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Old 09-03-2012, 09:00 AM   #1
Minnie321
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Question about declaring articles when you return?

Ok I am confused by the I info I pasted below? Do I need to keep tract of the cost of everything I buy? And do I need to have it all in one place together when I go to get off the ship? I have never been on a cruise and have been on the dis for months now and was so confident because I thought I had read everything I needed to know but today I came across this info and I am confused.

You must declare all articles acquired during your trip and in your possession at the time of your return.

This includes:

Articles that you purchased.
Articles presented to you while abroad, such as wedding and birthday presents or inherited items.
Articles purchased in duty-free shops or on board a carrier.
Repairs or alterations made to any articles taken abroad and returned, whether or not repairs or alterations were free of charge.
Items you have been requested to bring home for another person.
All articles you intend to sell or use in your business. Promotional items and samples for Customs purposes are only those items that are valued at $1 or less.
In addition, you must declare any articles acquired in the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam or a country of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act and not accompanying you at the time of your return.The price actually paid for each article must be stated on your declaration in U.S. currency or its equivalent in the country of acquisition. The stated price must include any "value added tax" (VAT) if it was not refunded prior to arrival. If the article was not purchased, obtain an estimate of its fair retail value in the country in which it was acquired.Note: The wearing or use of any article acquired abroad does not exempt it from duty. It must be declared at the price you paid for it.

Any info about how this works would be helpful!
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:08 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie321 View Post
Ok I am confused by the I info I pasted below? Do I need to keep tract of the cost of everything I buy? And do I need to have it all in one place together when I go to get off the ship? I have never been on a cruise and have been on the dis for months now and was so confident because I thought I had read everything I needed to know but today I came across this info and I am confused.

You must declare all articles acquired during your trip and in your possession at the time of your return.

This includes:

Articles that you purchased.
Articles presented to you while abroad, such as wedding and birthday presents or inherited items.
Articles purchased in duty-free shops or on board a carrier.
Repairs or alterations made to any articles taken abroad and returned, whether or not repairs or alterations were free of charge.
Items you have been requested to bring home for another person.
All articles you intend to sell or use in your business. Promotional items and samples for Customs purposes are only those items that are valued at $1 or less.
In addition, you must declare any articles acquired in the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam or a country of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act and not accompanying you at the time of your return.The price actually paid for each article must be stated on your declaration in U.S. currency or its equivalent in the country of acquisition. The stated price must include any "value added tax" (VAT) if it was not refunded prior to arrival. If the article was not purchased, obtain an estimate of its fair retail value in the country in which it was acquired.Note: The wearing or use of any article acquired abroad does not exempt it from duty. It must be declared at the price you paid for it.

Any info about how this works would be helpful!
You need to know the estimated cost of everything you are bringing back. You will put that on your customs form. You do not need to have everything out and ready to show and you do not need to keep receipts.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:10 AM   #3
super mike b
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The customs officials can be hit-or-miss. I never used to declare anything that I purchased on the ship and never had an issue. Last year I lucked out and got a guy who was really hard to deal with and wanted to see our receipts for everything. He made threats and blew a bunch of hot air, but once he reviewed our receipts he moved on to someone that had too much duty free liquor. They really caught it from him!

We now declare everything that we buy on the ship even though it is duty free.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:13 AM   #4
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Provided that you are below your customs allowance, you basically need to just place an amount in the box on the form. I've never seen them inspect a suitcase or ask for items or receipts on a cruise. However, if you buy a piece of jewelry or other item that pushes the allowance to nearly the limit, I'd have that and the receipt handy just in case.

There is a separate line for people who declare that they have exceeded the allowance--don't know what happens to them other than they pay.

Note--in your estimate on the Customs form, do not include anything you ate, drank, or otherwise consumed. (the fact that it is on my hips doesn't count). THey are interested in goods being brought in, not how much you spent outside the US.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:26 AM   #5
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The most common issues people have at customs are:

1. Having purchased an expensive item that puts them over the $800/pp limit. If you buy something at a foreign jewelry store, this could certainly qualify. I can't for the life of me understand why people buy jewelry in cruise ports, but to each his own.

2. Bringing more than the allowed amounts of liquor and/or tobacco products. This is 1 liter of alcohol per adult or one carton of cigarettes. If you're determined to bring home multiple bottles of Caribbean rum as presents, you're legally obliged to pay duty.

3. Bringing back things you can't import into the US. For cruise itineraries, the most common items would be fresh fruits (but first you would have to sneak them on the ship anyway). Also Cuban cigars, banned animal products (ivory, etc.).

If you buy souvenirs/trinkets, etc. and aren't importing multiple bottles of alcohol, just write down something like the value of what you've purchased on the form and walk through. In the unlikely event you're questioned (has happened to me once out of ~15 US entries), they can't fine you if you haven't exceeded your customs allowance.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:32 AM   #6
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The advice above is spot on...

We had a really power-hungry woman in Canaveral in May and it was h*ll! Dh filled out the form incorrectly (no big deal?) and was willing to correct it, but she made us pull out everything we purchased, receipts, etc, and then proceeded to quiz my kids (teens) about what they bought, what they were wearing (dd was wearing a pandora bracelet that she brought with her), etc. then she even quizzed my 4yo on who his parents were (she apparently thought 17yo dd was his mom!)... it was torturous! my kids were really upset, esp when she threatened that we will have problems with customs anytime we leave the country (???)... dd was shaken, because she travels internationally w/her school and is now paranoid that she'll have trouble in the future
Lousy way to end a great trip!
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yokelridesagain View Post
3. Bringing back things you can't import into the US. For cruise itineraries, the most common items would be fresh fruits (but first you would have to sneak them on the ship anyway).
Even taking fruits from the buffets off the ships can land you in you hot water. In his debarkation video on the Dream, the CD (Clayton) said about taking a banana from the buffet "it will be the most expensive banana you've ever had..."
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:03 AM   #8
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Because almost everything my family buys is from the ships onboard, I just look at our stateroom account printout the last night, add up our purchases, then add anything we did buy while we were off the ship. I have never come close to our allowance, but if I did, I would carry the receipts with me just in case there were questions,
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:04 AM   #9
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To make it easy, I just keep all my receipts in a neat pile on the desk and when going to fill out the customs form the receipts are totaled.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:24 AM   #10
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I just use a plain mailing envelope. I keep my receipts in it and put the amount on the outside. Then that last night i total it up and put that figure on the custom form. I've never been stopped but if I am I would have all my receipts in one place.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:30 AM   #11
super mike b
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Originally Posted by gigi1313 View Post
The advice above is spot on...

We had a really power-hungry woman in Canaveral in May and it was h*ll! Dh filled out the form incorrectly (no big deal?) and was willing to correct it, but she made us pull out everything we purchased, receipts, etc, and then proceeded to quiz my kids (teens) about what they bought, what they were wearing (dd was wearing a pandora bracelet that she brought with her), etc. then she even quizzed my 4yo on who his parents were (she apparently thought 17yo dd was his mom!)... it was torturous! my kids were really upset, esp when she threatened that we will have problems with customs anytime we leave the country (???)... dd was shaken, because she travels internationally w/her school and is now paranoid that she'll have trouble in the future
Lousy way to end a great trip!
Our guy was a turd. He kept trying to convince us that we could get into serious trouble for not filling out our form properly. I presented our receipts and told him to search whatever he wanted. When he found nothing he started in on my wife's jewelry. He just wouldn't let up. I finally told him that I had all day and he should go ahead and do his worst.

I will say that 99% of customs guys are easy to deal with. Every once in a while you get a winner! So, it is best to be prepared.
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yokelridesagain View Post
The most common issues people have at customs are:

1. Having purchased an expensive item that puts them over the $800/pp limit. If you buy something at a foreign jewelry store, this could certainly qualify. I can't for the life of me understand why people buy jewelry in cruise ports, but to each his own.

2. Bringing more than the allowed amounts of liquor and/or tobacco products. This is 1 liter of alcohol per adult or one carton of cigarettes. If you're determined to bring home multiple bottles of Caribbean rum as presents, you're legally obliged to pay duty.

3. Bringing back things you can't import into the US. For cruise itineraries, the most common items would be fresh fruits (but first you would have to sneak them on the ship anyway). Also Cuban cigars, banned animal products (ivory, etc.).

If you buy souvenirs/trinkets, etc. and aren't importing multiple bottles of alcohol, just write down something like the value of what you've purchased on the form and walk through. In the unlikely event you're questioned (has happened to me once out of ~15 US entries), they can't fine you if you haven't exceeded your customs allowance.
Actually you are allowed to bring back 2 or 5 liters of alcohol Duty Free from the Carribbean as long as 1 of the bottles meets the below requirements.

What can I bring back from the Caribbean?


As a general rule, travelers to Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) countries are allowed a $800 duty-free exemption on their return to the U.S. You may include two liters of alcoholic beverages with this $800 exemption, as long as one of the liters was produced in one of the CBI countries. The duty exemption for travelers returning from the U.S. Virgin Islands is $1,600. You may include 1,000 cigarettes as part of this exemption, but at least 800 of them must have been acquired in the U.S. Virgin Islands (keep your receipt). You may include five liters of alcoholic beverages in your duty-free exemption, but one of them must be a product of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, or American Samoa.

All U.S. Citizens traveling to the Caribbean will be required to present a passport before boarding an outbound plane.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...bean-duty-free


Keep in mind that each household can combine their exemptions, but the alcohol limits are only for those 21 and older.
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:45 AM   #13
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I keep all the receipts together. On one line I declare the alcohol, limits depend on what you purchase and where.

On another line, I usually list miscellaneous souvenirs - t shirts, mugs, pens, whatever and give the total cost of those items.

We have never had a problem. Even when we had one too many bottles of alcohol, the customs person just let us in with it and didn't make us pay duty on it.
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:04 PM   #14
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Out of seven cruises, we have brought back more liquor than allowed each time by the rules, claimed all the bottles on the form, and only once did we have to pay $12.00.
We have never met a troublesome customs offical. Most of the time we were two/three bottles over the limit and the officals just waved us through.
Example from our 25th anniversary cruise:
Brought back and declared: 7 bottles of liquor including a bottle of wine that we were given for free and one we won at the sales presentation. We were not charged for the overage.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by super mike b View Post
The customs officials can be hit-or-miss. I never used to declare anything that I purchased on the ship and never had an issue. Last year I lucked out and got a guy who was really hard to deal with and wanted to see our receipts for everything. He made threats and blew a bunch of hot air, but once he reviewed our receipts he moved on to someone that had too much duty free liquor. They really caught it from him!

We now declare everything that we buy on the ship even though it is duty free.
Good call to include Duty Free purchases, as they need to be included. Some people believe "duty free" means they do not have to be declared (which is not correct). "Duty Free" only means no duty is included in the price you paid to purchase the product. If the purchase brings you over your limit, you may have to pay duty on reentering the country.
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