Entering Peru is a straightforward process for most tourists, whether you arrive at Lima airport or enter Peru overland from a neighboring country. In many cases, it’s a simple matter of filling out a Tarjeta Andina tourist card and presenting your passport to the immigration officials.
One thing that can be both time consuming and costly, however, is the issue of Peru’s customs regulations. Before you go to Peru, it’s good to know what you can pack without being hit by any additional duties.
Items Free from Customs Duties
According to SUNAT (the Peruvian administrative body in charge of taxation and customs), travelers can take the following items to Peru without paying any customs duties upon arrival:
- Containers used to transport a traveler's belongings, such as suitcases and bags.
- Items for personal use. This includes clothing and accessories, toiletries, and medicines. A single traveler is also allowed one unit or set of sporting goods for personal use per entry. Travelers may also bring other goods that they will used or consumed by the traveler or will be given as gifts (as long as they are not intended as trade items, and as long as the combined value does not exceed US$500).
- Reading material. This includes books, magazines, and printed documents.
- Personal appliances. Examples include one portable electric appliance for the hair (for example, a hair dryer or hair straighteners) or one electric shaver.
- Devices for playing music, movies, and games. This is defined as one radio, one CD player, or one stereo system (the latter must be portable and not be for professional use) and up to a maximum of twenty CDs. One portable DVD player and one video game console and up to 10 DVD or video game discs per person are also allowed.
- Musical instruments are also allowed: One wind or string instrument (must be portable).
- Videography and photography equipment, provided it is for personal use. This is, again, limited to one camera or digital camera with up to 10 rolls of photographic film; one external hard drive; two memory cards for a digital camera, camcorder and/or video game console; or two USB memory sticks. One camcorder with 10 videocassettes is allowed.
- Other electronics allowed per person: One handheld electronic calendar/organizer, one laptop with a power source, two cell phones, and one portable electronic calculator.
- Cigarettes and alcohol: Up to 20 packs of cigarettes or fifty cigars or 250 grams of rolling tobacco and up to three liters of liquor (with the exception of pisco).
- Medical equipment can also be brought in duty-free. This includes any necessary medical aid or equipment for disabled travelers (such as a wheelchair or crutches).
- Travelers can also bring one pet! You can expect some hoops to jump through on this one, but pets can be brought to Peru without paying customs.
Changes to Regulations
Peru’s customs regulations can change without much warning (and some customs officials seem to have their own ideas about the exact regulations), so treat the above information as a solid guideline rather than an infallible law. The information will be updated if/when any changes occur on the SUNAT website.
If you are carrying goods to be declared, you must fill out a Baggage Declaration form and present it to the relevant customs officer. You will need to pay a customs fee as determined by an evaluation officer. The officer will determine a minimum value of all articles (those not exempt from customs duties) upon which a customs charge of 20% will be applied. If the combined value of all articles exceeds US$1,000, the customs rate increases to 30%.