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Customs and Duty-Free

Customs and Duty-Free

U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

All passengers traveling from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the continental United States and Puerto Rico must prove their identity, and may be examined by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers prior to boarding the plane. You will also need to declare any goods that you or any of your family members acquired while on the island, including gifts. In order to make the CBP examination process as sooth and expeditious as possible, you will want to have you and your family members proof of identity easily accessible, and know what items you need to declare, so that you are ready for the CBP officer at the booth. Here is the travel documentation you will need to have available:

U.S. Citizens:

For U.S. Citizens and and Lawful Permanent Residents it is always recommended that you travel with your passport if you have one, since it is the easiest document to present anywhere you go. But, because St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John are U.S. territories, a passport is NOT required when travelling here.  If you, or someone you are travelling with, do not have a passport then you are required to present a U.S. federal or state-issued photo identification document (such as a Driver’s License, Military ID, Government ID, or CBP Trusted Traveler Card), as well as an original or certified copy of your birth certificate with a raised seal (a social security card will not suffice).  Please note that beginning on October 1, 2020, every traveler must present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, or another acceptable form of identification, to fly within the United States and US territories.  You can learn more about this new requirements here on the Department of Homeland Security’s website:


For U.S. Citizen children ages 15 and under arriving by land or sea from a contiguous territory you must present an original or certified copy of their birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Naturalization Certificate.  If the child is a newborn and the actual birth certificate has not arrived from the Vital Records Department, CBP will accept a hospital issued birth certificate. Because of the increasing incidents of child abductions and disputed custody cases, CBP strongly recommends that unless the child is accompanied by both parents, the adult have a note from the child’s other parent (or, in the case of a child traveling with other family members, friends, or in groups, a note signed by both parents) stating: ‘I acknowledge that my wife/husband/etc. is traveling out of the country with my son/daughter/group. He/She/They has/have my permission to do so.’ Please make sure you have proper identification and documentation for any children traveling with you or CBP will not allow you to proceed through customs!

Non-U.S. Citizens:

If you are a non-U.S. Citizen traveling to or from the U.S. Virgin Islands, a passport from your country of origin is required. Additionally, all non-U.S. Citizens will be required to present current and valid traveling and identification documents showing evidence of their immigration status.

Duty-Free Allowances:

We have duty-free shopping on St. Croix so you can buy lots of goodies. Any U.S. resident, including children, can return (or mail) to the mainland $1,600 worth of duty-free imports every thirty days. If you go over your $1,600 allowance, THANK YOU! Okay, seriously, if you go over your allowance, Virgin Islands purchases are dutiable at a flat rate of 6% on the next $1,000. U.S. residents over the age of 21 can return with five bottles of liquor duty-free, or six if one of the bottles is locally produced, such as local favorite Cruzan Rum. You cannot take plants in soil to the mainland, but you can take many of our fruits. Feel free to call the Department of Agriculture at (340) 778-1696 with any questions.

For more information:

You will find the most up-to-date information on travel requirements and duty-free allowances from the U.S. Virgin Islands on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website at, or call (340) 773-1490 if you have any specific questions.

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