CURRENCY. The dollar is divided into 100 cents. There are bills (banknotes) of $1, $2 (rare), $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. The larger denominations are not in general circulation. All bills are the same shape and colour, thus foreigners may not be able to tell them apart easily.
The coins are 1 cent (1 or penny), 5 cents (or a nickel), 10 cents (dime) and 25 cents (quarter). You may also see a half-dollar or the new Susan B. Anthony dollar.
CUSTOMS and ENTRY FORMALITIES. To enter the United States, foreign visitors need a valid passport and a visitor’s visa, which can be obtained at any U.S. embassy or consulate. They must also fill out customs declaration forms before arriving (usually distributed in the 109 (aircraft during flight). The following chart shows which items visitors may bring into the U.S. duty-free (returning residents are subject to different regulations).
A non-resident may claim, free of duty and taxes, articles up to $100 in value for use as gifts for other persons if the gifts accompany you, if you stay 72 hours or more and have not claimed this exemption within the preceding 6 months. 100 cigars may be included within this gift exemption (New York State imposes a tax on alcoholic beverages which exceed 1 U.S. quart, however).
Plants and foodstuffs also are subject to strict control; visitors from abroad may not import fruits, vegetables or meat. The same goes for chocolates that contain liqueur.
Arriving and departing passengers must report any money or cheques, etc. exceeding a total of $5,000.
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