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What Can I Bring? - 2003-08-29

Five Tips from the US Customs Service

When visiting the United States there is no limit on the amount of money you may bring with you. However, if you are traveling with more than $10,000 in currency, traveler's checks or other monetary instruments, you must declare it to a Customs inspector. Failure to do so can result in the confiscation of your money. If two or more people are filing a joint declaration, they should declare the total amount of currency they are all carrying. It is not necessary to declare credit cards.

Each visitor to the U.S. may bring in gifts totaling $100 in value without paying duty. There is a 3% duty rate on the next $1000 worth of gifts brought into the U.S.

Travelers should be aware that goods purchased in a duty free shop or on-board a plane or cruise ship may not be eligible for duty free treatment when they are brought into the U.S. Generally, duty will be assessed on more than 1 liter of alcohol and/or 200 cigarettes and/or 100 cigars. Greater quantities of alcohol and tobacco products purchased in Caribbean Basin countries or U.S. territories are eligible for duty-free treatment.

All food must be declared to inspectors. While many food items may be entered into the U.S., it is essential that they be inspected to ensure that they are not carrying insects or disease organisms. Failure to declare food items could automatically result in their being seized - even if they would otherwise have been permitted to enter the U.S.

Cuban cigars and other products of Cuban origin may not be brought into the U.S., either for your own personal use or as gifts. Please leave them at home to avoid the disappointment of having them seized.