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Household Effects, Personal Effects and Inherited Goods

Household Effects

Household effects are furniture, dishes, linens, libraries, artwork and similar household furnishings for your personal use. The articles must have either been available for your use or used in a household where you were a resident for one year and are not intended for any other person or for sale.  The year of use does not need to be continuous, nor does it need to be the year immediately before the date of importation.  

Personal Effects

Personal effects are items that belong to, and are used by, one person, such as wearing apparel, jewelry, photographic equipment and tape recorders.  They cannot be entered as household effects.

Inherited Goods

Inherited goods imported into the United States cannot be brought in duty-free as household or personal effects unless they meet the following criteria:

  • They are antiques (over 100 years old) and you have documentation to prove this.
  • They were available for your use in a household where you resided for a year prior to your moving to the United States. It does not have to be the year prior to the inheritance, for example, they were in your parents house while you were growing up.

Even if the above conditions do not apply to your inherited goods, because most inherited goods are used, the amount of duty assessed will most likely be small.

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