The US Customs has some stringent regulations on what
American citizens and residents can and cannot bring back with them
when they return to the United States from their cruise. To avoid
encountering problems upon coming home, the agency has ten tips about
how travelers should handle purchases from abroad before they enter or
re-enter the United States. These ten tips may prove handy for you if
you are coming to the United States after a cruise vacation.
1: Always make it a point to visit the US State
http://travel.state.gov , to check out whatever travel
documents and identification that you would need when going back to or
entering the United States. Border security measures now require a
show of passports.
2: Another thing you need to do before you leave is to
check out which items are considered restricted merchandise and which
ones are prohibited merchandise. Counterfeits and products from
endangered animals are considered prohibited.
3: If you bought something on your cruise trip,
whether from a duty-free shop or not, declare it before you go back to
the US. Needless to say, you will need to make payments for duty fees
and such even if you made your purchases in a duty-free shop.
4: Beware of buying any item from a street vendor,
lest it is a fake or something unsafe. You will only end up
surrendering it to Customs when you get back home.
5: There are, of course, some purchases that are
exempted from duty fees. Such purchases are ones that are meant to be
gifts or for personal use. If you are going to resell what you have
bought from overseas on your cruise trip, you will have to pay duty
6: Bought some foreign-made medication while you are
on a cruise trip? Forget about taking them back home; if it is not
approved by the FDA, it stays with Customs. Therefore, make sure that
you bring enough medicine with you before you leave the United States.
7: Products made from Cuba, including their cigars,
are a no-no, regardless of where you bought them on your cruise. Even
if you paid a pretty penny for them, you will never be able to bring
them onto American soil.
8: Some foreign foods are on the Customsí prohibited
list. If some food item you bought from overseas on your cruise trip
is included in that list, you will not be able to take it back home.
9: Be prepared for your person and your luggage to be
searched and inspected, even without a warrant. It is part of the
security procedure and it is meant to protect travelers such as you.
10: The Customs has a nice little pamphlet called
"Know Before You Go." Consider it your assignment to read it before
you leave for your cruise trip; you can look at it online or you can
ask for your own copy.