Just got back (Like today) from our cruise. On the trip we bought some nice alcohol but I have 2 questions.
First, on the second night I purchased some Johnny Walker Blue Label and the woman at the check out insisted that I could take it to my cabin. She said "For these purchases you are free to take it to your room." Was she just pulling my leg? I elected to have it stored till the end of the cruise.
The real question is this-we are new to purchasing on the cruise and everyone gave us different answers as to the amount we are allowed. We bought 7 bottles and we get the custom form and it says "1 litter per traveler over 21."
Well, we thought we were screwed but honestly listed on the form that we had bought 7 bottles. When we faced the customs agent he asked what he had to declare and I said, " Just some hats and shirts as gifts for the kids, a few hundred in jewelry but under the 800 allowed and 7 bottles of alcohol." He asked if that was it and I said yes. He then said, "that's 3 1/2 liters per traveler?" I said yes again.
He stamped our paper work and said "welcome back-have a nice day."
They never asked for extra cash or anything so what really is the rule? Can I bring back 4 bottles per? 8? At what point do we pay taxers on the imports?
The limit depends on where you went in some cases. U.S. Citizens have higher exemption limits if you visited the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico for example. Oftentimes CBP doesn't want to fool with collecting duty on a few bottles of booze. It can depend on the port and the officers working that day.
Dave's answer is what I would have said. LEGALLY its the 1 liter person person. But as Dave said it depends on how you answered the questions and what the customs officer feels ok with. Since you we honest he let it go. The duty on that alcohol would not have been that much and they are trying to stop the people trying to bring back enough for resale. It may have been border line on what that customs official was willing to let slide but the paperwork and time to collect the duty for such a small amount was probably not worth it.
When they do those types of things for me I tend to just smile and say "thank you sir, have a nice day" and quickly move along.
The only place we had to pay duty was in Mobile. We brought back 4 bottles and it was only about $5 for the duty. We've been told, if you visit St. Thomas or Puerto Rico, you can bring back 8 bottles, but have not tried it. We list all of our purchases, too. I think Dave is right, depends on whether they want to fool with it or not.