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Old 06-09-2011, 14:17   #1
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Shipping to Antigua

Has anyone had any experience shipping boat spares and personal goods from the U.S. to Antigua? I need advice on both shipping methods and customs / duties policies. I've dealt with freight consolidators, LCL shipments, ocean cargo companies (Tropical, CaribTrans), brokers, etc, before, but only on shipments between the U.S. and U.S. islands. Any suggestions?
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:56   #2
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Re: Shipping to Antigua

My advice would be - don't do it. Ship to St. Martin instead, where there are good facilities and no import duties or tariffs or customs hassles to deal with. I shipped a number of things there and my pickup fees were US$15 for about 200Kg of cases. Sailing from Antigua to St. Martin is only a day and that time is well-spent in avoiding the potential pitfalls of having to pay duties in Antigua.

I had good experiences with CaribTrans in Phillipsburg.
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Old 11-09-2011, 20:29   #3
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Re: Shipping to Antigua

Zanshin has the best advice, but if that is not possible then all the shipping outfits also service Antigua but you would have to deal with the customs paperwork. Also a new outfit I found is "Amerijet Freight" which air freights stuff from the USA (Florida) to the islands for a fraction of the UPS/DHL/FedEx prices.
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Old 11-09-2011, 20:44   #4
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Re: Shipping to Antigua

These are 2 yacht suppliers in florida that can handle ANY part you need along with supplies and such. The do mega yachts and private residents. They can handle shipping ANY WHERE in the world for you. They know what needs to be done and can work on the paper work for you. Just tell them that were you need to ship and they can include the correct invoice for customs and such. I have used both for over 12 years.

National Marine Suppliers - Yacht Supplies, Yacht Provisions, Fuel Bunkers, Yacht Chandlers

Yacht Chandlers Marine Supplies | Provisions | Parts | Fuel
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:39   #5
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Re: Shipping to Antigua

The "outbound" paperwork is not a problem. All you need is are invoices for the items in the shipment which virtually all marine supply stores can supply. West Marine ships their stuff to anywhere in the world as does Defender and even "mom & pop" marine stores. Marine Warehouse in Miami is an excellent outfit for getting just about anything for your small or medium size sail/power boat and will ship it to your location world-wide.
- - The hassles arise on the receiving end. There are islands and countries that do not recognize "Vessel-In-Transit" exceptions for Customs Duties and will charge you from 10% to 100% or more on the value of the shipment and the costs of shipping and insurance. There are other islands/countries that are "free-ports" or do recognize "Vessel-In-Transit" and will not charge you Duty on the shipment.
- - Places like the US Virgins/Puerto Rico are part of the USA so shipments from the USA can be sent via US Postal Service or UPS or whatever and the whole operation is considered "inside the borders of the USA" so there is no complications about "Customs Duties" what-so-ever.
- - There are islands/countries like Sint Maarten that are "free-ports" and the inbound paperwork and duties are negligible or non-existent.
- - There are islands/countries like Trinidad, Grenada, and others that recognize "Vessel-In-Transit" where you can avoid the Customs Duty on the items shipped but paperwork must be filed according to their procedures and that usually involves employing an "agent."
- - And then there are islands/countries like the D.R. and others where they charge you Customs Duty and "fees" that can double or triple the cost of the item shipped to you. These situations are to be avoided at all costs by making sure you have "spare parts" onboard to get you and your vessel to a more economical place to receive parts. There are "work-arounds" and techniques to ameliorate the problems and costs of getting parts in these places that you can learn from those cruisers who are long-timers there.
- - In "inbound" paperwork can only be done inside the receiving island/country and if the opportunity to move the boat to a neighboring island/country with simple or no hassles, it is very much "worth" the effort especially with large, expensive or heavy items.
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:16   #6
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Re: Shipping to Antigua

I shipped an entire container full to Sint Maarten two years ago. Remember, you shouldn't pay sails tax on stuff you buy in the US if it is being shipped off-shore. The tax I didn't pay paid for the shipping. I also shipped a life raft from Miami to Sint Maarten by air freight. The shipping was $325 but again, I didn't pay sales tax in Florida that would have been over $200. There was a $25 pickup fee + a taxi ride to the airport. Don't send stuff by US Postal Express as it takes a tour of the Caribbean before arriving in Sint Maarten and can take a month to arrive - use FEDEx - their office is on Simpson Lagoon and you can get there by dinghy.
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:56   #7
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Re: Shipping to Antigua

Has anyone used Janes Yacht Service fore shipping in Antigua?

http://www.yachtservices.ag/services.html#courier


We have some electronics we want to get sent to us. Namely a digital camera, iphone, and som video game cartridges for the kids. Also have a new ditch bag. Should I have all the packaging removed and toss the stuff in a box so it is not "new"?

Were in St. Kitts now waiting for x-mas trades to lie down a bit before going up to Antigua. Yes I know St Martin is a better choice but its also 80 miles downwind...
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:00   #8
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Re: Shipping to Antigua

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Demeter View Post
Has anyone used Janes Yacht Service fore shipping in Antigua?
Services - Jane's Yacht Services, English Harbour, Antigua, West Indies

We have some electronics we want to get sent to us. Namely a digital camera, iphone, and som video game cartridges for the kids. Also have a new ditch bag. Should I have all the packaging removed and toss the stuff in a box so it is not "new"?

Were in St. Kitts now waiting for x-mas trades to lie down a bit before going up to Antigua. Yes I know St Martin is a better choice but its also 80 miles downwind...
Generally, if the island like Antigua is not a "freeport" like St Maarten (Dutch St Martin) you will have to pay customs duty on anything and everything you have shipped to you from outside the island country.

"Not new" does not make any difference. The exception is if you ship a ship's part outbound from the island country for repair or warranty service -and - you get a document from the island country's customs office verifying that the item was sent for repair/warranty then you can avoid the inbound "duty."

If the island recognizes "Vessel in Transit" - and not all island countries do - then you can use an agent to get the item admitted without or with minimal duty providing the "paperwork" is done correctly.

But generally in some cases where you may be able to reduce or eliminate the "customs duty" you will still need to pay fees on "CIF" or the cost of shipping/freight and any insurance on the shipment. These are not normally very much. Plus add in the Customs Broker Fees - those can get expensive.

Each year we were in the Caribbean we would make trips to the US Virgins; St Maarten; and/or Trinidad to get our "packages" from home shipped to us without the hassles and expenses of the various "customs duty, agent fees, etc. imposed by the other countries. There are some "nefarious" ways to reduce the value and subsequently the customs duty/fees but those take some extra "arranging."
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Old 08-01-2013, 20:50   #9
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Re: Shipping to Antigua

Based on my experience of trying to ship through Antigua using an Agent: DO NOT DO IT! Your 'agent' will be interested only in collecting daily storage fees while they sit on the paperwork; the customs and port authorities in Antigua are legendary for their obstructiveness; and you will end up waiting a long time for what you shipped and paying every day for the pleasure of not having it, then getting a lovely surprise at the new 'value' of the things you have shipped and the amount of duty required to cover it.

In my opinion, Antigua is easily the most difficult Customs to deal with in the whole Caribbean.

It is worth sailing to another island to collect shipped items.
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Old 10-01-2013, 18:48   #10
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Re: Shipping to Antigua

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Demeter View Post
Has anyone used Janes Yacht Service fore shipping in Antigua?

Services - Jane's Yacht Services, English Harbour, Antigua, West Indies


We have some electronics we want to get sent to us. Namely a digital camera, iphone, and som video game cartridges for the kids. Also have a new ditch bag. Should I have all the packaging removed and toss the stuff in a box so it is not "new"?

Were in St. Kitts now waiting for x-mas trades to lie down a bit before going up to Antigua. Yes I know St Martin is a better choice but its also 80 miles downwind...
Think you need to review your sailing plans.... your 25+ mile to Antigua will normally be a hell of a lot harder than an 80 mile sail to St. Martin and will take you about the same time. Basically the "preferred" sail plan to get from St. Kitts / Nevis to Antigua is to first go to Guadeloupe 35 miles then tack back to Antigua 40 miles.

If you need to pick up a shipment the only reasonable location would be the easy shot back into St. Maaren... just saying do it the easiest way for you the boat and your crew. St. Kitts to Antigua is not a fun trip. From Antigua to St. Kits is an easy shot in the opposite direction.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:18   #11
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We have other reasons for getting to Antigua. Planning to leave from Nevis via the narrows tomorrow am. Yes it's a 50 mile beat. Breeze is supposed to back down to 10-15 so well give it a shot. We can always bear off and go to Guadeloupe if we want.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:06   #12
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Re: Shipping to Antigua

Demete - have you gone through the Narrows before? There are a couple of places there with barely submerged rocks (all charted) so beware. I usually end up starting the slog by heading around Nevis but then I've got miles and miles of fishpots to avoid and usually a worse angle to the wind. Have Fun!
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:23   #13
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Have not been though the narrows before but have studied paper and electronic charts and have GPS. Will likely take south channel and make a point to stay in deepest water. Thanks.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:19   #14
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Re: Shipping to Antigua

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Demeter View Post
Has anyone used Janes Yacht Service fore shipping in Antigua?

Services - Jane's Yacht Services, English Harbour, Antigua, West Indies


We have some electronics we want to get sent to us. Namely a digital camera, iphone, and som video game cartridges for the kids. Also have a new ditch bag. Should I have all the packaging removed and toss the stuff in a box so it is not "new"?

Were in St. Kitts now waiting for x-mas trades to lie down a bit before going up to Antigua. Yes I know St Martin is a better choice but its also 80 miles downwind...
Winter of 2011 one of our friends just had to have his I-pad (never mind that we had all just spent several weeks in St. Martin). Jane's was used and I recall he spent over well over $200 in fees alone.
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Old 12-01-2013, 12:19   #15
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Re: Shipping to Antigua

Got this from Janes, 10 minutes after I emailed them:


The clearance fee for one consignment is usually US$77.We prefer to use DHL or Fed Ex as they don't get lost.

Please mark it "Yacht in transit" and put the nameof the yacht on.

When you arrive please come and sign a set of duty-freewarrants and bring your entry document so we can clear it out duty free.

Regards,

Jane Midson

Jane's Yacht Services

English Harbour,

Antigua, West Indies



My parents sent a package via fed ex due to arrive on the 20th. We arrived this am after an 8hr motorsail from Nevis. I know its not the "preferred route" but it was pretty straight forward to me. Found our way through the Narrows early this mornign and by 2pm we were clearing customs in Jolly Harbor. Anchored now in Jolly enjoying the fastes free wifi we have found yet! I will report on the experience with Janes and the fees.
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