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-   -   Do you declare clothing purchases? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/do-you-declare-clothing-purchases-265433/)

xxx Oct 12th, 2002 03:20 PM

Do you declare clothing purchases?
 
I seem to remember Jeb Bush's wife getting in trouble over a Parisian shopping spree that she didn't declare upon return to the US. I am planning to do a lot of clothes shopping overseas. If I pay cash and take the tags off, do I need to declare my purchases? I intend to buy an expensive coat and wear it home, how will they know that I bought it on my trip? Please respond based on your actual experiences, no lectures please! Thank you.

xx Oct 12th, 2002 03:26 PM

No you don't have to declare if you want a big fine or jail time. do not be obtuse..declare it!<BR><BR>You are not Jeb's wife ..you will do big time or big money.. <BR><BR>hey if you are Jeb's daughter you can get away with anything drugwise!

Me Oct 12th, 2002 03:33 PM

Look, odds are that customs is not actually going to pull you aside and search your things. I do declare my foreign purchases, but may fudge a bit on the purchase price when I fill out my declaration forms. I bought two rugs on a trip to India a couple of years ago and declared them on my customs declaration, although a lower price than what I actually paid. Customs didn't look at them. On another trip, I had bought a bracelet that I declared and the customs officer did want to see it, so I just held up my wrist. He just said, "Very nice," and let me through.

Marie Oct 12th, 2002 04:04 PM

OP - Why do you want to do this? I don't get it.

xxx Oct 12th, 2002 04:32 PM

To save a few hundred dollars on a many-thousand dollar purchase? Doesn't everyone want to do this?<BR>

Marie Oct 12th, 2002 04:43 PM

Okay, now I get it - a moral deficiency; a propensity for shoplifting.

Oh Oct 12th, 2002 04:59 PM

Oh lord, we have been through this before.<BR><BR>A sense of moral self-superiority over the issue of abiding by every law.<BR><BR>I think I'll write my congressman and ask for voluntary pay boxes on the highways where I can put fines I levy against myself every time I break the speed limit.<BR>

Rev. James Oct 12th, 2002 05:18 PM

Surely you aren't saying there is no difference between an inadvertent highway code violation and a deliberate fraud attempt. Are you?

lynlor Oct 12th, 2002 06:41 PM

We declare everything.....but then we buy very little. I would never but clothes in Europe (except clothes for children). I want to try things on at home where I have all my accessories, shoes etc.

Mel P Oct 12th, 2002 07:31 PM

I usually declare everything (well maybe not a partially used box of bandaids) but then I'm almost never even close to the limit. There was one time where I was right on the borderline (somewhere between $20 under and $20 over the limit), in that case I put down my prices at a very stingy exchange rate...&lt;g&gt;

StCirq Oct 12th, 2002 08:10 PM

The law is pretty clear - declare what you've bought. You got that? Your credit card purchases CAN be traced, you know, so whatever you declare CAN be traced against what you SAID you purchased, should Customs care to follow through. Do you have a problem with being honest in your declaration of purchases made?

Nan B. Oct 12th, 2002 08:36 PM

If you are all so honest, why were there only two of us on a recent plane back from Zurich who were in the "declare" line? I had bought jewelry and one man bought over the limit too. <BR>I think you all like to think you are upright citizens but think back, how often have you really declared over the limit?

xxx Oct 12th, 2002 09:40 PM

xxx, just cut off the tags and put the items in your luggage and sort them around w/ your other clothes. Never had a problem. Whatever you do don't ship it home as customs opens the packages and will demand receipts for purchases before they are released. Coat is no prob.

Christina Oct 13th, 2002 08:03 PM

Yes, I declare everything and I am very honest. I have never fudged on values or not declared anything. I'm surprised at how many people find that unusual, for people to be honest.<BR><BR>I'm not very acquisitive, however, and don't particularly like buying things or shopping, except for a few small items like local pottery or jewelry (but I've never spent more than $100 even on that). I think anyone who can afford to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on buying expensive "things" on a European vacation can pay the taxes.

Slleps well Oct 13th, 2002 08:22 PM

Yes..do not declare any of your big ticket items. Hopefully you will be caught and hopefully beyond any civil and/or criminal sanctions you will be embarassed. On the otherhand, if you declare your purchases, you will only be required to pay several hundred dollars in taxes which you can obviously afford.<BR>As an additional suggestion, why stop at trying to defraud the US government; try switching tags in the stores where you buy your items...you can get a better discount that way.<BR>In answer to you and to others, no, not everyone intentionally breaks the law. Those of us with an idea of right and wrong enjoy having a good night sleep.

Mary Oct 13th, 2002 09:02 PM

Of course, I declare everything. I am an honest person.<BR><BR>You should declare everything, too. And I believe that if you have worn the clothing, it is used clothing and not valued at what you paid for it.<BR><BR>Yes, Jeb Bush's wife did not declare all her clothing purchases, and SHE GOT CAUGHT.

Katherine Oct 13th, 2002 09:17 PM

Here is my experience: I always make a list of my purchases and keep them in an envelope together with receipts. My last trip to Paris in 97 I bought all of my crystal at Saint-Louis because it was about 50% of what it cost at Neiman Marcus. I bought 12 red wine glasses,12 white wine glasses and a water pitcher. Besides the crystal I bought other things so I was definitely over the limit. I think my duty was around $70 USD. I still came out ahead, I did not break the law..everyone was happy Uncle Sam and I. Plus the first time I came back from Europe and did not declare anything (which I should have) I was so nervous about getting caught that I decided it is not worth it. So there it is just as you asked..my own personal experience.....

Faye Oct 13th, 2002 10:51 PM

I noticed that the limit is 400$. I bought some jewelry that came to 650$ so I wrote that on the back of my green declaration slip and I went into a different line at customs, put my luggage through another xray, then out the front door, no questions asked.

Bill Oct 14th, 2002 04:23 AM

There is a huge inconsistency on that customs form. The duty free limit is indeed $400, but the reverse side of thr form says that you need not itemize if your purchases are under FOURTEEN hundred. I always do pseudo-itemize, even though not required, and I make it so generic as to be meaningless, like this:<BR><BR>$26 Sweatshirt<BR>$45 Wine<BR>$98 Gifts<BR>

Rachel Oct 14th, 2002 07:37 AM

It's up to you. Some people take the risk of getting caught and others aren't comfortable with that.<BR><BR>If you take off the sales tags, and throw out your receipts, then you're safe only if you have traveled to that country before. Otherwise, the tags sewn into the clothes reveal where they were purchased. Unless you're really gung-ho and cut out those tags, and then that would raise the suspicions of customs officials anyway.


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