IT STARTS WITH AN “ANYTIME PERSONAL EXEMPTION”Canadians can bring 1L of alcohol (1L of spirits, wine and beer) and some tobacco into the U.S. regardless of the duration of the stay in the U.S., so long as the alcohol and tobacco is for personal use.
YOU CAN STILL SAVE, EVEN WITH TAX AND DUTY CHARGESYou may have to pay taxes and duties on purchases over and above the customs allowance. This will be calculated by a On purchases over and above the customs allowance, you may be required to pay some nominal taxes and duties. This will be calculated by a Customs official after you declare.
Here’s how it adds up: if you exceed your duty free allowance and exemptions entering the U.S., the following approximate U.S. duty and tax rates apply:
US $2 – $3 per bottle of liquor, on average
US $1.90 per case of beer, on average
US $10.07 per carton of cigarettes, on average
*US duty rates on purchases exceeding 1 litre of alcohol are assessed according to alcohol content
Products other than alcohol and tobacco may also require a duty payment.
If you are Canadian, when you return to Canada you may be asked to pay the regular taxes and duties on the value of items over your customs allowance. Be aware that many items qualify for reduced or zero duty.