I've read two articles about the duty-free exemption (1, 2), and in both articles there are three different amounts of duty free item value allowance mentioned: 200 USD, 800 USD, and 1600 USD. However, I can't seem to find any information about how I can figure out which "tier" is applicable to me. The second article does mention looking at a section "on the $200 exemption", but I don't know where I would find this.

How can I know what duty free amount I am allowed to bring into the United States as a citizen returning from abroad?

  • Are you returning after having resided abroad for some time or after a brief visit abroad? If the first, are you moving to the US or visiting?
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 13:10
  • @phoog Returning to the US as a citizen after staying abroad for almost three months.
    – Newbyte
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


The conditions applying to each exemption amount may be found at https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/kbyg/types-exemptions

In short, if you don't qualify for the usual exemption because you were away for less than 48 hours or you've been abroad more than once within the previous 30 days, the exemption is $200 per household and is only applied if the total value of all dutiable items is below $200.

For US "insular possessions" (U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam), the exemption is $1600 per person. For everywhere else, it's $800 per person.

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