Bahamas Tariffs, Duties, and Import Taxes

In 2003, the imports of goods and services were $1.53 billion; Major import trading partners: US 20.8%, South Korea 17.4%, Italy 11.4%, France 9.1%, Brazil 7.5%.

The Bahamian Government raises over 50% of its revenue from import tariffs or duties. The standard ad valorem tariff for imported goods is 35%, but a many items have their own duty rates. All duty rates are subject to change at a moment’s notice.

Bahamians residents shopping abroad are permitted to import $300 worth of goods, duty free, twice per year.

The Bahamas government also charges a 7% “stamp tax” on most imports.

fine cut tobacco210%
chewing tobaccoduty free
cigarettes210% and 7% stamp tax
bottled water70%
pool tables100%
room air conditioners35%
automobiles45 to 75%, based car book value
automobile parts and accessories35 – 50%
personal computersduty free
business computersduty free
stereo units25%
video tapes10%
plumbing supplies25%
wooden doors25%
concrete tiles35%
cementduty free

Customs Valuation: Most imported goods are valued based on their actual cost as evidenced by an invoice.  The Customs Department only honors discounts of up to three% given by U.S. exporters.  Customs officials determine the value of automobiles with reference to standard valuation guides.  Freight and shipping charges are included in the value assessed.

Import Licenses: Permits are required for imports of certain items.  Applications for permits should be made to the ministry indicated, as follows: Poultry, meats, vegetables, fruits, live plants and animals: Ministry of Agriculture; Medicines: Ministry of Health; Slot machines, trailers and caravans for living (temporary use only): Ministry of Finance; Firearms, fireworks, underwater guns other than Hawaiian slings: Commissioner of Police; and Precursor and essential chemicals: Customs Department.

Import/Export Documentation Requirements:  Entry forms are required by Bahamian Customs for goods coming by sea, air or post.  A genuine invoice (original or copy) is required.  Goods may be cleared through Customs without a proper invoice if the importer leaves a deposit (usually double the estimated duty) and agrees to present an invoice at a later time.