I'm going to UC Berkeley for an one-year program months later and I want to have my desktop PC with myself. The thread discusses how, while it doesn't contain information about import duty & taxes.

My PC was about $3600 when bought 2 years ago. I decide to leave out the case and monitor and only take core components (motherboard with CPU installed, memory stick *8, graphics card *2, hard drive *2, psu, cooler).

Do I need to prepare anything ahead, or pay import tax for that? And is it different if I take small parts carry-on, such as memory, hard drives, instead of putting them in checked-in luggage?

By the way, I need to bring the desktop back home when the program is finished. I believe there is no something like export tax?

  • There is no import duty for computers (tariff code 8471.30.0100)
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 10:01
  • @JonathanReez 8471.30.0100 is Portable Digtl Automatic Data Processing Machines,weight Not More Than 10 Kg,consisting Of At Least A Central Processing Unit,keyboard & A Display. I don't believe a desktop PC is Portable.
    – Keyu Gan
    Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 10:05
  • 2
    You are right, it's 8471.49.0000. In any case all electronics is duty-free.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 10:15
  • 1
    For back home it depends on where home is, you may have to make sure you present evidence you bought it prior to moving to the USA.
    – gerrit
    Commented Mar 3, 2017 at 11:13

1 Answer 1


Import duty is for items that will be remaining in the United States. If you'll be taking it back home with you then you should not have to pay duty on it. For example, if you were to take a personal laptop and return home with it there is no duty. Besides, you are attending school as it is so it's reasonable to assume you'll be returning home with the same things you brought in. Now since you'll be bringing parts and not a 'whole' computer, be forewarned you may be questioned about it. Make sure you have proof of purchase for the return trip just in case your home country decides to try and tax it.

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