Tourist information on the customs allowances for tourists arriving into Italy from the USA, the United Kingdom and other countries, as well as information on what you can bring back with you when you leave Italy to return to your home country.
It's a best practice to keep all the receipts of your purchases, so that you can answer to any public official who tries to overtax the items you have purchased. If you feel a duty is incorrect you can appeal the fee you paid, or if you do not agree with the way your clearance has been handled, take the badge number of the assistant and ask to speak to their supervisor or guest relations manager.
But, don't worry! In the majority of the Italian cities you'll find some information points, where you can claim a refund of the sales tax you paid on your purchases made in Italy. Sales tax in Italy is of 20%, so if you have made more than one big purchase, you can have a pretty good refund. So, remember to save the receipts!
Find here below some allowances for tourists arriving into Italy:
For all tourists arriving into Italy from outside the European community
Goods purchased outside the European community, or purchased in duty-free shops. The following allowances apply to travellers arriving into Italy from outside the European community: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, 2 litres of table wine or 1 litre of alcohol.
When travelling across the countries of the European community, there are no customs to pass through. But, if you are planning to carry a large quantity of goods you should check the up-to-date European community regulations.
Travelling from Italy to the USA
USA citizens may bring back up to 400 USD worth foreign goods brought in duty-free shops if they have been outside the country for at least 48 hours (and if they haven't used the 400 USD allowance in the previous 30 days). USA citizens over 21 years old can bring back 1 litre of alcohol bought in duty-free shops. In addition, regardless of your age, you can bring back 200 cigarettes or 100 non-Cuban cigars bought in duty-free shops. Antiques, classified as more than 100 years old by USA customs, can be bought in duty-free shops. The same rule applies for handmade original works of art.
You can also send a maximum of one-per-day-allowed package of up to a value of 200 USD to home. You need to label the package with “Personal Use”, but it's not legal to send perfume, cigarettes or cigars with this method. Mailed items do not affect your duty-free allowance.
Tip - If you have purchased expensive items (jewellery & clothing), throw away the packaging, and where possible, try to wear them. Usually, the customs public officials are more interested in your luggage than what you put on. In case, remember that you can say “I bought it last time I was in Italy”. Counterfeit items purchased in Italy, like “false” Gucci bags for sale from peddlers, may look like a good bargain costing 15 EUR, or less. But, if the customs public officials catch you with one of these items, the fine will amount to more than what you would have paid for the legitimate item in a “true” Gucci store.
Travelling from Italy to the United Kingdom or other European countries
If your journey was wholly within the European community, you will not have to pass through customs. But, if you are planning to carry a large quantity of goods you should check the up-to-date European community regulations.