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Buying Duty free, tips, tricks, etc.

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I will be traveling to Aus, NZ, Moorea soon and given the strong US Dollar was thinking about buying some watches. I was thinking about buying 4 for my and my wife's parents. So my questions are,

 

Is it possible to buy using credit cards since I can't travel with that much cash?

 

Can I bring 4 watches back to the US duty free if I spend approx 50k? I'll be traveling with my wife and two young children.

 

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yo! Hit me up re NZ. I might be able to suggest some good stuff to do and what to avoid.

 

 

I will be traveling to Aus, NZ, Moorea soon and given the strong US Dollar was thinking about buying some watches. I was thinking about buying 4 for my and my wife's parents. So my questions are,

 

Is it possible to buy using credit cards since I can't travel with that much cash?

 

Can I bring 4 watches back to the US duty free if I spend approx 50k? I'll be traveling with my wife and two young children.

 

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Can I bring 4 watches back to the US duty free if I spend approx 50k? I'll be traveling with my wife and two young children.

 

It can get complicated but for your personal watch and the others you intend as gifts you'll get the first $800 free and the next $1000 at 3%. Above that they apply a duty rate based on the country in which you bought it.

 

Since you're traveling with your family you can group your duty free exemption, so if there are four of you you'd get $3,200 combined duty exempt.

 

There's something called the harmonized tax schedule that has the rates in it, I'll see if I can find something on it for watches.

 

 

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It can get complicated but for your personal watch and the others you intend as gifts you'll get the first $800 free and the next $1000 at 3%. Above that they apply a duty rate based on the country in which you bought it.

 

Since you're traveling with your family you can group your duty free exemption, so if there are four of you you'd get $3,200 combined duty exempt.

 

There's something called the harmonized tax schedule that has the rates in it, I'll see if I can find something on it for watches.

 

Thanks!

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Here's the gory details.

 

 

Here is the searchable harmonized tax schedule, this link will take you straight to watches: https://hts.usitc.gov/?query=watches

 

Click on 9101 in the left hand column, that drops you down to wrist watches. Now look for the line item describing your watch (different rates apply if it is made of metal vs leather, jewels, automatic or manual). Big picture is it looks to me like a nice watch can end up with between 4% to 8.5% duty.

 

Caveat here: you'll see Australia (AU) designated as a special tariff rate in the right hand columns with the Free designation under the Special column and it says "free.." This is a reference to the U.S.-AU free trade agreement (and the other countries listed are also FTA countries (https://www.cbp.gov/trade/priority-issues/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements ) but I'm pretty sure this applies to goods that originate from those countries, not just that those countries were point of purchase. So a Swiss watch purchased in Australia would not count as being having being AU country of origin and duty free--if anybody knows for sure on this point feel free to jump in here, I'm just reading it.

 

I bet if you call ahead to a high end jewelry store there they will know for sure and maybe have a work around.

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I will be traveling to Aus, NZ, Moorea soon and given the strong US Dollar was thinking about buying some watches. I was thinking about buying 4 for my and my wife's parents. So my questions are,

 

Is it possible to buy using credit cards since I can't travel with that much cash?

 

Can I bring 4 watches back to the US duty free if I spend approx 50k? I'll be traveling with my wife and two young children.

 

Whatever your currency exchange gain will be you will lose on the premiums you pay here for luxury goods, not worth it IMO.

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You could get away with 2. You wear one and wife wears one. BUT.... if you don't mail the boxes ahead you could be liable for the tax AND penalties.

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Boxes are the big tip off. If you try to pack your boxes with your luggage, they will nail you. You have a couple of choices, you can mail your box is back, but I've heard rumor that they look for that also. Unless you absolutely need the box, put the watch on your wrist and throw the box awesome away. Like another person said, you could get away with a couple of them. But I believe four would be extremely hard. I often travel with several watches when going overseas, and I take a picture of them in my briefcase before I leave. Just so I don't get into some sort of contest, that I've done something like that.

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I did the right thing and claimed my newly acquired watch in customs coming back from London, expecting an annoying couple hundred dollar ding. I don't remember my exact amount but your 50k example will probably be $2000-ish. I was shocked.

 

Customs definitely keeps an eye on shipments.

 

I'd be surprised if there are amazing deals there compared to here, as stated above by those that would know better. AUS is not the Bahamas.

 

 

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