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Ordering things from EU after returning home-what is the duty exemption?

Have not been able to find a certain answer searching Dept of Commerce and other sites, for the size of exemption for things ordered after returning home to the US. My specific question involves a toy, originally made in the UK with local materials there, but being ordered from a dealer in The Netherlands. Does the $800 duty exemption or "de minimis" amount apply there, and is it the same rule as the $800 exemption for items brought back with me? Hard to decipher the regulations I've found so far.
Thanks for any help.

Posted by
7264 posts

I have not looked recently, but when I had an item shipped home by the vendor, it was subject to duty. Only things in your possession when you return home were subject to the exemption. That was several years ago, so there may have been a change of which I am unaware.

Posted by
31 posts

Last month, I bought an item online from a UK retailer. It cost about $180. I paid no duty on it. It's not the first time I've bought things from overseas.

As long as the item's declared value is under $800, it's being sent to you, and it's allowed to be sent into the country, it should be exempt from duty. If you are buying it as a gift and having it sent directly to a third party the value decreases to $100.

By the way, it's not the Department of Commerce that would assign a duty to your item. It's U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Posted by
1956 posts

I’ve ordered items from Ireland and England. Nothing outrageous, maybe $100 or so. Never paid duty.

Posted by
4524 posts

I’ve shipped things multiple times and only paid duty once. I remember being surprised since it hadn’t happened before. I got notification of the amount due when the package arrived. As I recall, the duty was a rather small percentage of the price, I don’t remember the amount, but I am pretty sure it was less than 5%.

There is a RS article on shipping things to yourself. I am not sure if it applies when you order from US.
https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/packing-light/clearing-customs