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omglolmax
 
Customs Question

hello!

I'm an American citizen and a full-time student at a German university. This week I will end my first semester and am flying to the US to visit family.

The only newly bought thing that I will be bringing with me is my laptop, which I bought new for 275€ in October 2009.

What do I say to customs?
I have no intention of paying taxes on this laptop, as it is necessary for my studies in another country (whose taxes I've already paid on the thing), especially, since I'm actually just taking vacation in the US. I don't think I'm even going to declare it....but the last time I flew to the US from the EU, I was asked in Amsterdam's airport if I was bringing any electronics that I bought during my trip back with me...(at the time I wasn't). I don't know what I would say if I were asked this time....

TIA!
Old 02-08-2010, 01:44 AM omglolmax is offline  
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Red_Rabbit
 
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The duty-free exemption, also called the personal exemption, is the total value of merchandise you may bring back to the United States without having to pay duty. You may bring back more than your exemption, but you will have to pay duty on it. In most cases, the personal exemption is $800, but there are some exceptions to this rule, which are explained below.
You don't have to declare it when coming through customs, but since you aren't bringing back more then $800 i'd be on the safe side and declare it. Generally speaking if you declare items there is less of a chance of them being taxed. A few years ago on a family trip to Paris, my aunt bought a $3000 pair or earrings from some expensive jewelry store (Tiffany's?). We all figured that she was going to have to pay big time duty on it, but she declared it on passing through customs, and they waved her through no problems at all.
Old 02-08-2010, 07:14 AM Red_Rabbit is offline  
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omglolmax
 
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You don't have to declare it when coming through customs,

why wouldn't I have to declare it??
Old 02-08-2010, 12:15 PM omglolmax is offline  
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Forever Domon
 
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because you're not permanently bringing it back to the states. Its just part of your travel items. That would be like saying you had to declare the clothes you were wearing, or your luggage itself.
Old 02-08-2010, 12:25 PM Forever Domon is offline  
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:ninja:
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There's typically a dollar ceiling. If you're declaring less than a certain amount, there's no duty.

Though, I've declared more than the amount, and paid no duty. I guess it depends on the customs guys. I figure sometimes they just don't want to do the paperwork =/
Government workers are either super hardcore into it, or really lazy.

Every time I travel I stock up on Lucky Strikes. Usually they just look at all the cartons and joke about my smoking habit (they actually aren't for me), but one time this dude made me pay duty on all but one carton. Seems random to me.
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:46 PM :ninja: is offline  
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MuffinMan8869
 
why would you declare it?

seriously, you are on vacation. its one of your personal belongings and is not a gift for anyone in the US. No need to declare it at all.

The only thing i have ever declared to customs of any country is alcohol. they seem pissy about those things
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:11 PM MuffinMan8869 is offline  
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crazymike
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don't say anything.

US customs are a joke. They did not log what you brought into the country, and unless you are bringing back the laptop in the box, etc... they have no idea where you got it from.

Check your flight though. Flights into the US are a joke right now.

They want you there several hours before. You can only carry on certain items, etc... It's horrible. You can carry a laptop, but not a laptop bag and a knapsack and an ipod, etc...

Check all the policies.

Being that you've been in the country that long, you are allowed to bring in X amount of dollars in goods. It's a sliding scale for how long.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:28 PM crazymike is offline  
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8ond
 
Been in this situation several times. Just say it's your persoanl laptop. Customs start bugging you if you have more than 1 laptop, and even then you can say one is the work/university laptop and the other is a personal one. GL
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:11 AM 8ond is offline  
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Stereodude
 
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Originally Posted by omglolmax View Post
What do I say to customs?
First of all you don't say anything to them since declarations are not verbal. If you were to declare something you would need to write it on the I-94 entry form you get on the plane. However, since you're not leaving it in the US you don't need to declare it. On top of that the first $800 worth of stuff (were you to be actually leaving any) is duty free since you're a US citizen.
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Originally Posted by :ninja: View Post
Every time I travel I stock up on Lucky Strikes. Usually they just look at all the cartons and joke about my smoking habit (they actually aren't for me), but one time this dude made me pay duty on all but one carton. Seems random to me.
That's because you're only allowed one carton under the duty free exemption.
Old 04-04-2010, 09:03 AM Stereodude is offline  
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zoopnazi
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Originally Posted by domonbaylespam View Post
because you're not permanently bringing it back to the states. Its just part of your travel items. That would be like saying you had to declare the clothes you were wearing, or your luggage itself.

this
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Old 04-04-2010, 11:25 AM zoopnazi is offline  
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crazymike
I am a dumb fag who needs a dumb TV show to tell me something thatís common knowledge. Then I make
 
btw, customs doesn't keep a log of what you brought with you, etc... and they really don't care about 1-2 items.

Especially US customs. For a country trying to "lock down" they keep hardly any record at all of anything.
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:50 PM crazymike is offline  
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tmoney1876
 
Yeah, I know someone that went to Cuba with a foreign aid group... there were 11 of them... none of them got checked for cigars... I wouldn't worry about a laptop.
Old 04-04-2010, 08:20 PM tmoney1876 is offline  
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