Entering Peru is a straightforward process for most tourists, whether arriving at Lima airport or entering Peru overland from a neighboring country. In many cases, it’s a simple matter of filling out a Tarjeta Andina tourist card and presenting your passport to the immigration officials.
One thing that can be both time consuming and costly, however, is the issue of Peru’s customs regulations. Before you go to Peru, it’s good to know what you can pack without being hit by any additional duties.
Basic Items Free from Peruvian Customs Duties
According to SUNAT (the Peruvian administrative body in charge of taxation and customs), travelers can take the following items to Peru without paying any customs duties upon arrival:
- clothing and accessories for personal use
- toiletries for personal use
- medicines for personal use.
- one unit or set of sporting goods for personal use
- books, magazines and printed documents
- suitcases, bags and other containers that contain the traveler’s belongings
- one portable electric appliance for the hair (for example, a hair dryer or hair straighteners)
- one electric shaver
- one wind or string instrument (must be portable)
- one radio, or one CD player, or one stereo system (the latter must be portable and not be for professional use)
- up to a maximum of twenty CDs
- one camera or digital camera.
- one camcorder that is not for professional use
- one portable DVD player
- one videogame console
- up to 10 rolls of photographic film; one external hard drive; two memory cards for a digital camera, camcorder and/or videogame console; two USB memory sticks; 10 videocassettes for a portable camcorder; 10 DVD or videogame discs
- one handheld electronic calendar/organizer
- one laptop with power source
- two cell phones
- one portable electronic calculator
- up to 20 packs of cigarettes or fifty cigars or 250 grams of rolling tobacco
- up to three liters of liquor (with the exception of pisco)
- any necessary medical aid or equipment for disabled travelers (such as a wheelchair or crutches)
- one pet! You (and your pet) must obviously jump through a few additional hoops before being allowed into the country
- other goods for use or consumption by the traveler or to be given as gifts (as long as they are not intended as trade items, and as long as the combined value does not exceed US$500)
Peru’s customs regulations can change without much warning (and some customs officials seem to have their own ideas about the exact regulations), so treat the above information as a solid guideline rather than an infallible law. The information will be updated if/when any changes occur on the SUNAT website.
If you are carrying goods to be declared, you must fill out a Baggage Declaration form and present it to the relevant customs officer. You will need to pay a customs fee as determined by an evaluation officer. The officer will determine a minimum value of all articles (those not exempt from customs duties) upon which a customs charge of 20% will be applied. If the combined value of all articles exceeds US$1,000, the customs rate increases to 30%.