Traveling abroad with gift box as carry-on?

Jun 24th, 2017, 06:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 3
Traveling abroad with gift box as carry-on?


I will be traveling from the US to visit friends abroad. I will bring with me a gift box with a purse inside as a carry on. Will this be a problem? Will I have to pay tax? The gift is roughly $1500 in value. Thank you so much for any questions you can answer or advice you may offer.
Would it be better to put it in a checked luggage?
laurie_h is offline  
Jun 25th, 2017, 04:01 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,491
Tax is a matter for the country you are visiting but I think not usually due on gifts. Check the embassy website for the relevant country - "abroad" could be anywhere. Be prepared to open the box for TSA.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 25th, 2017, 06:10 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 3
Thank you! Sorry I didn't make it clear. I will be traveling to Taipei. I just checked online and it says, "Combination of personal articles (new items) or gifts up to the value of NT$20,000"
What would happen if I exceed that amount? Would I have to declare it? What will happen after I declare it?
laurie_h is offline  
Jun 25th, 2017, 06:34 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,491
You would declare it, and then you would pay tax at whatever the rate is.

$20,000 NT is $658 USD.

Of course, you could just walk through "nothing to declare", but you would incur a probably small risk of a penalty as well as the tax.

From the airport website:

"Please collect your luggage from the luggage claim area. If your luggage does not include items in excess of the duty-free allowances, or items whose importation is controlled, banned, or restricted, you may go through the "Nothing to Declare" customs channel (green). Otherwise you must go through the "Goods to Declare" channel (red).

Please click Taipei Customs Office for further information on customs clearance of travelers' luggage."

Putting it in checked luggage means you would have no issues with TSA, it would make absolutely no difference to the fact that you owe tax.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 25th, 2017, 06:45 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,508
If you exceed the "duty free" amount (in your example NT$20,000 which I believe is around $650US) you'll pay the "duty tax" on the excess amount. The "duty rate" itself will vary depending on the item and material it's made from - depending on the rules for of the country duty rates can vary from 1% to as much as 40% of value.

To answer your other questions:

1) Yes, legally you have to declare the item. If you don't and are caught you could be subject to fines, detention or even prosecution.

2) After you declare the item the Customs agent can do one of two things: He/she could just allow you to pass through customs with no further action or he/she will calculate how how much duty you owe and ask you for payment (in some countries the agent collects the money directly in other countries the agent fills out a form and directs you to a "cashier" where you pay the duty.
RoamsAround is offline  

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