to the US, unless you can prove you owned them prior to leaving.
One way to avoid paying additional taxes is to register your items before you leave. You can do this at international airports (e.g. JFK, SFO, LAX, etc) before you depart. Visit the U.S. Customs website for more details.
Regulations spell out what and how much you can bring back to the U.S. Here are the basics:
- Depending on the country you visit, you can bring between $200 to $1600 worth of goods back tax-free
- You are limited one liter (33.8 oz) of alcohol tax-free
- You must be 21 years old to bring alcohol to the U.S.
- No more than 100 cigars or 200 cigarettes can be included in your tax-free goods
- You must declare foreign currency if it equals $5,000 or more
- Products from certain nations (e.g. Cuba) are prohibited
Visit the U.S. Customs website for further details.