Ordinarily when one hears the word “customs” in regards to a wedding, you would imagine it would have to do with wedding traditions, however, that is not the “customs” I am referring to. I am talking about “customs” or FEES that are imposed on shipments of items into another country. Many times couples who are getting married abroad initially feel that shipping items to the location iseasier than bringing them with them on their flight. However, they soon realize this is not the case. Coming from a bride who had 5 EXTRA suitcases for my wedding, I can totally relate to wanting to not have to lug suitcases through an airport or worry that bags might get lost on route. However, once a bride hears what ‘customs’ can do and the rules about shipping items, many decide that packing extra suitcases is totally the way to go.
In many countries, you can’t simply ship your items to a resort or a hotel. You need to name a person that is willing to come to the airport and pay the taxes or custom levies on the items. This also means you need to list all the contents and the value before you package them. In the Bahamas, they issue a 35% DUTY and a 7% tax on the items. Other destinations have similar fees and taxes. Many hotels will not “front” the fees and do not pick up your items. I also have heard of many disappointed brides who arrive in their destination, only to realize that even when they had someone pick up and pay for the custom fees, that items were suddenly missing. In Mexico, it is strictly prohibited from shipping food items and alcohol and could result in complete confiscation of everything, regardless if other items were not on the “prohibited list”. Once you decide it is too much of a hassle to ship your items, make sure that when you pack your suitcases, you “spread” your items among your clothing. Should you have guests flying on the same flights, it is also best to have a guest bring one of your suitcases. Regardless if you are not intending to sell the items you bring into the other country (which you would explain to any customs official), they still limit the amount of items you carry with you. In other words, if you bring 9 suitcases, you might be stopped and your bags may be searched. Thankfully, I had 5 other people carry 1 extra suitcase each for me. We had no issues at all when we arrived in Turks and I simply stuffed the empty suitcases together to bring back.
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