If your return from NZ includes another hop after you reach the USA, read on!
I wanted to bring Manuka Honey from New Zealand. So I purchased Duty Free at Auckland Airport. They had a sign up with a list of countries that you can’t bring honey into. Which is very important when you’re about to drop $100 on honey. So I confidently made my purchase after confirming with multiple shop assistants that I was flying direct to the USA mainland. No problem!
Stand by for the catch. I made it into San Francisco with no issues. But… then in the security line for Seattle, I realized…. This isn’t going to work! Even more so if you have a couple of bottles of liquor in tow.
If you buy duty free liquids in NZ, they must be in a clear, sealed bag to get through USA airport security. Bring the receipt for back-up.
My honey was not packed that way. The rules in a USA airport are not likely to be replicated in an airport on the other side of the world. My duty free was in an unsealed paper bag!
A supervisor let me bring it through after a lot of discussion, but it was very touch-and-go. I wouldn’t risk it again. The alternative: pack your duty-free into your checked suitcase after you clear US customs.