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Jay Lloyd’s Getaway: Duty Free

Cruise ship at Bermuda dock. (credit: Jay Lloyd)

Cruise ship at Bermuda dock. (credit: Jay Lloyd)

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By Jay Lloyd

BERMUDA (CBS) — If you’re off on a spring cruise or overseas getaway, try putting some planning into your foreign bargain shopping.

So, you bought a few Cuban cigars to smoke at a Bermuda beach bar, tucked what was left in a camera bag and forgot them. Arriving home you never told the customs agent about the smokes. Good thing he didn’t look in the bag. They’re prohibited.

Know before you go – what you can bring back, how much of it and the total value of those overseas bargains. In most cases if they total over $800, you’ll wind up paying duty, basically a tax. Included is one liter of liquor, 200 cigarettes and 100 cigars, not Cuban, which you can buy almost everywhere but here.

About those bargains, especially liquor. Decide before you go what you’ll buy. I’ve found that on cruise ships, many brands cost less at shipboard shops than in port stores, the same with perfume – another popular item.

Customs regulations and taboos are complex, check them before taking off:

The limitations are much more generous if shopping in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

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