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Old 10-07-2010, 12:11 PM   #6
leisure master
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New York
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Originally Posted by Captainmer View Post
So it's back to St Martin. I wonder how many bottles they let you carry on the airplane
I know there is another thread on transporting booze by airplane with lots of great information about how to pack it, etc., but basically in your checked luggage - my motto is that you can carry whatever you can carry.

However there could be a fee for an extra bag or an overweight bag. Otherwise, the only other concern is duty free limits.

On the bag fees, I usually bring an extra bag or Nicole and I will travel with two less-than-full bags in anticipation of filling them with bottles for the return trip. Another thing I have noticed is that the extra bag fee is usually less than the overweight bag fee - so it's usually better to bring another bag. Of course all this assumes you will be purchasing things that are either cheaper than in the US or not obtainable in the US to justify the extra bag or overweight bag fee.

On the duty free limits - don't even think about duty free limits when deciding whether to bring more bottles home. Just remember that this is NOT an import limit, it is a limit on the number of bottles you can bring home and not pay duty. In other words, you can bring whatever you want, but you are supposed to pay customs duty on whatever is over the limit (which is two 750ml bottles per person I believe). The best part - duty is less than $3 per bottle (if you don't believe it, the other thread has a link to the customs duty amounts if I remember correctly). Seriously, this is not an issue.

First of all, they will likely never ask you for the duty because even if you brought home like 6 bottles (4 over the limit), it is such small money and probably a lot of paperwork for customs that they just wave you through if they even ask how much you have. I find the low risk of paying duty (which I am completely willing to pay if asked) to be totally worth it to bring home something cheap or not available in the US (like that "Mexican" brand of rum they sell in Cancun called Havana Club...).

No where on the customs forms does it ask you "how many bottles to you have" or "do you have booze" - it only asks for the dollar value of whatever you are bringing in. Of course never lie if they ask you any questions, but I have NEVER had a problem bringing home many bottles and have never paid duty, even when they knew I had many over the limit. Maybe others have horror stories but I have done this several times without incident.

Oh, and I just thought of another thing specifically about the guavaberry liqueur - when I bought it, the people at the store said it is not subject to the 2 bottle duty free limit because it is an "artisinal" product. I thought that was probably a line they feed to tourists and I really could not see myself arguing with customs that my booze was "artisinal", but given all that I said above, it really doesn't matter and I would just pay the duty if asked.
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