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Old 05-02-2014, 16:34   #1
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Shipping to Georgetown

What is the best way to get stuff to Georgetown in the Exumas from St Brendans Isle? There will be our mail, a Sailrite order and a Groco head rebuild kit.

Some sailors in the Bahamas talk about paying duty, others say duty can be avoided by showing the cruising permit.

What is the scoop?

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Old 05-02-2014, 16:54   #2
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Re: Shipping to Georgetown

My info is 10 years old so take it with a grain... back then you shipped it in by air and (boat skipper) had to go to the airport to retrieve it. If you had the cruising permit and claimed "vessel in transit" you could be duty free.
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Old 05-02-2014, 17:14   #3
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Re: Shipping to Georgetown

Depends on the customs officer. If you're not in too much of a hurry when you get to GT ask what's the best carrier then. It varies from time to time. Usually if you have your cruising permit and the number is on the shipment there's no duty. As I said go on the net and ask. Channel 68. You'll get a hundred opinions. Actually the taxi drivers (they own the cabs and are the most helpful guys going for info re shipments and passengers) are the best guys to ask.
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Old 05-02-2014, 17:51   #4
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Re: Shipping to Georgetown

I had to get an engine fresh water pump from ft lauderdale to marsh harbor. The yard faxed a copy of my cruising permit to the supplier in ft lauderdale who attached it to the package and it came through duty free.

St brendans does a lot of shipping to the bahamas. You might want to check their website or email them the question....

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Old 06-02-2014, 18:52   #5
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Re: Shipping to Georgetown

There are shipping companies in Florida that specialize in sending things over for bahamians
Don't be surprised if you still get billed for duty even if your package is plastered all over with copies of your cruising permit.
You can always fly to Nassau and argue with them about it.
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Old 08-02-2014, 11:35   #6
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Re: Shipping to Georgetown

Thanks for advice everyone. We are finalizing our orders and will make the final decision regarding shipping when we get to Georgetown. I will post back to this thread with the results.

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Old 09-02-2014, 12:44   #7
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Re: Shipping to Georgetown

So much depends on the individual customs officer. Go to the airport and talk to them before you ship!
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Old 11-02-2014, 21:14   #8
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I'm curious to hear the result.
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Old 11-02-2014, 23:00   #9
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Re: Shipping to Georgetown

St. Brendan's should be able to tell you, probably better than anyone, plus they'd know the best way to send it. They do it all the time and have the experience.
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:13   #10
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Re: Shipping to Georgetown

I have been talking to people here in Georgetown. The biggest problem seems to be import duty. Whether you pay it or not can be hit and miss. We have anout $1000 in stuff coming so this is important to us.

I went to Top II Bottom. It looks like they handle shipments like this a lot and act as a customs agent to ensure the duty is not charged. They need the cruising permit and did emphasize the importance of putting "S/V Sea Change" on the first line. There is also a 10% fee.

We are waiting for the Sailrite and Defender orders to arrive at St Brendans Isle. When they get there I will discuss with them as well.
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Old 19-02-2014, 13:23   #11
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Re: Shipping to Georgetown

svseachange
I find myself in the same situation however will be meeting my boat there in the next few weeks for our trip back north and want to bring down some supplies. nothing particularly expensive but was wondering if I bring items in my luggage and have a copy of my boat clearance papers if that would not provide me with a YIT status and therefore be duty free?
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Old 19-02-2014, 15:54   #12
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Re: Shipping to Georgetown

Quote:
Originally Posted by caradow View Post
was wondering if I bring items in my luggage and have a copy of my boat clearance papers if that would not provide me with a YIT status and therefore be duty free?
I think in theory this is supposed to work. However, a friend's father-in-law brought in some parts for him last week from Canada. He carried a copy of the cruising permit, however he was still forced to pay duty. My friend has been trying to resolve this with Nassau customs via the phone.
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Old 19-02-2014, 16:11   #13
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Re: Shipping to Georgetown

Update on my shipping plans.

I talked to St Brendans Isle, and they suggested shipping to Georgetown is very expensive and I might consider finding a friend to bring the goods to Georgetown.

Top II Bottom suggested they could handle customs for DHL packages for a 10% fee, so I am trying that route. In effect, it sounds like they act like customs agent. They said they need a copy of my cruising permit (via email because "Nassau customs fax does not work" ) and the DHL tracking number.

They were emphatic the parcel address should include "S/V", and be addressed:
S/V Sea Change
C/- Top II Bottom
Exuma
Bahamas

I have asked SBI to send the package tomorrow. Will update this thread with the results.
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Old 19-02-2014, 16:56   #14
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Re: Shipping to Georgetown

Many thanks for the reply.
Hope you are successful.
Could it be that this is all"under the table money"?
Do they give you a government receipt for the duty charged I wonder?
I guess that is a somewhat naive question and in the islands I am sure it would not be enforced anyway.
I guess after sailing the islands since the late 70's I could answer my own question.
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Old 19-02-2014, 17:53   #15
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Re: Shipping to Georgetown

Quote:
Originally Posted by caradow View Post
----
Could it be that this is all"under the table money"?
Do they give you a government receipt for the duty charged I wonder?
I guess that is a somewhat naive question and in the islands I am sure it would not be enforced anyway. ----
Some decades ago my ex imported a new Perkins diesel into the Bahamas to be installed in her "yacht in transit". They of course made her pay duty on it anyway. My ex, being of a firm disposition, pursued the matter with vigor. To the amazement of the entire yachting universe, she actually got a complete refund from Nassau. It didn't happen quickly, but it did happen.
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