Customs/TABC

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Woot! Woot! We are under the 400 day mark.  The days are just cruising by….We haven’t even gotten on the ship and I’m going to start talking about getting off the ship.  What can I say, it’s a topsy turvy world we live in.

The  night before we return to the Galveston port you will receive a form for Customs/TABC.  In order to go through the port of entry back to the United States you must declare all of your purchases.  Now to be clear, you will not  list items that you consumed on the ship such as drinks.  If you purchased a t-shirt, cigarettes, bottles of alcohol, magnets, jewelry, etc. you will need to write down what you purchased and how much money you spent.  Every passenger gets a limit on how much they can spend duty free. That amount is $800.

So this is the scenario: You go to Cozumel and purchase t-shirts 5 for $20, then hit up Belize for coffee cups 4 for $10, and finally in Honduras you spend $60 on shot glasses.  You purchased some souvenir cups on the ship and spent $30.  When the form arrives in your cabin you list t-shirts $20, cups $40, and glasses $60 for a total of $120.  When you are at the customs agents booth you hand them your passport and your Customs/TABC form.  Since you did not exceed $800 you don’t owe any additional taxes and you can now enter the United States of America – ‘merica.

Now you have heard these rumors that alcohol and cigarettes are so much cheaper in Mexico and you want to bring back some of that adult goodness.  Each adult may import a maximum of:

  • 24 12 oz bottles or equivalent of beer or Malt Beverages;
  • 3 gallons of Wine; and
  • 1 gallon of Liquor/Distilled Spirits
  • No limit on cigarettes if being purchased for personal use

Guess what? Not only do you have to claim it on your Customs/TABC form you have to pay a fee for bringing it into Texas.     Here is a break down of fees:

  • Half Pint (200 ml) $3.25
  • Pint (500 mil) $3.50
  • Fifth (750 mil) $3.50
  • Quart (1 ltr) $3.75
  • Half gallon (1.75 ltr) $4.25
  • Gallon (3.79 ltr) $5.50
  • Beer/Malt 6 12oz containers $3.25
  • Beer/Malt 12 12 oz containers $3.25
  • Beer/Malt 24 12 oz containers $3.50
  • Wine Fifth (750 ml) $3.25
  • Gallon (3.79 ltr) $3.75
  • Cigarettes pack $1.50
  • Cigarettes Carton/200 each (10 packs) $15.00

So some of you are thinking, “I will by a bottle of Crown in Mexico and just drink that on the ship.” So sorry that isn’t gonna happen.  If you purchase alcohol at any of the ports when you arrive back on the ship the nice security officers will take your purchase.  They will give you a notification telling you that the day we disembark in Galveston you will need to go to an alcohol check area to retrieve your purchase. Then you can go to the custom area with your passport and filled out Custom/TABC form and pay your taxes.

I know it’s a lot to take in so please feel free to read this again before December 2017.  If you have any questions just ask!

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