- Don't rely on friends and shopkeepers for advice on what items "will clear Customs". Instead, obtain this information directly from the U.S. Customs Service.
- Declare "duty free items", even if purchased in "duty-free" stores.
- Do not attempt to bring unauthorized fruits, meats, and dairy products into the United States without first checking whether they are permitted.
- Know the difference between goods for personal use vs. commercial use.
- Know the difference between prohibited merchandise (such as ivory, tortoise shell products, absinthe, and counterfeit items) and restricted merchandise.
- Be aware that many foreign manufactured items are not FDA-approved and, consequently, cannot be brought into the U.S. Also, when traveling abroad, bring only the amount of medication you'll need during the trip.
- Do not attempt to return with Cuban cigars, unless they were purchased in Cuba while on authorized travel.
- Know the rules governing the $800 exemption on goods brought back from abroad.
- By law, Customs officers have the authority to conduct enforcement examinations without a warrant, ranging from a single luggage examination up to and possibly including a personal search.
Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service