Suppose a traveler brings in some item that is outside the "duty-free" exemption. Is the traveler only supposed to pay duties on the item if he/she is bringing the item into the country permanently? Eg. if the traveler is a short term visitor and intends to take the item back out from the country, does the traveler still needs to pay the tax?

closed as too broad by Tor-Einar Jarnbjo, Michael, Ali Awan, Giorgio, reirab Oct 7 '17 at 21:01

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    Are you interested in a particular country? – phoog Oct 6 '17 at 15:33
  • You will find differences in details from country to country. Usually visitors to a country are allowed to temporarily import regular travel accessories (clothing, electronics, cameras) without any special declaration, even if the value exceeds duty-free excemptions as long as the items are to be brought back out of the country when the visitor leaves. This is (also usually) not applicable for certain goods like tobacco or alcohol, to which the regular limits apply, even if the items are intended to be brought out of the country. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Oct 6 '17 at 16:00
  • Therefore, voting to close as 'too broad' until you have limited the question to a specific country. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Oct 6 '17 at 16:00

Generally no because duties are levied on items you import, meaning they are expected to remain in the country for either personal or commercial use.

Your personal effects, which you will be leaving with, are not taxed because you are not importing them.

Looking at from an practical perspective, many travelers carry substantially more value in personal effects, clothes, tech, jewelry, watches than would otherwise be exempt. Just an iPhone would put you over most limits.

Unless Customs has a reason to suspect someone is smuggling, personal effects are not questioned with regards to import duties.

Note: Alcohol, tobacco and medications frequently have specific regulations attached and must be declared and taxed regardless of their intended final destination.

  • Careful though. What qualifies as personal effects is up to the discretion of the customs agents. A friend I was traveling with had bought a new laptop in USA. When we arrived at the airport in Guatemala, the customs agent seized it and demanded that duty be paid on it, claiming that it was being imported for resale. – nathancahill Oct 6 '17 at 23:48
  • @nathancahill Yes: "Unless Customs has a reason to suspect someone is smuggling" – Johns-305 Oct 7 '17 at 11:08

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