When traveling abroad, you’ve probably come across the term “duty-free” in stores. According to Great Escape Travel, the go-to travel agency in Lake Mary, FL, this is a luxury you can expect to find on any international vacation; however, many travelers do not fully understand what it means, which can lead to some confusion when re-entering the United States.
To help clear up some confusion, this experienced travel agency answers three frequently asked questions regarding duty-free products and shops.
What Does Duty-Free Mean?
In this context, the word duty refers to a tax on certain items purchased abroad. When you run across a duty-free shop, it means the business is exempt from paying certain local or national taxes, but the items in the store are intended to be sold to travelers who will eventually take them out of the country. This is why duty-free shops are often found in airport terminals, ferry stations, cruise ports, and border stops.
Is There a Purchase Limit for Duty-Free Items?
While you can buy as many duty-free items as you would like, you should keep the purchase total below $800 to avoid paying the U.S. duty. Once you cross this threshold, you will be required to pay 3% on the first $1,000 worth of merchandise over the cut-off allowance. If you have products worth more than this amount, you might be required to pay an even higher percentage.
What Is the Best Way to Shop Duty-Free?
If you want to receive the best duty-free deals, look for items that tend to be taxed heavily in the United States, such as alcohol and cigarettes. Make sure you know the quantities and types of alcohol you are legally permitted to bring back into the country. Duty-free shopping is also a great way to spend your remaining local currency—and it helps you avoid an unfavorable exchange rate for dollars.
If you have more questions regarding duty-free items or other unique travel perks, contact the agents at Great Escape Travel today. To start planning your trip, call (407) 740-6464 to set up an appointment. You can also learn more about the travel agency by visiting their website and get more vacation planning tips by liking them on Facebook.