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Old March 21st, 2012, 01:57 AM
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Question Duty-free ship stores

Every time I read about a cruise ship's stores, they are all described as "duty-free" and that is advertised as the best thing about them. What on Earth does that mean?
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Old March 21st, 2012, 02:13 AM
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Duty free is essentially tax free...not just local sales tax. Many items get taxed by the government when imported into the country, then you add state tax and local taxes. On some items it could be 30% or more cheaper being duty-free. Most popular items are cigarettes and alcohol though someone who uses them often could give more examples.

Tax for a carton of cigarettes in New York 27.50
Tax in South Carolina 70cents

Depends where you live on how much savings you would see.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 08:36 AM
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Yep, cig are the biggest selling items there...but there is a limit on the number you can bring in. It's only a carton or two.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 02:49 PM
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I am not a smoker or drinker, but I have a rule to always collect postcards and also buy destination t-shirts.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 04:25 PM
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I always buy the postcards, too. Sometimes I get the t shirts.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 09:59 PM
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Duty Free goods were sold to the vendor without import or export duty added to the price.
In theory, he can then sell those goods to you without adding duty to the price you pay to him.
That's what normally happens.

This can be different from Tax Free Goods.
There are some locations where Duty Free goods are sold, but sales tax must be added to the final price. There are other places where Tax Free goods are sold, but duty is added to the price. This is all governed by local import and export laws.

Buying Duty Free - or Tax Free - goods does not mean you will not have to pay Duty or Taxes at some point or place.
It only means that the seller is selling them to you without adding any Duty or Tax at the point of sale.
When/if you try to take those Duty Free / Tax Free goods into another country, you may be required to pay duty or taxes according to the import laws and regulations of that particular country.

Buying Duty Free or Tax Free goods does not guarantee a good price for you. It only means that duty or tax are not added. It doesn't mean that the seller cannot add a 200% profit margin onto the price hs is asking.
Most Caribbean "Duty Free" shops are an example of this.
The shop owners know that naive cruisers are looking to buy things "Duty Free" in the islands to get a bargain. So they sell duty free, but the total price is higher than what you might pay at home.

Last edited by Bruce Chafkin1; March 22nd, 2012 at 10:06 PM.
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 08:28 AM
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So true, that is why it is always a good idea to know prices at home before you venture out on your cruise. Sometimes, there is some savings, other times not.
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Old May 25th, 2012, 09:22 PM
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I ONLY buy tee shirts and post cards .
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Old May 26th, 2012, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Future Cruiser View Post
Every time I read about a cruise ship's stores, they are all described as "duty-free" and that is advertised as the best thing about them. What on Earth does that mean?
Ships are duty free and tax free . That means that no duty is paid or taxes.
Example : If you buy something in Florida you will pay taxes that include state , federal and city. On board after they are at least 10 miles offshore
none of the above taxes will be collected . That's why ships stores don't open when in port so they don't have charge any tax including local taxes or duty. That doesn't mean that the ship shore won't increase the price anyway after all they do have to make a profit and pay their expenses.
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Old May 26th, 2012, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamloops Cruiser View Post
Ships are duty free and tax free . That means that no duty is paid or taxes.
Example : If you buy something in Florida you will pay taxes that include state , federal and city. On board after they are at least 10 miles offshore
none of the above taxes will be collected . That's why ships stores don't open when in port so they don't have charge any tax including local taxes or duty. That doesn't mean that the ship shore won't increase the price anyway after all they do have to make a profit and pay their expenses.
It's interesting to note also, that while the ship is docked in port and you make a purchase at the bar, you will see sales tax added. At least I have in the past. Don't know if this is still going on.
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Old May 27th, 2012, 09:48 AM
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Yes noticed when we where in Hawaii on the Sapphire.
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Old August 29th, 2012, 02:40 AM
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What kind of this store is there we can purchase duty free ship's if yes then how we can purchase duty free ships because this is in under of government who import these ships i red out Aerospace and Bruf cafkin's posts and i am agreed but i have one question that what kind of store display that they have display in front of their ship shop's to show off the peoples......
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