StarGoldLHR
Topic Author
Posts: 1346
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 1:29 am

Duty Free In The US

Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:31 pm

I know prior to recent events most US Airports had domestic and international in the same terminal, and so (like at JFK) when you buy duty free they deliver it to the plane and pick up as you board, but other airports (like SFO) have international terminals and you can buy and fly with it.

Can you still buy duty free at the airport and take it on the plane when you fly to the UK from the US, or is this a thing of the past now ?
So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
 
jhooper
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: Duty Free In The US

Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:25 pm

I don't really understand how "duty free" works. I mean, everyone is entitled to a duty free exemption up to some lawful amount, and whne I read the U.S. Customs form you have to fill out, they still say you must declare and possibly pay duty on so-called "duty free" items. If somebody could clear that up for me, I'd really appreciate it.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: Duty Free In The US

Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:47 pm

Quoting Jhooper (Reply 1):
I don't really understand how "duty free" works.

In brief, upon re-entry to the U.S., you may bring back $400 worth of purchases exempt from tax or "duty", whether you paid tax on them where you bought them or not (other countries operate basically the same, with varying limits for their citizens, and returning from some locations, such as the US Virgin Is. gives you a higher exemption.). Anything over that, you pay duty, generally about 10%, but some items have a higher tax on them.

All that "duty free" is, is not paying tax on the purchase at the point of sale. Whether you bought a bottle of Scotch for $20 at a duty-free shop at an airport, or paid $30 for the same bottle at a retail store doesn't matter. It will count against your exemption based upon the price you paid for it.
International Homo of Mystery
 
SNATH
Posts: 3049
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 5:23 am

RE: Duty Free In The US

Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:08 pm

Quoting StarGoldLHR (Thread starter):
Can you still buy duty free at the airport and take it on the plane when you fly to the UK from the US, or is this a thing of the past now ?

I flew BOS to FRA two weeks ago and, yes, I bought stuff from the duty free at BOS and they delivered it at the plane. A friend flew BOS to LHR two days after me and said that, even though they had people searching hand luggage for liquids etc., duty free was still delivered at the plane.

Cheers,

Tony
Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
 
User avatar
KaiGywer
Crew
Posts: 11182
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 9:59 am

RE: Duty Free In The US

Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:08 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 2):
In brief, upon re-entry to the U.S., you may bring back $400 worth of purchases exempt from tax or "duty", whether you paid tax on them where you bought them or not (other countries operate basically the same, with varying limits for their citizens, and returning from some locations, such as the US Virgin Is. gives you a higher exemption.).

Almost  Smile

If you have been out of the country more than once in a 30-day period, or for less than 48 hours, you can bring back $200 worth.

If you have been to "anywhere other than a U.S. insular possession (U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or Guam)" you can bring back $800 worth.

If you return directly or indirectly from a U.S. insular possession (U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or Guam), you can bring back $1,600 worth.

These figures are for US citizens/residents. As far as paying duty for items over the limit, or items not counted in the limit, there are so many variables that you are best of going here (Adobe Reader required)
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: Duty Free In The US

Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:49 pm

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 4):
If you have been out of the country more than once in a 30-day period, or for less than 48 hours, you can bring back $200 worth.

When did they change it from $400 to $200? That seems awfully cheap of them.
International Homo of Mystery
 
goaliemn
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:46 pm

RE: Duty Free In The US

Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:52 pm

Quoting Jhooper (Reply 1):
I don't really understand how "duty free" works.

Its free of duty/taxes of the country you bought it in. Bringing it back into the US, you may owe US duty/taxes on it.
 
StarGoldLHR
Topic Author
Posts: 1346
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 1:29 am

RE: Duty Free In The US

Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:26 pm

Shannon Airport in ireland was the first airport to offer duty free.


The concept is:

If you buy goods / services you pay a form of sales tax which goes to the local government.

BUT if you are not consuming it or are a resident in the place where you buy it, then you are not taxed on it, however the place you are taking it to or consuming it (i.e. Home/other location) may wish to collect their tax on those goods.

most countries offer a limit to which you can Import to their country without paying tax on it. Anything above this amount you have to pay tax.


Here's the killer..

If you have to pay tax,... it's on the amount you paid in the location you purchased it....


so if you buy a 1l bottle of Whiskey in London at a shop for $30, at LHR it might be in Duty Free at $20 (the $10 being collected by the UK Government in tax is not collected).

However when arriving in the US, they may tax it at 50% of the $20 purchase price... which means you may end up paying $10 in tax.

But if you bought it at the shop outside duty free, then your paying tax twice ! $10 to the UK, plus 50% of $30 to the US... $15.. making it a total of say $45 youve shelled out...

when in the local US Super market it might be $25 with US tax.


The trick is...

Buy it duty free in a cheap country and take it back to the expensive one..

I just bought 2 bottles of Lampanog from Manila at 50p each ($0.80c each)... I dont care what the UK Govt taxes me on it... it's a bargain on the £10 price tag in shop price London !
So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
 
phollingsworth
Posts: 635
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 6:05 am

RE: Duty Free In The US

Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:12 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 5):
When did they change it from $400 to $200? That seems awfully cheap of them.

It has always been less for short trips or multiple trips in a short period. I believe that it was onl ~$150 a few years ago
 
georgiaame
Posts: 951
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 7:55 am

RE: Duty Free In The US

Tue Sep 19, 2006 5:34 am

Just remember, duty free doesn't mean cheaper. It just means no local taxes, because technically, you were out of the country when the goods were purchased. More often than not, it means a much higher profit margin for the vendor.

Back to can you buy...

If I go to London, and purchase a bottle of scotch at Whisky House at Gatwick, (duty free, of course) will I see that purchase when I arrive back in the US? A simple yes or no answer would really be appreciated!
"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
 
FLY2LIM
Posts: 1095
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004 6:01 am

RE: Duty Free In The US

Tue Sep 19, 2006 5:47 am

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 9):
Just remember, duty free doesn't mean cheaper. It just means no local taxes, because technically, you were out of the country when the goods were purchased. More often than not, it means a much higher profit margin for the vendor.

I have often found this to be the truth. I remember certain colognes that I could buy locally for around 40 dollars being sold in Duty Free for around 55 dollars. Even if I pay 8% taxes in California, the 40 dollars will be much cheaper than duty free.
In the old days, duty free used to mean cheaper, but it no longer does. They do have some items that one cannot find locally, sometimes, but otherwise it's a ripoff, I believe.

FLY2LIM
Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.