Getting Through Customs in Turks and Caicos

Keep your customs limits in mind when packing your bags with souvenirs from Turks and Caicos

Photo credit: © Linda Bucklin |

Turks and Caicos Customs

Shopping in the Turks and Caicos is delightful, and bringing home special souvenirs can be the best way to take a little bit of paradise home with you.

Knowing customs regulations for the Turks and Caicos and your home country will guarantee a hassle-free travel experience. As a visitor, be aware of the following customs tips and rules before entering the islands:

  • Travelers may bring up to 1.136 liters of alcohol, 200 cigarettes, and 20 cigars to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
  • Travelers may bring a "reasonable" amount of duty-free goods for personal use; anything deemed in excess of "reasonable" may incur an import tax.
  • Firearms and recreational drugs are not permitted.
  • All prescription drugs must be accompanied by an official prescription.

United States citizens: To avoid paying duty on the foreign-made high-ticket items you already own and will take on your trip to the Turks and Caicos, register them with customs before you leave the country. Consider filing a certificate of registration for items such as laptops, cameras, watches, and other digital devices identified with serial numbers or other permanent markings; you can keep the certificate for other trips. Otherwise, bring with you a sales receipt or insurance form to show that you owned the item before you left the United States.

As an island shopper, and before returning home, remember these rules:

  • Make sure any purchases are easily accessible in case customs officials request an inspection upon return.
  • Travelers should keep receipts for all items bought in the Turks and Caicos.
  • Direct any questions or complaints about your customs experience contact the port director at the port of re-entry.

The following additional re-entry rules apply for United States citizens:

  • Travelers may bring home duty-free original works of art - such as drawings, paintings, sculptures, and antiques (officially defined as objects more than 100 years old).
  • U.S. residents who have visited the Turks and Caicos Islands for at least 48 hours may bring home, for personal use, up to $800(USD) worth of goods duty-free, as long as they haven't used any portion of the $800(USD) allowance during the 30 days preceding this trip. Travelers may combine the $800(USD) exemption with family members. If visiting the islands for fewer than 48 hours, the duty-free allowance is $200(USD), which cannot be pooled with other family member's exemptions.
  • Travelers can mail up to $200(USD) worth of goods home to the United States for personal use; be sure to write "PERSONAL USE" on the parcel and attach a list of its contents and their retail value.
  • Travelers may send packages home duty-free, though there is a limit of one package per addressee per day, with the exception of alcohol or tobacco products, or perfume worth more than $5(USD).
  • Travelers may send up to $100(USD) worth of goods as a gift to someone in the United States provided "UNSOLICITED GIFT" is written on the package.
  • If sending home a package containing personal belongings that have been used, write "AMERICAN GOODS RETURNED" on the parcel to avoid a duty fee.

NOTE: Mailed items do not affect your duty-free allowance upon your return.

Since customs regulations are subject to change from time to time, it is best to check your country's specific entry requirements before you leave, and keep your knowledge current using the following contact information:

United States U.S. Customs Service
1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20229
United Kingdom HM Revenue & Customs
Canada Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Australia Australian Customs Service
New Zealand New Zealand Customs Service

Coming home from the Turks and Caicos is simple, as long as you know the regulations for getting through customs.


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