I plan to ship my high-value (> 10,000 USD) brand new personal computer (if it does not fit my luggage) from Europe to the USA. I live in the US, but when I will come back to the UK, I would bring back my computer with me.

  • Will there be any US customs duty to pay?
  • Do I have to make any customs declaration if I either I bring it in my checked in luggage or have it shipped?
  • There are apparently no taxes or duties for computers imported from the EU into the US. However, if you don't take appropriate measures, you will be charged VAT when importing it back into the EU. Where are you actually resident? How long will the computer stay in the US? What will happen after you bring it back to the EU?
    – jcaron
    Aug 28, 2018 at 16:22
  • Are you relocating, and relocating back? In that case, we can transfer your question to Expatriates which is the best location for questions related to where you settle.
    – gerrit
    Aug 28, 2018 at 16:27
  • Thanks for your response. I am an US resident and will live here for the next 1-2 years. When I come back to EU, I will still keep on using it as my personal computer. What appropriate measures do you suggest please?
    – John Atal
    Aug 28, 2018 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


If you are relocating, be careful with shipping. Make sure that, in both directions, you use a proper relocation company. They will know the right type of forms to use, to prevent you from paying duties on personal items you're simply taking with you back and forth.

I moved from the EU to Canada and back to the EU after about 1½ year. I used a relocation company in both directions, to relocate my goods. In particular on the way back, there forms to fill, in particular on goods I had acquired in the past 6, 12, or 24 months (IIRC) in Canada. I think I had to declare that all other goods, I owned already before I moved to Canada. For my computer, I could have provided evidence, but they didn't ask. If I had acquired goods while in Canada I would have had to pay import duties on them, depending on how recently I acquired them. I don't recall the details.

Someone I know moved from the EU to the USA and back to the EU after about 2½ years. She used a local parcel company to send her stuff back to the EU. Upon arrival, she was charged with significant import duties, which he dutifully paid, even though it was mostly stuff she already owned before moving to the USA.

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