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Take Advantage of Duty-Free Shopping

St. Croix 100 - #80 Duty FreeThose of you who have been to St. Croix can attest that it truly is America’s paradise. Visitors come to enjoy the sun, the sandy beaches, and the turquoise Caribbean waters the island offers. Many also imbibe in the rum produced at our local distilleries, spend time shopping, and enjoy the charming historical towns and forts of Frederiksted and Christiansted. While you are out and about doing your shopping, don’t forget to take advantage of the duty-free allowances you are afforded by visiting the U.S.V.I.

U.S. residents visiting the island of St. Croix, including children, can return to the mainland with $1,600 worth of duty-free imports every thirty days. If you go over your $1,600 allowance, U.S.V.I. purchases are dutiable at a flat rate of 6% on the next $1,000 worth of goods. This duty-free allowance will come in handy once you start shopping. St. Croix has two historic, waterfront towns offering a variety of fine and artisan jewelry stores, local art galleries, stylish boutiques and every flavor of rum you can imagine. From the quintessential Crucian hook bracelets to high end diamond and gem jewelry, fine art paintings from local artists  to hand-carved mahogany sculptures, there is something for everyone. Find unique gifts to take home for your friends and family, or splurge on something for yourself to remember St. Croix.

For all you rum drinkers out there, I have great news! 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 at one of St. Croix’s rum distilleries. I personally recommend that you take a distillery tour, do a little rum tasting to find out what you like, and then purchase your bottles of liquor at the distillery’s visitor center. I know from firsthand experience that at the Cruzan Rum Visitor’s Center they will wrap up your bottles of rum and pack them into a sturdy, cardboard carrying box with a handle. This is perfect because you carry the box just as it is to the airport and when you check it in the airlines, customs, and TSA all know how to handle and screen the box and its delicious contents. Even better, the carrying box does NOT count as an additional piece of luggage, so you won’t have to pay extra to take it home with you.

Two Rum Distilleries, 39 Flavors of Rum!

When you come visit, make sure to leave a little room in your suitcase so you can take back some reminders of your time on St. Croix. I hope you have an amazing visit and that you take advantage of the duty-free allowance to take some special souvenirs home for yourself, your family and your friends. In addition to the traditional hook bracelets (and all manner of other gorgeous jewelry available here on the island), I have found that 8″ x 10″ sized pieces of local art, and rum travel well and make great gifts. Have fun shopping, and thank you for buying locally and supporting St. Croix!

– Jennie Ogden, Editor


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