Duty Free Shopping Rules for Caribbean Travelers

Duty-Free allowances for U.S. and other international travelers

Duty free liquor store on Cruise Ship Pier
Richard Cummins / Getty Images

In the Caribbean, travelers can find duty-free shops at almost any airport, but certain island destinations and ports are also famous for their concentration of duty-free shopping. At these locations, travelers can find jewelry, watches, perfume, liquor and other goods at a deep discount—25 to 40 percent in many cases. Citizens from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Europe and elsewhere may bring a limited quantity of goods home tax-free when traveling to the Caribbean. 

Of course, there are some rules that travelers are expected to follow with their purchases, namely with the amount of money they are allowed to spend on duty-free purchases. Check out the info below to find out what the duty-free regulations and restrictions are for different international citizens traveling to the Caribbean. (Note: Duty-free shops typically require you to present your passport and/or plane ticket in order to make a purchase.)

United States Citizens

U.S. citizens who have been out of the country for a minimum of 48 hours and have not used their respective duty-free allowance within 30 days generally are entitled to an $800 duty-free tax exemption in the Caribbean. Families traveling together can pool their exemptions.

Alcohol: The duty-free allowance for U.S. citizens age 21 and over is two liters, the value of which must be included within the $800 exemption. For travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands, the exemption is $1,600. Special rules also apply to purchases that you mail home rather than carry home.

Canadian Citizens

Canadian citizens who have been out of the country for a minimum of 7 days are entitled to a duty-free exemption of $750 CAD. They are also permitted a duty-free exemption of $400 CAD each time they are out of the country for more than 48 hours. This $400 exemption may not be claimed during the same period as the $750 exemption, nor can your exemptions be pooled with your spouse and/or children.

Alcohol: The duty-free allowance for Canadian citizens who meet the legal age of the province they re-enter is 40 ounces of liquor, 1.5 liters of wine, or two dozen 12-ounce cans of beer, the value of which must be included within the yearly or quarterly exemption.

Tobacco: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars can be brought back duty-free.

U.K. Citizens

U.K. citizens can return home with 200 cigarettes, or 100 cigarillos, or 50 cigars, or 250g of tobacco; 4 liters of still table wine; 1 litre of spirits or strong liquor over 22% volume; or 2 liters of fortified wine, sparkling wine or other liqueurs; 16 litres of beer; 60cc/ml of perfume; and £300 worth of all other goods including gifts and souvenirs. You also can 'mix and match' products in the alcohol category, and the tobacco category, provided you do not exceed your total allowance. For example, you could bring in 100 cigarettes and 25 cigars, which is 50 percent of your cigarette allowance and 50 percent of your cigar allowance.

European Union Residents

European Union residents can bring home up to 430 Euros worth of goods, including up to four liters of wine and 16 liters of beer.