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duty situation

duty situation

Old May 20, 18, 11:52 am
  #1  
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duty situation

I mentioned to a ( not very close ) friend that I will soon going to Paris . He said there is a jeweler there holding a pretty expensive piece of jewelry for him and wondered if I could pass there and pick it up for him .

I'm a little hesitant because I think you're supposed to declare such items and the duty tax on this could amount to hundreds of dollars .I don't want to get in the middle of having to be detained at the airport and pay these fees . I know most people just hide the jewelry in their suitcase and don't declare it , but again don't know what the downside is .


So my question is what's the likelihood of me getting into trouble if I just put this in my checked in suitcase and don't declare it ?
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Old May 20, 18, 12:30 pm
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If they find it, they'll seize it outright, and/or assess you a significant fine and fee to get it back, and then YOUR NAME will be tarred and feathered in the computer system forever.

As you are not the beneficial owner of the item, that may also have legal implications you'll need to deal with, but I am not the person to advise you on that aspect of it.

Don't do it.
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Last edited by KDS777; May 20, 18 at 4:47 pm
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Old May 20, 18, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by KDS777 View Post
If they find it, they'll seize it outright, and/or assess you a significant fine and fee to get it back, and then YOUR NAME will be tarred and feathered in the computer system forever.

As you are not the beneficial owner of the item, that may also have legal implictions you'll need to deal with, but I am not the person to advise you on that aspect of it.

Don't do it.
okay not going to risk it.

here is a theoretical ( but I may need this for myself in the future):
What if we do buy an expensive piece of jewelry in the future and they discover it. What's preventing us from saying we had bought it in America many years ago. How can they prove that we bought it in Europe during that trip. No one would expect us to carry previous receipts for our jewelry, right?
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Old May 20, 18, 1:03 pm
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Can I register my jewelry with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) prior to my travels abroad?

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Old May 20, 18, 1:19 pm
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I travel with JPEG images of my Rolex purchase in my phone, should the CBSA ask me questions upon returning to Canada.
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Old May 20, 18, 1:51 pm
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does "pretty expensive" mean > 10,000 USD?
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Old May 20, 18, 2:07 pm
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Don't know what my friend's piece goes for, but with regards to my theoretical question, let's say $5-10,000.

again, what is a chance of going to go through a checked in suitcase and pull out one little piece of jewelry ?
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Old May 20, 18, 2:14 pm
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“What is the chance” doesn’t matter until it happens and you’re perpetually screwed. CBP never forgets. Don’t do it - just declare and pay.
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Old May 20, 18, 2:38 pm
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I’d say there’s a greater chance of your bag going missing or the item being stolen. No way I’d put something that expensive in checked baggage.

I also wouldn’t advise smuggling but if you do try it, remember that anything you have with you is fair game for inspection, so that includes things like boxes, bags, receipts that indicate something is new.
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Old May 20, 18, 3:51 pm
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Smuggling a $10K piece of jewelry into the US will get you more than having the item seized and forfeited. It will also come with a fine which is some multiple of the duty. That is all on you because you are the smuggler. Who owns the item is irrelevant.

Packing a $10K piece of jewelry in your checked luggage is a not very smart thing to do. It's one thing to have your suitcase go missing with a dirty shirt, another with a piece of jewelry.

If you do agree to transport the item, get an estimate of the value and have your friend prepay the duty (to you) so that you can properly declare it and pay the duty on arrival. If this is a valuable piece, CBP will want the appraisal and that is what you ought to use.

As to the making a false declaration about the whereabouts of the item, people who travel with valuable jewelry which was either purchased in the US or has previously been declared and dutied, have either completed a Form 4457 prior to departure or have an appraisal showing that it took place in the US for prior to the date of departure. Making a false statement is punishable in addition to the above by impriosnment for up to 5 years. Not that as a first offender you will go to prison for 5 years, but nonetheless not the kind of risk most people take.

Before making a decision, why not simply lay this out for the friend and have him do the leg work as to what the duty will be.
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Old May 20, 18, 3:59 pm
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OP, why can't the friend hop over on a week end and pick it up ? There always deals on air tickets.
I travel internationally and never have nott declared that which I think may be dutiable. Hardly ever paid anything except had to throw away alcohol crossing USA CANADA by car . Decades ago. US was much cheaper than Canada in those days.
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Old May 20, 18, 5:31 pm
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Just declare it. If around 5k they might even just wave you through as it's too much hassle for a small amount of duty. I've had that severa times with jewelry in the 2-7k range.
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Old May 20, 18, 7:09 pm
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I wouldn't get involved in this at all. Let the friend who allegedly bought the jewelry arrange for it to be shipped to him/her and pay any shipping and duty cost themselves. It all sounds dodgy to me.
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Old May 20, 18, 7:43 pm
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I would do this for someone I had known for 20 years and trust with my life. Nobody else.

It may be that the duty is the least of the issues and it may be that the guy is completely honest and just wants a favor. If the former, you may cause yourself immeasurable harm and if the latter, you are playing Fedex when there are any number of reliable services which transport valuables bonded properly and for the fees those services command. The friend's jeweler will know those services if this is legit.
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Old May 21, 18, 5:51 am
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Originally Posted by ente_09 View Post
I mentioned to a ( not very close ) friend that I will soon going to Paris . He said there is a jeweler there holding a pretty expensive piece of jewelry for him and wondered if I could pass there and pick it up for him .

I'm a little hesitant because I think you're supposed to declare such items and the duty tax on this could amount to hundreds of dollars .I don't want to get in the middle of having to be detained at the airport and pay these fees . I know most people just hide the jewelry in their suitcase and don't declare it , but again don't know what the downside is .


So my question is what's the likelihood of me getting into trouble if I just put this in my checked in suitcase and don't declare it ?
Has your friend explicitly asked you to smuggle it in? I know friends here who send items back to their family etc in India or such when others are travelling but they also give them the money to pay the customs taxes/duty and don't expect them to smuggle them in (though if they chose to it'd be at their own risk)

Why not calculate the taxes/duty required and say that you're happy to do it if they give you that in advance?
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