Duty or taxes at airport when moving back to mainland?
GWe hate to leave STT after 4 years, but have to move back to the mainland to look after my aged parents. We are 3 adults, a 9 year old and a cat (formerly a stray). Will we have to pay some kind of duty or tax on our goods when going through customs at the airport? We will be flying out of STT with 9 suitcases and 4 carry ons (including the cat). It's all personal items -- mostly clothes, towels, bedding, some tools, material (for sewing), a VitaMix and a small sewing machine. Any advice or experience is welcome!
Check with the airline but I believe it is $25 for the first checked bag , $35 for the second per person and not weigh more then 50 lbs Or fee goes up substantially to about $90 depending on weight. One carry on per person is allowed plus a small item such as a purse. There should not be custom charges for personal items.
Checked bag fees charged by the airlines has nothing to do with taxation on items/Customs when leaving the territory. OP, the answer is no. Go into the airport prior to your departure date and pick up the customs declaration forms so you can fill them out at home.
You ARE, as the previous posters noted, in for quite a chunk of change in checked baggage charges so good advice to ship a lot of that stuff back via USPS. Hint - the sewing machine may not be worth the checked baggage fee and they sell very quickly here! Good luck with the move!
Mailing your stuff via the postal service would probably be cheaper than paying the extra bag fees. Sending via Priority Mail and insured would probably be cheaper than paying the extra fees at the airport.
Already suggested earlier but unless the mailed goods are needed immediately, much less expensive to send them regular parcel post - which is now trackable. A box recently mailed to me took only two weeks.
Thanks for all the tips, and sorry that I wasn't clear enough with the original question. We're all set with airline baggage fees and cat certificate. We've also got a bunch of packages (the heavy stuff) ready to send via flat rate USPS, but will look into the regular USPS shipping rates. The question had more to do with the declaration form that you fill out at the airport. For example, visitors returning to USA have to declare the liquor they bought, etc. Since it will be obvious that we're moving back to the States (forgot to mention a suitcase full cuddly bears), what will we declare on the form, and will they charge customs/duty/etc. for bringing a ton of personal goods from VI to USA?
Thanks for your patience and prompt responses!
... what will we declare on the form, and will they charge customs/duty/etc. for bringing a ton of personal goods from VI to USA?
Only any luxury goods recently purchased here (jewelry, etc.) and liquor which are above the allowed duty-free limit. Your personal used belongings are exempt. Pick up the forms now and you'll easily figure it out if you follow the instructions.
Thank you everyone for your prompt responses. One less thing to worry about! Even so, I can guarantee you that there will be a tear in my beer as we're leavin' on a jet plane ..
Every time I arrive on STT, I walk off the plane and take a deep, satisfying Ocean breeze. When leaving I always take one last look, with a great deal of sadness that I cannot stay.