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Bringing Tobacco Back From Europe

(26 posts)
  • Started 4 years ago by dermotfahy
  • Latest reply from pipefish
  1. dermotfahy

    dermotfahy

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    What are the limits on quantity of pipe tobacco that I can bring back from Europe to the US without paying duty?

    I've had the opportunity to observe human beings for seven decades, and if you do it for that long and don't have a foul disposition, either you're simple or you haven't been paying attention.
    - David E. Petzal
    Posted 4 years ago #
  2. warren

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    I've brought back a couple of dozen tins. I have no idea of the cap. I'm supposing that it is covered under the "total" value cap. I'd suggest contacting your country's customs office.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 4 years ago #
  3. papipeguy

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    According to the US Customs site you can bring back 200 cigarettes and 100 cigars. The site says to contact the port of entry about pipe tobacco. The ATF site quotes a tax of $2.8311 on one pound. Good luck.

    Blowin' smoke since 1970.
    Posted 4 years ago #
  4. 4etecjonathan

    4etecjonathan

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    Just pack it in with your clothes and don't worry about it. Why open your mouth up and open a can of worms!!

    Jon

    Posted 3 years ago #
  5. warren

    warren

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    Not the wisest piece of advice I've seen posted. If you have paid taxes on what you purchased, such information is shared. Not that there is a lot of interest paid to all people for all transactions. Such information is used in conjunction with other behaviors to trigger responses by government entities.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  6. davet

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    Just pack it in with your clothes and don't worry about it. Why open your mouth up and open a can of worms!!

    What could possibly go wrong? Customs are well known for their sense of humour, very easy going bunch.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  7. deathmetal

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    Just bring along a flashlight and some KY in case they need to do a body cavity search.

    But more seriously:


    I've brought back a couple of dozen tins....I'm supposing that it is covered under the "total" value cap.

    That's a smart way to view the situation. You're not bringing enough to smuggle, and it should be under the amount of:


    According to the US Customs site you can bring back 200 cigarettes and 100 cigars.

    So you should be good, or at least that's a reasonable supposition.

    "My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey." -- William Faulkner

    The Metal Mixtures
    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. pipefish

    pipefish

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    Thanks for reviving this thread, Jon. I'm planning to bring back a whole bunch of tobacco from Europe (and some Condor at Heathrow duty free). I found the same info papipeguy posted a year ago. There doesn't seem to be some any universal limit in terms of "loose tobacco." However, let's consider the 100 cigar rule. According to tobaccofreeutah (http://www.tobaccofreeutah.org/cigar.html) one large cigar can have 17 grams of tobacco, so 100 cigars=1700 grams of total tobacco, which is the equivalent of 34 50g tins of pipe tobacco.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. badger

    badger

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    Under the 100 cigar rule...

    Posted 3 years ago #
  10. andrew

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    However, let's consider the 100 cigar rule. According to tobaccofreeutah (http://www.tobaccofreeutah.org/cigar.html) one large cigar can have 17 grams of tobacco, so 100 cigars=1700 grams of total tobacco, which is the equivalent of 34 50g tins of pipe tobacco.

    It's not that simple, and considering your bringing tobacco into a country that has some of the cheapest tobacco already, I can't see that arguement holding too well with customs officials. They want stuff they can easily count, like pre-rolled cigars, or packs of cigarettes, you would need to find how much loose tobacco you can bring back. I would do my homework.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  11. pipefish

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    They want stuff they can easily count, like pre-rolled cigars, or packs of cigarettes, you would need to find how much loose tobacco you can bring back.

    They can't count tins?

    A phone call to the port of entry might work, but without some universal limit whatever they tell me on the phone might be completely different than what Joe Customs Officer decides on that day. Would be nice if each port of entry would have its limits posted online.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  12. jpmcwjr

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    Unless it's a tobacco that is so superior and unique, why bother? So much better and cheaper tobacco is available here that unless the cachet of a European tin is something you want.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  13. andrew

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    They can't count tins?

    A phone call to the port of entry might work, but without some universal limit whatever they tell me on the phone might be completely different than what Joe Customs Officer decides on that day. Would be nice if each port of entry would have its limits posted online.

    Of course they can count tins, it's like in Canada you're allowed 200 grams of loose tobacco, which would be 4 50 gram or 2 100 gram, then 200 cigarettes, and then 50 cigars I believe. There will be a set guideline for every port of entry, I would simply do my homework and find out what it is.

    Unless it's a tobacco that is so superior and unique, why bother?

    Because there are unique tobaccos in Europe that can't be had in the US. Not much different than someone paying much more than retail for a hard to find tobacco available in the US but isn't in stock ever.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  14. carver

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    I don't know about US, but here in China, the rule is 400 cigarettes, 100 cigars or 500gr of tobacco. Which seems quite odd, considering the amount of tobacco in 400 cigarettes or 100 cigars. 500g of tobacco seems really low in comparison. Bastards...

    Posted 3 years ago #
  15. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    [In reply to 'why bother']

    Because there are unique tobaccos in Europe that can't be had in the US. Not much different than someone paying much more than retail for a hard to find tobacco available in the US but isn't in stock ever.

    Of course, but that begs the question: what is so much better that it commands a big premium? (Just two or three examples if you would.)

    Posted 3 years ago #
  16. davet

    davet

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    what is so much better that it commands a big premium?

    Murray's Warrior Plug, Condor RR & Plug and St. Bruno. All wonderfully delicious and the only ones I will pay extra for.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  17. deathmetal

    deathmetal

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    Shoot, I've been watching air fare specials just to go grab some of those.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  18. cosmicfolklore

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    If it's loose cut, just pack it in a box with some glass salt shakers or cheap wine glasses, just call the tobacco packing material to keep the salt shakers from breaking.

    Michael
    Posted 3 years ago #
  19. pitchfork

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    what is so much better that it commands a big premium?

    Also, Velvan Plug and Yachtsman Plug. Yachtsman is probably my favorite at the moment.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  20. pipefish

    pipefish

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    what is so much better that it commands a big premium? (Just two or three examples if you would.)

    I've picked up a number of tins from various tobacco shops in Europe. And while many of them ship to the US I've already got the unopened tins in my possession. I also have Condor, Germain's Rich Dark Flake (closest to Stonehaven I'll probably ever get) and am considering ordering some Hu tobacco out of Germany to bring back.

    When I get the chance I will do as Andy says and do my homework. I'm going to call a few ports of entry in the US and see what limits they quote.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  21. deathmetal

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    Customs workers love treasure hunts. That's why they have those long latex gloves.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  22. pipefish

    pipefish

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    Finally did that homework Andy suggested and contacted a port of entry: Dallas-FW airport, to be exact.

    The authorities there said I can bring in a "reasonable amount" of pipe tobacco and that I should use my "common sense" when deciding how much to bring.

    Pipe tobacco...reasonable amount....common sense. Yeah, this guy definitely does not smoke a pipe.

    He said that as long as it appears to customs that the tobacco is for personal use or to give out as gifts to friends that there will be no problems. Problems arise, he said, when people bring in entire suitcases full of mostly tobacco products with a few clothing items mixed in.

    I tried to press him on what constitutes a "reasonable amount" and there does not appear to be any set standard. Which is amazing since there seems to be standard amounts of just about everything else. Makes me wonder how they determine a violation in the first place. I did explain that pipe tobacco tins usually contain about 2 oz per tin, and he said "Well, I suppose 10-15 of these things would be OK" but I'm not confident he knew exactly what he was talking about.

    My problem is that I've bought quite a bit of tobacco since moving to Europe a few years ago including some Hu blends I've yet to try. May have some hard decisions to make as to what stays and what goes on this next trip home.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  23. deathmetal

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    "As much as you can fit in your rectum and lower intestine, sir," said Customs helpfully.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  24. echie

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    I had the same experience as pipefish, where I couldn't find a clear limit. For reference, I ended bringing the items shown on http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/what-i-brought-over-to-the-us . My luggage was selected for an extra scan (because I was also bringing cats, so I'm automatically shortlisted), so I'm sure they saw the tins, but they didn't ask me open my luggage and just sent me on my way.

    Get Pipe Notebook for Android on the Play Store!
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    Posted 3 years ago #
  25. zekest

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    Watch the 1978 movie "Midnight Express" before conspiring to smuggle pipe tobacco out of, or into anywhere.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  26. pipefish

    pipefish

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    Thanks for the info echie. I remember your post and was going to ask how it went for you. Seems you had no problems. After checking out your photo and doing some approximations and some quick math it appears you brought roughly 56 oz/3.5 lbs of tobacco with you. A good haul, indeed!

    The ATF site quotes a tax of $2.8311 on one pound.

    It also seems that even if you had declared the tobacco you would have only paid around $10.00 in tax. Basically the cost of a tin but no worries of additional fines or confiscation.

    I've never declared anything on prior travels but it makes me wonder if I should do so this go-round and take a "better safe than sorry" approach.

    Posted 3 years ago #

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