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Old 02-03-2014, 13:31   #1
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Bahamas Import Duty on Mechanical Parts for Yachts with a Cruising Permit

Hi, Can anyone confirm that bringing spares and mechanical parts into the Bahamas by air is still duty free with a valid cruising permit ? My sailboat is in Treasure Cay, cruising permit valid and I am flying in with a pump and a few re-build kits and a shaft couplings. Nothing to big but wanted to be sure of the current policy. All the cruising guides say duty free, but some say there "could" be a "clearing fee" Anyone have any recent firsthand info for Marsh Hbr Airport ? Thanks a bunch !
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Old 02-03-2014, 14:31   #2
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Re: Bahamas Import Duty on Mechanical Parts for Yachts with a Cruising Permit

In my recent experiencence it realy depends on who brings in the items. You may have more success using a Bahamian agent than bringing in the items personally on he plane.
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Old 06-03-2014, 13:19   #3
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Re: Bahamas Import Duty on Mechanical Parts for Yachts with a Cruising Permit

There's a thread concerning this issue under Forums - Destinations-Atlantic & Caribbean - Troubling Experience Today with Bahamas Customs
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Old 07-03-2014, 01:43   #4
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Re: Bahamas Import Duty on Mechanical Parts for Yachts with a Cruising Permit

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Originally Posted by Sailing Bushman View Post
Hi, Can anyone confirm that bringing spares and mechanical parts into the Bahamas by air is still duty free with a valid cruising permit ? My sailboat is in Treasure Cay, cruising permit valid and I am flying in with a pump and a few re-build kits and a shaft couplings. Nothing to big but wanted to be sure of the current policy. All the cruising guides say duty free, but some say there "could" be a "clearing fee" Anyone have any recent firsthand info for Marsh Hbr Airport ? Thanks a bunch !
Technically yes. But, I would advise against flying in with the parts based on personal experience and the experiences of others. I would ship the parts in.
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Old 19-06-2015, 16:59   #5
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Re: Bahamas Import Duty on Mechanical Parts for Yachts with a Cruising Permit

I had a friend bring a raw water and pump rebuild kit when they flew into Marsh Harbour last May. I had the pump company, Depco, indicate on the invoice the part was for our boat by name and was a part required for propulsion. I also emailed our friend a photograph of our cruising permit.
He declared the parts to customs clearing at a Marsh, showed them the documentation on his iPhone, no charges at all.
Good luck, Bob
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Old 19-06-2015, 19:20   #6
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Re: Bahamas Import Duty on Mechanical Parts for Yachts with a Cruising Permit

Our 19 year old AB refrigerator went out this past January, while we were at Black Point in the Exumas, Bahamas. Had to have a new compressor, condenser and evaporator flown into Staniel Cay to keep us going. Used Watermaker Air to bring the components in and take care of the customs. They did a great job and only charged for the air freight- which was very reasonable. The only fee charged by customs was a 7.5% value added tax that went into effect on 01/01/2015, and that is nationwide on all sales- internal, exports and imports. Bottom line, you don't pay the 45-48% import duty on mechanical items necessary to keep our boat going.
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Old 20-06-2015, 06:09   #7
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Re: Bahamas Import Duty on Mechanical Parts for Yachts with a Cruising Permit

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Our 19 year old AB refrigerator went out this past January, while we were at Black Point in the Exumas, Bahamas. Had to have a new compressor, condenser and evaporator flown into Staniel Cay to keep us going. Used Watermaker Air to bring the components in and take care of the customs. They did a great job and only charged for the air freight- which was very reasonable. The only fee charged by customs was a 7.5% value added tax that went into effect on 01/01/2015, and that is nationwide on all sales- internal, exports and imports. Bottom line, you don't pay the 45-48% import duty on mechanical items necessary to keep our boat going.
You were lucky. In the Exumas they charge import duty on anything that is not necessary to make the boat move. Refrigeration isn't necessary.
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Old 20-06-2015, 07:59   #8
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Re: Bahamas Import Duty on Mechanical Parts for Yachts with a Cruising Permit

Mike,
We had a friend at George Town who was able to bring a refrigeration evaporator in duty free, about 6 weeks after we did. The only charges they had were the value added tax and the local broker they used.
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Old 20-06-2015, 08:26   #9
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Re: Bahamas Import Duty on Mechanical Parts for Yachts with a Cruising Permit

Sailrj -
One thing nice about the Bahamas is the more things change the more they change.
It would be a first if all the customs and immigration offices throughout the country were actually on the same page lol.
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Old 20-06-2015, 11:25   #10
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Re: Bahamas Import Duty on Mechanical Parts for Yachts with a Cruising Permit

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Sailrj -
It would be a first if all the customs and immigration offices throughout the country were actually on the same page lol.
They're not in any country I've been to including the US. And in many offices, it varies from agent to agent.

When I was young I made a few business trips to Colombia and on a couple traveled with Colombian citizens. As Americans we had it so much easier passing through customs than they did. And if you didn't speak Spanish it was a definite advantage as they'd ask something about a box you were carrying, you'd say "No hablo Espanol", and they'd wave you on through.

Jamaica it use to depend on the time of night.
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Old 20-06-2015, 12:48   #11
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Re: Bahamas Import Duty on Mechanical Parts for Yachts with a Cruising Permit

Agree with Mike and BandB.
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Old 27-06-2015, 01:47   #12
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Re: Bahamas Import Duty on Mechanical Parts for Yachts with a Cruising Permit

The Bahamas' rule on importing parts is confusing now.
Bringing parts back with me on a flight to Nassau in early 2014, the customs officer insisted that only propulsion parts are duty free. Even though I showed him a copy of the regulations he would not budge. He also was unable to cite me any legal authority for his position.
I then went to the central customs office over by the College of the Bahamas and met personally with the head of the Customs Department. He confirmed with me that the airport customs officer was wrong and agreed to process a refund for me. However, since I did not have Bahamas bank account it would not be legal for the government to issue me a check. He agreed to make an exception and mail the check for $1100 to me in the USA. It never came.
Under those circumstances, I feel completely comfortable carrying small items in my luggage amidst my clothing. However, larger items would be problematic.
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