St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands is famous for many things and shopping is no doubt at the top of the list. Travelers come from all over the world to enjoy duty free shopping for perfume, liquor, cameras, china, porcelain, crystal, imported clothing, leather goods, watches, jewelry, and gold, as well as crafts made by local artisans. Many of these items can be bought for 40 percent less than in the United States; liquor and cigarettes are often 60 percent less.
Charlotte Amalie boasts much of the finest duty-free shopping, especially on Waterfront and Main Streets. Restored seventeenth-century and eighteenth-century warehouses along the waterfront, which once held molasses, rum, spices, and other trade goods, now house a variety of unique shops.
US citizens are allowed a duty-free shopping quota of $1,200 - twice that of any other island in the Caribbean and three times that of European countries. A flat rate of five percent duty is charged on purchases over your $1,200 allowance, up to a maximum of $1,000 more. Besides your personal exemption, you can mail friends and relatives at home an unlimited number of gifts (other than perfume, liquor, or tobacco) worth $100 or less each.
There are many perfume shops in Charlotte Amalie including the world famous St. John's Bay Rum factory and store located in an old wharehouse right next to the cruise ship dock.