Customs Allowances

Standard Customs Allowances

Don’t forget that you the buyer are responsible to comply with your destination’s incoming Customs Allowances.  Otherwise, you have to pay the applicable duty and/or taxes due on any over run, whether in quantity or value.  Moreover, don’t make the mistake of thinking that the Customs allowances apply only to those products bought Duty Free.  The incoming Customs regimes don’t distinguish between goods bought duty free or duty paid.

Customs allowances are generally expressed as quantities for the original Duty Free products of tobacco and alcohol.  Perfume allowances are only occasionally expressed as a quantity since they are generally no longer subject to excise duty.  Everything else is part of the value allowance, which is in addition to the quantity allowance.

Many retailers post allowance information on their websites or in-store, but it’s not always complete nor accurate. In my opinion, the Dufry global site has very good allowance information:

Dufry Global – Customs Allowances

Since for some reason, they missed out Hong Kong, here are the Hong Kong allowances.  There is no value allowance since Hong Kong has no VAT.


Discounted Multipacks

You should be careful with the discounted multipacks of tobacco and alcohol offered by many retailers. Standard cigarette and spirit allowances are typically 200 cigarettes and 1 liter, respectively. Some countries permit more. Check the allowance link above to be sure that it’s OK to bring in more than those quantities.


Reduced Tobacco Allowances

If your interested in this  Read More


Alcohol Restrictions

Also, remember that certain Muslim countries prohibit the importation of alcohol (Iran, Kuwait, Maldives, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia)

For some reason, Singapore has no Duty Free alcohol allowance for travellers coming from Malaysia.

Intra-EU Allowances 

Read More


The U.S. Value Allowance in Detail

If you’re an American, you probably already know that the US value allowance, or personal exemption, is a bit complicated.  Howver, it’d be worth your while to familiarize yourself with it.  It’s a lot more generous than most other countries.  If you’re interested, Read More