I am thinking about importing a used bike into the US and wondering if I would have to pay import tax (and what the rate would be).

I live in the US and a bike that I had there got stolen some time ago. I am currently visiting family in Europe and considering to bring back an old road bike. I bought that bike a few years back second hand in the UK while I was living there. I paid cash, so I have no receipt or any proof of how much it is worth.

My question is, aside from the 90 or so dollars that I'll pay to the airline to transport sports equipment, how much should I expect US customs to charge me? How do they determine the value if I can't prove it?
Is it considered a Household or Personal Effect?

According to this page houshold effects are free to import as long as I have "used them for at least one year while abroad." That does apply to the bike, although I wouldn't know how to prove it. Or is it considered a "vehicle", because that rule doesn't apply to vehicles. Bikes are not specifically listed here at all, and I was unable to find any specific policy on the official CBP sites.

Any help from people more knowledgeable about these rules, or others' experiences would be much appreciated.

  • 2
    How much is the bike worth ?
    – Hilmar
    Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 12:41
  • 2
    I think this question belongs on Travel Stack Exchange but you may find knowledgable people on Bicycles Stack Exchange.
    – Willeke
    Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 12:44
  • Do you have any photos of you using the bike? if these are on your device they may have a date/time stamp.
    – canonacer
    Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 16:29
  • Important factors for cost include "how much is the bike worth?" and "in which country was it made?" as well as "what diameter are the wheels?" and "what is the weight" Rates vary from zero to 30 or 35% under HTS 8712.00. Expect to be hit hard (assuming duty is assessed at all) if made in China. Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 22:47
  • @Hilmar I bought it for 300 GBP, second hand. It found an online review on a website from 10 years ago where it is listed as GBP 1,760 RRP.
    – jan
    Commented Nov 8, 2021 at 13:36


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