Questions upon leaving France

Jun 2nd, 2007, 07:01 AM
Original Poster
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Questions upon leaving France

Hi! Leaving from Nice early tomorrow morning, and have a couple questions.

Customs: I've spent a lot of money in the last three weeks, mostly on the usual stuff one brings back from Paris and Provence.... soap, chocolates, Fragonard perfumes and bath stuff, cat treats, a few bottles of wine, and some jewelry. When do I "claim" this stuff - when I get back to the US?? Do I needto keep everything together in one bag, and keep the receipts handy for them to check?

Also we are taking British Airways to London and then getting on an AA flight to Chicago. Will our luggage be checked all the way through to Chicago?

jenblase is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 07:08 AM
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you will get a landing card from the flight crew before landing in Chicago. On it you write down what you are bringing in. No - it doesn't all have to be together.

Now - about your connection (BA will "probably" check your bags through for you) -- in London you are only allowed ONE carry on item through security. That doesn't mean a carry on plus handbag or something else. So keep that in mind when leaving Nice.
janisj is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 07:10 AM
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We brought back much of the same stuff. Once you are on the plane you fill out a form which you present at customs upon your arrival in the U.S. We didn't have everything in the same bag and they didn't even look at our bags. We didn't keep receipts and we weren't asked for them. Our total expenditure in "items" was under $1,000 so we probably didn't spend enough to require investigation.
caroltis is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 07:15 AM
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are you talking about clearing customs to in the US or getting your tax refund from France?
MademoiselleFifi is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 07:18 AM
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I assumed you meant clearing US customs - since if you mean a VAT refund you'd already have the forms/instructions . . . .
janisj is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 07:19 AM
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The personal exemptions is $800 for most trips over 48 hours. That's per person, so two of you have $1,600.

The immigration officer will look at your customs declaration form, and write a number or circle something on the form. Usually, if you don't have over $800 per person and no food, agricultural or commercial items, the officer at the customs exit will just collect that form and you're set.

But if the immigration officer has circled something or written something extra, you'll most likely be sent to secondary customs screening on the side, where they may or may not look at your items; and if you declare >$800 per person, they may or may not charge you duty on the extras.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 07:48 AM
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My daughter has been living in France since last August and has purchased a lot, paricularly clothing. Will she need to declare this?
laurwarr is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 08:03 AM
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You shouldn't have any trouble with that list, unless "cat treats" includes edibles.

Next time get the US Customs booklet "Know Before You Go" available on line at

hopscotch is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 08:07 AM
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lauwarr: Yes, she needs to declare anything she bought overseas and is bringing into the States.
janisj is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 08:34 AM
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Used clothing has no official value, so there is no need to declare it. New items with tags still on is a different matter. Get my drift?
kerouac is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 08:44 AM
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in reality what kerouac says is true. But a bit problematic if the items are European brands not available in the States.

And the customs agent will know how long she was out of the country - so if she doesn't declare much/anything that can raise a red flag. So she should definitely declare a realistic amount . . . . .
janisj is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 08:46 AM
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<<When you come back, you will need to declare everything you brought back that you did not take with you when you left the United States.>>
djkbooks is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 09:47 AM
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You need to declare everything that was bought. But the value of used clothing is minimal - so you can list it at a low price.

You don;t want to be like Betsey Bloomingdale and her friend who were both held - and got alot of bad PR - for trying to come back into the US with a bunch - tens of thousands of dollars of Italian clothing and jewelry - all declared as worth under $400 (the limit then).
nytraveler is offline  
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