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Flying home tomorrow - customs procedure, duty-free question

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Flying home tomorrow - customs procedure, duty-free question

Hi there,

We had a great vacation - London, Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome in three weeks! We are finally leaving for home (California) and wanted to check with you experienced travelers if there's anything we need to know regarding customs. We did make a few purchases so do we claim them all? Or just ones where we received a tax free document? When we where In Murano, we purchased some glass art and is being shipped to our homes - we won't have them at hand (of course), but do we need to claim them too? We where given sealed envelopes with our receipt and documents of authenticity. We were also thinking of picking up wine at a duty free shop at the airport. Good idea? We just carry them on. Most of our purchases were souvenir items - inexpensive items for our families.

Also, we are changing planes at Heathrow, does this make any difference?

TIA :D

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1. Re: Flying home tomorrow - customs procedure, duty-free question

Do not buy alcohol in duty free if you have to change planes, you will have it confiscated at Heathrow. WIne can be packed in checked luggage, but you do risk it being broken.

San Jose, California
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2. Re: Flying home tomorrow - customs procedure, duty-free question

You don't go through customs in Italy or in London...customs is upon arrival at SFO. You will be given a form to fill out on the plane where you itemize all your purchases - all purchases. Give yourself at least 2 hours for check-in, security and passport control at FCO. It can be a real zoo sometimes.

As explained above...do not purchase wine at duty free shop at airport...it will need to be in your checked baggage. In London it would be confiscated as a liquid.

At Heathrow, you will go through security again. BTW, your departure gate at Heathrow will not be posted until approximately 45 minutes prior to your departure. Pay careful attention to the departure board to watch for your flight. Once the flight is posted, you probably should head to the gate immediately - especially if it is at the satellite buildings where you have to take the tram out.

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3. Re: Flying home tomorrow - customs procedure, duty-free question

I think the form here is still the current one, you can see you only state the total value of what you are carrying in.

Goods shipped separately will go through a separate process on entry, perhaps you will have to pay some duty, perhaps not.

I think the tax exempt document you refer to is for the EU VAT, I doubt the US cares anything about that.

cbp.gov/xp/…sample_declaration_form.xml

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4. Re: Flying home tomorrow - customs procedure, duty-free question

On my last trip to Italy, October 2011, I purchased about E1400 worth of glass ware in Murano and had it shipped home to California. When it arrived in late November, I had to pay something like $140 to the shipper for duty when it was delivered. The driver did take a credit card.

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5. Re: Flying home tomorrow - customs procedure, duty-free question

Thank you all for your helpful advise. No alcohol unless in our check-in baggage. Okay, good to know. Thanks for the link and the Murano glass comments. Very very helpful.

Our flight leaves Rome at 11:45am and wasn't going to get a cab til 9am. Looks like I'll need to change our pick up time to 8am.

:D

6. Re: Flying home tomorrow - customs procedure, duty-free question

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