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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-22-2007, 09:33 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 36
Can someone tell me how this works and what is the limit to what you can bring back.
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-22-2007, 09:44 AM
penny3333's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 10,602
Check on www.customs.gov
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Old 05-22-2007, 09:57 AM
CruiseDad's Avatar  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 848
Originally posted by Kellymo:
Can someone tell me how this works and what is the limit to what you can bring back.
Penny3333's link is a good source but I suspect you may also want a a small discussion. From my experience going through customs has a lot of variability. From Port Everglades my last cruise where the customs agent had his eyes half closed and just motioned us through, to the customs in Maimi who looked carefully at all our documents and came very close to opening our luggage. I do not know why the difference, perhaps the threat color, or maybe my number just came up. But fill all your paper work out and listen to the CD on what you can bring back and how much, and what happens if you have to much. Usually if you declare it it will be a tax or if contraband it is confiscated. If you try to hide something lots of bad stuff can happen.

My wife and I have never even come close to having more than allowed, but since I never bring back anything but memories her allowance is higher. And there is no limit to the memories you bring back.
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05-22-2007, 10:24 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 23
Here's what happened in Miami on Sunday.

We were given customs forms on board the night before debarkation. You're allowed to bring in $800 of duty-free goods, 1 carton of 200 cigarettes, 1 liter of alcohol, and I forget what else. More than that is subject to duty.

Most people just fill out the form indicating that they bought a few things, but are under the limits allowed. You wait in LONG lines and whenyou get to the agent, he/she looks at your form, looks at you, and decides whether to believe what you put or not. It's potluck whether they ask you anything or not. Most of the folks we saw were just waived through. Of course if you're carrying liquor purchased on the trip, it's easy for them to see if you have more than 1 liter because it's in boxes packed by the ship.

If you exceed the limits, you are ushered into another area where another agent asks to see your receipts and verifies how much over the limit you are.

Duty may vary, but here's what I know. The first $1,000 over the $800 of duty free merchandise allowed is assessed a 3% fee. Any amount over that is assessed a 6.5% fee. You pay right then and there (I paid cash, but I assume they take credit cards), get a receipt, and off you go.

I'm not sure what the duty rates on alcohol are, but they were waiving duty charges that were less than $10.

Oh, by the way, if your boxes of alcohol fall and break in the customs area, you still have to pay duty on them. I saw that happen and the people were not pleased, but that's the way it goes.

I'm still not sure how anyone gets bottles of alcohol home unless they drove to the terminal, but that's a whole other story.

Oh, and if you don't declare your purchases and happen to get pulled out of line for a full inspection, they can confiscate the goods from you. I didn't see that happen, but technically it can.

Good luck!
Carnival Victory - Eastern Caribbean 5/13/07
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 05-22-2007, 12:23 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Posts: 911
Also keep in mind that if you purchase any big-ticket items aboard the ship, there is a possibility that the customs officials may know it since they technically can look at most anything during the process of "clearing" the ship.
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 05-22-2007, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Posts: 11,612
I get confused by it sometimes. I have had to go through a detailed check, and other times you just hand them the declaration as you walk by. I may be confusing immigration with customs though.
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 05-22-2007, 01:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 410
and ZERO Cuban cigars!!!
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 05-22-2007, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Posts: 11,612
Don't forget fruits and nuts, they ask that sometimes
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Old 05-22-2007, 01:36 PM
Dave's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 18,001
No sea shells either - even those you gather on a beach. They are classified as animals, even empty shells.
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 05-22-2007, 01:45 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Posts: 11,612
Oh Dave I just remembered that story of what happened to you with the shells. I got busted for a peice of coral at St. Thomas airport. But they didn't say anything when I left the ship.
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