Relocating to US with jewellery: declaration?

Old Jul 5, 19, 1:05 am
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Relocating to US with jewellery: declaration?

My family and I are relocating to the US, but not together. My wife and kids are US citizens, but I'm not, so I'm waiting on a work permit and will join later. They will live with family in MN pending my arrival.

However, in a few months, I have a work meeting in D.C. I'm flying out there on my own, and my family are going to then join me there, and from there, fly onto MSP. They have a one-way ticket to WAS and then onto MSP.

My question is, since they are relocating, what does this mean for taking in personal possessions/ goods that exceed customs duty declaration limits. Specifically, my wife has several pieces of jewellery that definitely exceed $2000 in value, but they aren't one or two pieces that she could just wear. The vast majority of these pieces were aquired in the US when we used to live there, and we brought them with us in our hand baggage when we moved to China. Obviously, we're not going to be putting the items in with e.g. our furniture that will be shipped by sea freight and want to bring them in on hand baggage again.

We asked our shipping agent, and they were clueless. They aren't "monetary instruments", so wouldn't need declaring from that point of view. And they aren't, strictly speaking, goods aquired overseas that would stay in the US, but we have no documentary evidence of such...

I'm pretty sure that when relocating, "household goods and personal effects" are exempt from duty, but I can't seem to find any forms online.

I'll be doing lots of back and forth, but since the items are jewellery, I am concerned that I will have even less of a leg to stand on if I try to bring the items in bit by bit...

To further (slightly) complicate matters, they are flying into ORD and connecting to WAS, and their connection is only a couple of hours. So I want them to "forewarned and forearmed" to avoid a lengthy inspection that might make them lose their connection.

Advice/ pointers appreciated.

tb
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Old Jul 5, 19, 2:52 am
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OK, spending some time searching again online, it seems that the CBP recommends entering the list of personal effects on a regular Customs form CBP6059B.

However, would I be correct in ascertaining that in the first part of the form (Box 15) where one should list value of items acquired overseas, that part should NOT be filled out (with the value of the jewelry). However, on the second page "Description of articles", the jewelry should be listed, but perhaps with an addendum -- personal effects, acquired in US 2007 or whatever, along with approximate value??

tb
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Old Jul 9, 19, 12:02 pm
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Just a quick note. Line 15, is clearly for items purchased overseas that now belong to you. The jewelry is not, part of that item. On the goods that you are shipping sea freight, most likely they will have to clear customs upon arrival at first port, this can be done with CBP3299, there is no duty involved, however, most customs broker will charge a clearance fee on your behalf that can range anywhere between $85-$200, the CBP3299 will also need to have copies of the passport for all arriving members, and a detailed description of all items being sent. Please try not to include any food, alcohol, or hazardous item with the sea freight items as that could further delay the clearance process. The CBP6059B is strictly for items purchase overseas, the jewelry is considered personal belongings and no need to declare, I also suggest you have a copy of your shipping documents pertaining to your sea freight belongings to show intent that you are coming back to the US.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 12:47 pm
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The jewelry purchased in the US, exported to China, and then about to be reimported into the US, ought to have been declared when your wife exported it from the US. She would then have a stamped form to present which would demonstrate that the items were purchased in the US. But, it is too late for that.

She should have with her the receipts for the more valuable items which will presumably show a US point of sale and simply be prepared to acknowledge, if asked, that she did not go through the process on departure. It is highly unlikely that CBP will take any action should it even bother to ask. In the event that it does, so long as she has declared the items, bear in mind that the duty will hover in the 2% range. Thus, on a $2,000 item, the duty is $40, so not some devastating sum and one which one might recover later. The only real mistake is to fail to properly declare because that is what leads to stiff penalties and time delays.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 7:26 pm
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From the information I've read, you receive a duty exemption on household effects entering the country. However, personal effects, including jewelry, only get the standard customs exemption.

I would defiantly bring receipts of the items that are high value to show proof of purchase in the US. In the future if you plan on moving away from the US with high value personal items such as jewelry you should consider filling out CBP form 4457. This will show proof of purchase in the US. If you do not have receipts, try and bring any evidence that the items were purchased in the US. I would declare everything being brought in for transparency sake, its better to be up front about it; instead of not declaring the items to CBP.

The CBP website has some useful information about moving back to the US. You could also bring back some of her jewelry when you meet her in DC.
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Old Aug 28, 19, 8:55 am
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Thanks for the replies...sorry, I checked back for the first few days when there weren't any responses, and only now saw these.

Re: receipts for the jewellery: sadly, for the most part, these were wedding gifts so we don't have any actual purchase receipts. I'm trying to think if we have some digital wedding photos of receiving the gifts!! And yes, it would have been wise to have filled out CBP4457 8 years ago, but we weren't, at the time, planning on returning to the US (I'm British!).

Bringing a copy of the shipping manifest is a good idea, since it definitely confirms intent to return to the US.

freeagent: you suggest "declaring" the items, but other than verbally, do you have any suggestions on how they should be declared? As I mentioned in my initial posts, they don't fit the criteria for standard duty-free exempt (or non-exempt) purchases overseas. And given her relatively tight connection, I was thinking of advising my wife to use the mobile MPC app to speed things along, where there's even less room to declare something that isn't a standard question. Also, unless the CBP officer doesn't believe my wife, although they are "personal effects" and not household goods, they weren't acquired overseas, so again, strictly speaking (I appreciate evidence may be another matter), aren't subject to duty...

I'm less keen to bring anything on my flight to WAS since the items are clearly not mine (being women's jewelry), so without said receipts, it will be even more difficult to explain that they are my wife's (but she's not with me) and I'm just bringing them back to the US for her....

tb
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