I got a pair of diamond earrings(worth $1600) for my wife while in India. My question is can I bring it back with me to the US as my personal possession or do I have to declare it at the customs?


  • personal possession and declaring are different things. Did you get it tax free or tax refund? [in such case you must declare them]. But in general you should declare them (or you should prove that you had them in US, so you already paid the taxes) Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 12:08
  • I purchased them from a store in India and paid tax GST etc. I have receipts and all to show for it which I will be carrying with me. So should I mention it on Form 6059? Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 12:13

1 Answer 1


Yes, you should declare in Form 6059.

On the backside you have:

U.S. Residents — Declare all articles that you have acquired abroad and are bringing into the United States.

(... for non resident)

Declare all articles on this declaration form and show the value in U.S. dollars. For gifts, please indicate the retail value.

Duty — CBP officers will determine duty. U.S. residents are normally entitled to a duty-free exemption of $800 on items accompanying them. Visitors (non-residents) are normally entitled to an exemption of $100. Duty will be assessed at the current rate on the first $1,000 above the exemption.

So you should declare them, and pay duty on 800 USD.

You should have asked for duty free exemption on the Indian shop. Often (on touristic sites) they offer it to you.

BTW: you should be really sure that the diamonds are real: your wife known it a lot better. Or just declare them as fake diamonds, but tell the officer you have doubt, they will check (hopefully quickly) for you, so if they are fake you have not paid the duty.

  • "You should have asked for duty free exemption on the Indian shop." What does that mean? An Indian shop can't do anything that will stop you paying US import duties. Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 12:57
  • @DJClayworth: I mean: shops could not apply local taxes (by showing passport or tickets), or they give you a form you give at airport/border and you get back the taxes. The could not stop paying US duties, but there is no need to pay twice the duties. -- I mean: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax-free_shopping (and I saw it in India, according TripAdvisor, it exists, but the gov site seems down or just taking a lot of time to get an answer) Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 13:04
  • 1
    OK, it just isn't really relevant to the question, Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 13:18
  • It is definitely relevant to the question.
    – user98567
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 14:09

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .