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May 16, 2005 09:21 PM

Wine from France to US?

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Will we be able to bring bottles of wine back with us from Paris?


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  1. You may bring back up to 1 litre of wine per person duty-free from France. Customs officials will usually not blink if two people bring back three 750mL bottles. After that, you must pay duty and tax on it, and the last I checked, the levy on alcohol is ten percent. Get a receipt.

    DO NOT LIE TO THE CUSTOMS AGENTS. They are empowered to confiscate your wine and, if necessary, arrest you. Trust me when I tell you that an airport brig is not a friendly, happy place.

    Declare all your wine, and have your receipts, and be prepared to explain why you have so much. In theory, they are supposed to charge you the levy on everything over your litre per person (even if you are still below your $400 per person duty-free allowance), but I once brought a case back, declared it, and wasn't charged a penny.

    Remember that wine is HEAVY. The liquid alone in a standard bottle of wine weighs over a pound and a half, and the bottle adds at least another pound, more if it's leaded glass.

    Your biggest issue will be not with the customs agents, but with the airport check-in clerks in Paris, who will charge you a ridiculous amount of money for overweight baggage, even carry-on.