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A friend of mine bought a bottle of an Indian alcohol to deliver to their relative in the US. I have accepted the bottle but I don't know if I can take the bottle with me.

I know I can take bottle with me that I have bought on the airport duty free shops but IDK if I can take a bottle that I bought outside of the airport with me. Can anyone please tell if I can actually take the alcohol bottle with me?

If I can to take the alcohol with me, should I put it in my luggage? Or should it be in my carry-on bag?

2 Answers 2

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Several CBP, TSA/FAA, and state rules may apply.

You have to be over 21 years old.

Don't tell anyone that the stuff is for someone else. Say you plan to consume it yourself.

As Nicholas said, wrap the bottle well and put it in your check-in luggage, not carry-on.

TSA/FAA: (source: https://www.faa.gov/hazmat/packsafe/alcoholic-beverages )

If it's less than 24% alcohol by volume (48 proof) - e.g. wine or beer, then there's no limit.

If your Mahua is between 24% (48 proof) and 70% (140 proof), then you can bring in up to 5 liters.

Higher alcohol content is not allowed.

CBP: (source: https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-190 )

The first liter (per traveller over 21 years old) is duty-free, but you pay a small customs duty + federal excise tax after the first liter.

A few states, including Texas and California, have additional restrictions that you are unlikely to exceed.

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    Don't tell anyone that the stuff is for someone else. Say you plan to consume it yourself. the general advice is usually to never lie to customs, this answer would benefit from an explanation of the differences in rules between personal use vs a gift
    – Darren H
    May 31, 2023 at 12:24
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    @DarrenH I suppose it is worth saying not to even mention it unless specifically asked. May 31, 2023 at 16:49
  • @AndrewMorton Not mention who it's for? Or not mention that you have it? Failing to declare is a bad idea. That can get you into significant trouble even for something that's perfectly legal to have with you as long as you declare it.
    – reirab
    May 31, 2023 at 20:05
  • Why not declare it? The first liter is duty-free, and the duty on the following liters is tiny. May 31, 2023 at 22:00
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The 100ml rule will not allow you to carry those bottles in a carry-on

You can put them into your checked baggage, while being mindful of the fact that items in checked luggage are likely to break, but you need to make sure to declare it and pay appropriate duty when required

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    I frequently bring well-packed bottles in checked luggage and I've never had a bottle break. YMMV. May 31, 2023 at 3:50
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    Now I wonder if OP would still need to pay import duties if the bottle has broken and the alcohol has soaked their clothes and other items ;-)
    – gerrit
    May 31, 2023 at 10:33

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