The U.S. Virgin Islands are duty-free ports, and as a result, luxury goods are priced very well here. American residents must meet specific customs restrictions, and other visitors must follow the same customs regulations as if they were visiting the U.S. mainland. The British Virgin Islands, on the other hand, are not duty-free ports, so restrictions are a bit more stringent.
Customs inspections for entry into both the USVI and the BVI are relatively lax. Most inspectors are reasonable and won't hassle tourists over seemingly trivial things. (But keep in mind that it is the inspector's decision whether or not something is reasonable.) You are allowed to bring with you two liters of alcohol and two cartons of cigarettes, but most people don't, as liquor is highly discounted in the USVI.
The U.S. allows its residents $1,600(USD) worth of duty-free imports from the USVI every thirty days. All purchases over this duty-free exemption are taxed at 5 percent. Family members traveling together can make joint declarations. For a husband, wife, and two children, the total exemption is $6,400(USD).
Unsolicited gifts of $200(USD) per day can be mailed from the USVI and are not considered part of your allowance. You can also bring home five liters of liquor plus an extra liter of rum, if one of the liters is produced in the Virgin Islands. All goods made on the island are duty free, but you must show certificate of origin if their value exceeds $25(USD). Keep all receipts and be cautious of people offering falsified receipts, as they may be working undercover for U.S. customs.
For U.S. citizens, the exemption for BVI is only $600(USD), and anything over the exemption is taxed at 10 percent. Mailed gifts cannot exceed $50(USD) a day, and must be unsolicited.
U.K. residents can bring home the following items without violating customs allowances:
Two liters of still table wine
One liter of spirits or liqueurs (over 22% volume)
Two liters of fortified wine
60 ml perfume
250 ml of eau de toilette
?145 GBP maximum value on all other goods.
Canadian residents can mail up to C$60 of unsolicited gifts per day, as long as packages do not include alcohol or tobacco. The following maximum allowances must also be observed:
C$750 exemption on duty-free goods
One carton of cigarettes
One can of tobacco
40 imperial ounces of liquor
Allowances can change over time, however, so it is advisable for travelers to contact their local customs house to ensure that all information is current.
|United States||U.S. Customs Service
1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20229
|United Kingdom||HM Customs & Excise
|Canada||Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
|Australia||Australian Customs Service
|New Zealand||New Zealand Customs Service
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