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Calculating American Duties

Calculating American duties on imported goods is a very difficult task. Experts spend years learning how to properly classify an item in order to determine its correct duty rate. We have not found a good duty calculator that will work for the average traveler so you will need to call the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol if you want an estimate.  You can also call the specific American port you will be using to enter the country.

To give you an idea of how difficult this is, here is an example the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol provides when importing a wool suit:

  • Does it have darts?
  • Did the wool come from Israel or another country that qualifies for duty-free treatment for certain of its products?
  • Where was the suit assembled, does it have any synthetic fibers in the lining?

We have a more general discussion of what is involved on our page titled “What will it cost?“.