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Old 25-02-2011, 14:08   #1
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Importing Boat Parts

Hello

I am trying to find out if I can do the paperwork myself rather than using a customs broker to fill out a couple of forms to clear my boat parts through customs in St. Lucia. Some islands make it difficult and other make it easy. I'm not sure which category St. Lucia falls into.

The boat parts are arriving via a freight forwarder ship. St. Lucia is duty-free for yachts in transit.

I checked noonsite.com but they don't have anything listed.

Thanks
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Old 20-04-2011, 08:31   #2
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Re: Importing Boat Parts

Cathy,

I am also looking for information on how to import parts for a "boat in transit" to St-Lucia or Martinique.

I contacted, via e-mail, both their custom's office but only got a reply from Martinique. Before telling me what the procedure is they wanted my full pedigree (well, that of the boat I mean) which I gave them. Now full silence! Won't be able to sneak anything in Martinique it seems ;-)

They might reply at some point as it has been only two weeks.

I am now looking at getting the part (a mainsail) to St-Lucia, but it is not clear, although some rumor says so, if it will be a "tax and custom free" pickup when I go to Fedex to pick up the sail!

Do you have some information or experience on that ? Do I have to go "in and out" to get tax and custom exemption (that's my plan anyway). I have been looking on the web and read all sort of confused stories. Nothing clear, nothing black on white.

I read your post and tought this was the place to collect all this information for all to share!

If anyone has info about other places in the Caribbeans to get tax and custom exemption please share with us!

I have read that it was the case in the Bahamas (2008), and that they collected only 10$ per parcel delivered to a boat in transit. Is this still the case ?

Whatever happens, I will post it back here so others know once they need it.

Jacques
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Old 20-04-2011, 08:46   #3
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Re: Importing Boat Parts

I know it's quite far away, but St. Maarten is a breeze for shipping parts and equipment into. No customs / duty per se. Tropical shipping goes twice weekly from Ft Lauderdale and it is incredibably cheap. I had a Seafrost condensing unit shipped from FL to my marina, delivered by Tropical to the door - for $70. What a bargain.
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Old 20-04-2011, 08:52   #4
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Re: Importing Boat Parts

Boat stuff is duty free for yachts in transit in both Granada and Trinadad.
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Old 20-04-2011, 11:56   #5
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Re: Importing Boat Parts

Jacques, i do not know the rules there but expect the shipment must be clearly marked as "Goods" or "spares" "For vessel in transit" with specific wording, and that your entry and exit from that port probably must match a set time window. See if you can shake those specifics out of them before the shipment.
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Old 20-04-2011, 12:10   #6
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Re: Importing Boat Parts

When you go to pick up the imported item(s), take your boat documentation papers and your C&I clearance form with you. Customs at the port of entry should be able to give you the right forms to fill out on the spot. If it gets sticky or too complicated, find a customs broker. I've decided that here in Nevis, it's much easier to let the broker fill out the forms on his computer. He only charges me EC$25 (US$9.26) for that service, no matter what the item being imported.

Not sure if St. Lucia is the same, but I'd bet it's at least similar.
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Old 20-04-2011, 19:42   #7
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Re: Importing Boat Parts

Thanks to all for your great input.

Nothing is very far when you have the time to get there, which is why I appreciate getting information about the whole of the Caribbeans! So there seems to be easy ways at both ends of the Caribbeans, and for my next delivery I will make sure to be in these areas!

For this time however the sailboat is in Martinique and I will be visiting for 3 weeks in May and need to get a new mainsail, so that is why Martinique or St-Lucia were my targets. Sailing to Grenada is not out of the question but that will depend on the weather.

I will indeed go to custom with my paperwork and have the sail delivered to a "boat in transit" but was wondering if anyone had recent first hand experience with one of these places.

Thanks again.

Jacques
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Old 21-04-2011, 06:06   #8
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Re: Importing Boat Parts

Grenada waives duties on items for "yachts in transit", but it is not a duty-free country like Sint Maarten, so you'll have to go through the same sort of customs clearance/paperwork process as St. Lucia.
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Old 26-04-2011, 19:00   #9
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Re: Importing Boat Parts

Hello everyone,

A few good inputs until now. But I think Cathy from Dream Maker and myself from Tantinet are still waiting for some clues as to how the heck do we get no tax and no other nasty fees if we are in Martinique or St-Lucia. We read that it should be duty free for boats in transit but we can't get any clear info on how to get this a reality!! Some gets it, some don't, and it all has to do with knowing how to do it!! Anyone cares to share their experience!

Yep, next time I will sail to St-Marteen or Trinidad, but in 2 weeks I will be in Martinique and need to get a sail. Difficult to sail to any other places without it!

OK, I could swim, but that's plan B!

Did I hear motoring ? Not an option, it's called a sailboat ;-)
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Old 27-04-2011, 08:41   #10
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Re: Importing Boat Parts

In St. Lucia, I bought some boat stuff at Island Water World in Rodney Bay. They had the "paperwork" on their computer, and filled in my info. All I had to do was let them copy my boat documentation and C/I clearance form. That exempted me from customs duties as a "yacht in transit".

If you're bringing stuff in from outside, you still need to fill out the paperwork, but I doubt IWW would be eager to do it for you since you wouldn't be buying from them.

Check with the folks in the Customs office or find a customs broker.
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Old 14-05-2011, 01:17   #11
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Re: Importing Boat Parts

Hi Cathy this is Jane and Russell of Ta-b. Sadly your old email does not work. Would love to know how you are doing. Can you email me at jpoulston@hotmail.com - thanks.
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Old 15-05-2011, 04:29   #12
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Re: Importing Boat Parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by John A View Post
Boat stuff is duty free for yachts in transit in both Granada and Trinadad.
Grenada waives duties on items for "yachts in transit", but it is not a duty-free country like Sint Maarten, so you'll have to go through the same sort of customs clearance/paperwork process as St. Lucia.
Hud Nevis, West Indies

Not quite anymore but close. In Grenada there always has been a 2.5% fee on CIF (carriage, insurance, freight) and you must have a customs broker clear the package. With the exception of personal mail any boat parts costs average anywhere from EC$40 to EC$90 to clear into the country. Sending a warranty item out and back is especially difficult unless you really have a savvy customs broker.
- - Trinidad, although honoring "Boat in Transit" makes getting the items a bit tricky and paperwork must be letter perfect. It is best to use an outfit like Marine Warehouse in Chag Bay to get in your parts from outside Trinidad, they take care of all the paperwork.
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Old 15-05-2011, 09:20   #13
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Re: Importing Boat Parts

When I was in Granada if you took your documentation and customs forms to either Island Water World or Budget Marine the 15% VAT was waived. They could order stuff from the West Marine warehouse in PR. Is this still in effect?
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Old 15-05-2011, 22:00   #14
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Re: Importing Boat Parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by John A View Post
When I was in Granada if you took your documentation and customs forms to either Island Water World or Budget Marine the 15% VAT was waived. They could order stuff from the West Marine warehouse in PR. Is this still in effect?
Close but it is even better - the actual import tax is about 37% but the two outfits -- Budget and Island Water World are bonded to sell you their products so long as you have valid entry Customs and cruising permit documents as a foreign boat.
- - Other service outfits used to be able to offer the same on their boat services, but with the new government VAT system it is sometimes too much trouble unless the vendor does a lot of business with visiting cruisers. So now can you buy your boat parts from the Budget and IWW as boat in transit and also the cost of repair services for your boat is also generally not subject to the import tax.
- - You can use I.W.W.'s broker for a fee to help you import an order from any supplier outside the country as a "Boat in Transit" so long as the item you want is not one of their "stock items." However, you can engage your own "broker" generally for a lot less money than I.W.W. Also for large heavy items you can use Tropical Freight Shipping and its in-house broker. Even Fed-ex and DHL have in-house brokers that can assist you bringing in a shipment.
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Old 03-06-2011, 19:39   #15
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Re: Importing Boat Parts

I am just back from 3 weeks in Martinique, St-Lucia and St-Vincent. Been looking around and investigating and to my surprise Martinique was the way to go!!

I had a 1,700$ new mainsail shipped to Boat in Transit to le Marin in Martinique, and once it arrived at the airport all I had to do is present my clearance paper and tell the custom officer that not only was it for a boat in transit but that it was a replacement for my unusable main sail. The rule is that if it is to fix your boat so that you can continue your journey there are no taxes. None. Nada. Zero. Vive la France!

If you receive some luxury item for your boat or something that is not required to keep on going, then there are taxes. More than you want to know.

My only cost was 13 euros for one week storage at the airport as I was in St-Vincent when it arrived.

I also purchased parts at Islands Water Worlds in Rodney Bay (St-Lucia) and did not pay taxes. In fact, the prices at IWW are better than West Marine and several other ship stores in the USA and Canada !

Martinique on the other hand is expensive, but they have everything. Worth a visit if you need something special.

Bon voyage!

Jacques
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