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  3. Exemptions

U.S. Government/Military Personnel or Crew Member Exemptions

Persons arriving in the United States as on-duty employees of vessels, vehicles, or aircraft engaged in international traffic, or who are returning from a trip during which they were so employed, are granted exemptions providing for the free entry of articles which are deemed reasonable, appropriate, and solely intended for the personal use of the employee. This includes:

  • one open liter of alcoholic beverage and 300 cigarettes, or 50 cigars, or 2 kilograms of smoking tobacco, or a proportionate amount of each;
  • merchandise not exceeding $200 in value, which may include gifts the crew member has purchased for persons in the United States, free of duty.

These items must accompany the crew member upon their arrival and may not include any items purchased on behalf of another party or for business or commercial use. Crew members are granted these exemptions each time they arrive as long they are leaving the carrier only temporarily, intending to resume employment there or on another carrier engaged in international trade and if all other qualifications are met.

Crew members are generally required to complete a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Form 5129, "Crew Members Declaration", upon their arrival into the United States.

For more specific information, contact your local CBP Port office.

Last Modified: Oct 13, 2016