Living in Grenada for the last 4 years - I have small shipments of mail, bills, elecronics, etc. sent down my US Postal Priority Mail. You need a marina or business address in Grenada. FedEx and DHL are very fast and can get packages, etc. down here in 2 to 3 days but the US Postal method takes about one to 3 weeks for half to a fourth of the costs of the FedEx/DHL services. You can look up on the US Postal Service
website the "flat rate" international charges for as much as you can stuff into a flat packet or small standard box that they sell. A very good deal if you do not need the stuff "next day." If the packet only contains mail you do not need a broker and just need to go to the main post office to collect the packet and get it inspected. Sometimes they simply send it through directly to your Grenada mail address if they think there is nothing else in the packet.
- - As to actual procedures - For FedEx/DHL they provide the "customs broker services" for a fee and all you have to do is provide a Customs
Clearance C-14 document showing you to be a "vessel in transit." The service is fast, convenient, and costly.
- - The US Postal (and probably also the UK and EU postal services) Priority procedures are similar but a lot less convenient and a lot less expensive. After package arrival in Grenada, the main post office in the Carenage will send a notice to your Grenada address that they are holding a package for you. You then go to Customs with your boat documents/clearances and get a C-14 from them. You will need at least 4 copies of the invoices for whatever is in the package other than mail/bills.
- - You then have to go to the Post Office, have the package open and inspected and then take the invoices, etc. around outside the post office to the back where half a dozen or so independent "brokers" sit along the wall. You negotiate a fee and they will prepare the official Customs clearance papers which you take to the Customs House upon whose wall they are sitting. An hour or two in the Customs House later you will be told to pay the Custom's Fee (which is a variable but about 2.5% of the CIF on the stuff inside the package.) Then you take the documents given back to you to "your broker" who arranges them and sends you into the Post Office to collect your package and also pay a Post Office fee for the privilege
of getting your package.
- - All tolled the procedure - if items of value are in the package - takes about 2 to 3 hours and about EC$60 to 80 dollars (about US$20-30 dollars). An alternative is to have a local business servicing boaters like Island Water
World handle everything for you which adds a few days to the process and costs maybe twice what doing it yourself costs.
- - Recapping for a simple mail packet with nothing of value inside US Postal Priority only costs the US Postal fees
which are about US$25 (you can look it up on the web). FedEx/DHL are fast, reliable, and about three times more expensive.
- - For parts
or items with value, FedEx/DHL get really expensive as the weight increases. For shipping
a 55 lb (25Kilo) items I was quoted US$450 which exceeded the value of the item. US Postal is very inexpensive comparatively but take weeks.
- - For very large/heavy items Tropical Freight is the way to go. My 55 lb item cost a total of US$95 for shipping and EC$100 (US$37) for clearance.