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Travel

How to clear customs easily

WHAT’S ITS “VALUE”?

To the customs, the value of an article is its current sales price. Your sales slips or receipts can be your proof. If bringing back something that was given to you, put down as closely as you can its fair market value. But in any case, don’t undervalue anything you acquired abroad! You’ll find your customs officer an authority on all kinds of merchandise, including art objects and souvenirs.

CAN YOU PROVE PRIOR POSSESSION?

Naturally, you don’t want to pay duty on personal possessions you took with you from this country. To be safe, register with Customs before beginning your trip any questionable article, such as a watch or camera of foreign manufacture.

SPECIAL RULES ON “SWING-BACK” TRIPS

A special situation exists along the United States borders. If you find your route through Latin America is going to involve a “swing-back” into the United States, including Puerto Rico, consult your nearest customs officer about its effect on your exemptions. If you fail to meet certain requirements at this “swing-back,” you may lose your exemptions.

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Can you declare orally? Under certain conditions you need only tell the Customs officer orally what articles you have to declare. Your purser aboard the plane will help you to determine if you qualify. In all cases, you will have to make a written declaration if duty or internal revenue tax is to be assessed or if articles are shipped to you.