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§148.33 Articles acquired abroad.
(a) Exemption. Each returning resident is entitled to bring in free of duty and internal revenue tax under subheadings 9804.00.65, 9804.00.70 and 9804.00.72, and Chapter 98, U.S. Note 3, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (19 U.S.C. 1202), articles for his personal or household use which were purchased or otherwise acquired abroad merely as an incident of the foreign journey from which he is returning, subject to the limitations and conditions set forth in this section and §§148.34-148.38. The aggregate fair retail value in the country of acquisition of such articles for personal and household use must not exceed:
(1) $800, and provided that the articles accompany the returning resident;
(2) $800 in the case of a direct arrival from a beneficiary country, as defined in U.S. Note 4 to Chapter 98, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, whether or not the articles accompany the returning resident. Articles acquired elsewhere than in such beneficiary country that do not accompany the returning resident are not entitled to the duty exemption; or
(3) $1,600 in the case of a direct or indirect arrival from American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Virgin Islands of the United States, whether or not the articles accompany the returning resident, not more than $800 of which may have been acquired elsewhere than in such locations. Articles acquired elsewhere than in such insular possessions that do not accompany the returning resident are not entitled to the duty exemption.
(b) Application to articles of highest rate of duty. The $800 or $1,600 exemption will be applied to the aggregate fair retail value in the country of acquisition of the articles acquired abroad which are subject to the highest rates of duty. If an internal revenue tax is applicable, it will be combined with the duty in determining which rates are highest.
(c) Gifts. An article acquired abroad by a returning resident and imported by him to be disposed of after importation as his bona fide gift is considered to be for the personal use of the returning resident and may be included in the exemption.
(d) Tobacco products and alcoholic beverages. Cigars, cigarettes, manufactured tobacco, and alcoholic beverages may be included in the exemption to which a returning resident is entitled, with the following limits:
(1) No more than 200 cigarettes and 100 cigars may be included, except that in the case of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands of the United States the cigarette limit is 1,000, not more than 200 of which shall have been acquired elsewhere than in such locations;
(2) No alcoholic beverages will be included in the case of an individual who has not attained the age of 21; and
(3) No more than 1 liter of alcoholic beverages may be included, except that:
(i) An individual returning directly or indirectly from American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or the Virgin Islands of the United States may include in the exemption not more than 5 liters of alcoholic beverages, not more than 1 liter of which was acquired elsewhere than in such locations and not more than 4 liters of which were produced elsewhere than in such locations; and
(ii) An individual returning directly from a beneficiary country as defined in U.S. Note 4 to Chapter 98, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (19 U.S.C. 1202) may include in the exemption not more than 2 liters of alcoholic beverages if at least 1 liter is the product of one or more beneficiary countries.
(e) Exemption not applicable. The exemption does not apply to articles intended for sale or acquired on commission, i.e., for the account of another person, with or without compensation for the service rendered. Articles acquired on one journey and left in a foreign country cannot be allowed the exemption accruing upon the return of the resident from a subsequent journey.
(f) Remainder not applicable to subsequent journey. A returning resident who has received a total exemption of less than the $800 or $1,600 maximum in connection with his return from one journey is not entitled to apply the unused portion of that maximum amount to articles acquired abroad on a subsequent journey.
[T.D. 73-27, 38 FR 2449, Jan. 26, 1973, as amended by T.D. 78-394, 43 FR 49788, Oct. 25, 1978; T.D. 80-179, 45 FR 45580, July 7, 1980; T.D. 86-118, 51 FR 22516, June 20, 1986; T.D. 89-1, 53 FR 51264, Dec. 21, 1988; T.D. 97-75, 62 FR 46441, Sept. 3, 1997; CBP Dec. 09-37, 74 FR 48854, Sept. 25, 2009]