I am Canadian and have been in the US for 6 days and am flying back to Canada. I am wanting to purchase alcohol duty-free, but I have another domestic flight after landing in Vancouver.

I am wondering if I should purchase the alcohol in the US before my flight, or after I land in Vancouver?

  • Just a comment, you may find that airport duty-free prices are higher than buying from a US discount seller (eg. Beverage Warehouse near LAX), Costco (Canadian memberships are valid) Walmart or a local liquor store. Nov 30, 2019 at 5:24
  • Some airports may have a duty free area on arrival before passing Immigration travel.stackexchange.com/questions/100249/…
    – Traveller
    Nov 30, 2019 at 10:36

1 Answer 1


You always purchase duty free as you are departing a country, not after you arrive in a country. Duty-free items are sold for immediate export from the country.

In the US, you generally select your purchases and they are delivered to you at the gate when you board your flight departing the US.

  • This is not true in all cases, both China (Shanghai) and Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh) has duty free stores in the baggage claims area at arrivals Dec 1, 2019 at 0:19
  • @MattDouhan That's very strange. What's the story behind those? Dec 1, 2019 at 0:26
  • no idea really but they have come in very handy for me when I forgot to buy make up for the Mrs :) Dec 1, 2019 at 0:29

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