Q:

What are customs rules for bringing alcohol into the United States?

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Quick Answer

As of April 2015, there is no federal limit to the amount of alcohol a person can bring into the United States for personal use or as gifts, explains U.S. Customs and Border Protection. However, law does prohibit any person under the age of 21 from bringing alcohol into the United States, even as a gift.

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Full Answer

While there is technically no federal limit to the amount of alcohol for personal use, quantities of more than one liter are subject to import duties and federal excise tax, although passengers coming from the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean can bring in larger amounts without incurring duties and taxes, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In addition, attempting to bring in more than one case of alcohol may arouse suspicions among customs officials that the alcohol is for commercial use. If a customs officer believes the alcohol is for commercial use, he may require the importer to obtain an Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau import license before allowing the alcohol to enter the United States.

Some states also have their own rules and limits on bringing in alcohol, even for personal use and gifts, explains the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Typically, these rules apply only to residents of the state, travelers should check with the Alcohol Beverage Control Board for the state for any special rules.

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