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Old 18-04-2014, 20:04   #1
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Expensive Medication and Customs in Bahamas, Leeward Islands, and Windward Islands

Hello,

Does anyone have any experience with carrying expensive medications into the Bahamas, any of the Leeward Islands, or the Westward Islands?

I am insulin-dependent diabetic. Should I be concerned about customs officials confiscating my insulin or other supplies? Should I be concerned with high import duties?


Thanks in advance,

Seth
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Old 18-04-2014, 20:17   #2
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Re: Expensive Medication and Customs in Bahamas, Leeward Islands, and Windward Island

I'm not diabetic but I carry several prescription meds into the Bahamas whenever I go. Nobody ever asks about them.
Import duty does not apply to ship's stores if you are cruising in the Bahamas. It only applies if you are "importing" items off the boat into the islands.
There can be exceptions such as the number of cartons of cigarettes you are allowed to bring in, but in my experience that is usually applied to tourists arriving by plane, not personal yacht.

You'll have to ask somebody else about the Windward and Leewards islands.
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Old 18-04-2014, 20:33   #3
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Re: Expensive Medication and Customs in Bahamas, Leeward Islands, and Windward Island

My wife flew in and out of St. Lucia several times carrying her own expensive meds and both of us flew in and out of St. Martin. They were not in the least worried about prescription meds and didnt even search our bags or anyone we ever saw. As above, they have rules on booze and cigarettes, so obey those and you should be OK

In general, all these islands make their living from tourism. They want you to feel happy and welcome. They are not into the police state thing. Sure, some of them have silly bureaucracy for boaters but none of that applies if you fly.

And as for customs for boats, we were in and out of most of the islands all the way down the chain to St. Vincent and NOT ONCE did any customs guy set foot on our boat. In fact, they usually didnt even look out at the bay to see that there WAS a boat. Sometimes they didnt even have a view of the bay. The closest they ever came was in the Bahamas where the nice customs lady asked us to come sit at a picnic table in the shade to do the paperwork where it was more comfortable.

If you smile and try to follow their rules they won't give you a hard time.
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Old 19-04-2014, 12:31   #4
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Re: Expensive Medication and Customs in Bahamas, Leeward Islands, and Windward Island

Thank you Mike and sck5.
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Old 19-04-2014, 12:50   #5
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Re: Expensive Medication and Customs in Bahamas, Leeward Islands, and Windward Island

seth, as long as the meds are in the original packaging and accompanied by the proper RX, you should have no problem.

Meds that have been "condensed" out of bulky packaging, or meds that are not accompanied by the original RX label on them, might be questioned as "drugs".
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Old 20-04-2014, 11:23   #6
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Re: Expensive Medication and Customs in Bahamas, Leeward Islands, and Windward Island

We never had anyone question my wife's prescription drugs when crusing the Windwards and Leewards. When we lived on Nevis, we had Rx drugs sent down by mail and the customs people didn't blink an eye. There were no customs duties on prescription drugs.
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