How to get replica designer items into the country legally

Written by contributing writer
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Have you ever seen those replica items such as fake Rolexes and Gucci handbags and wondered where people got them and if it was legal? You can legally purchase replica items and bring them into the country with just a few simple steps.

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    Know the Rules. The Department of Homeland Security's website states that you can bring one replica into the United States per person per item. Replica items are trademarked and copyrighted items that another producer has made and copied. Travellers into the United States are granted an exemption. What this is basically saying is that if you have one replica watch, such as a fake Rolex, you can bring that into the United States. You can also bring one handbag, one pair of sunglasses, one pair of shoes and so on. These are rules set up by The Department of Homeland Security and apply to most any country you are travelling from unless the country is under and embargo such as Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Serbia, Montenegro, North Korea, Burma, Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone (diamonds only) and Sudan.

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    Purchase your item. You’re allowed one replica item back per person per type of item. This means if you see a handbag and a watch you want, you can bring those back. You cannot bring back two of the same items such as two watches, two handbags or four pairs of sunglasses. However, if you are travelling with someone and they are not purchasing these items, you can always ask them to claim one of your items or more, accordingly. Customs follows the strict rules of The Department of Homeland Security. Personally, you can usually tell if you've bought a replica item due to the price. A real Rolex can cost thousands of dollars whereas a replica will most likely cost a few hundred dollars, if not less. You'll usually find the real items in shops and boutiques and the replicas will be bought from street vendors and markets.

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    Claim your items. Fill out a customs claim form. Anytime before you are ready to enter the United States, fill out a customs claim form notating any purchases and the amount of their worth. Once you’re at customs, divulge anything you have bought and answer any questions they may have. They are usually friendly and helpful although it is possible for them to not allow an item back in to the United States. This is strictly their discretion.

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    Bring your items into the country. Once you have finished with customs you are finished with any claims you might have. Usually customs will look at your claim form and sign it so that you are free to go. You may have to pay a duty tax on these items but it is fairly small. Keep in mind that you are not allowed to sell these items. The replicas are for your own personal use and while it's legal for you to purchase them under the guidelines set forth, it is illegal to sell them for profit.

Tips and warnings

  • Always know and follow the rules set forth by The Department of Homeland Security.
  • Do not attempt to sell replica items in the United States, this is illegal.

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