Because we plan to retire and reside in Dominica, we did some research on the matter of Dominicaâ€™s policy regarding duties when we import our household goods. They are very fair, and I obtained them from the official document â€œHandbook for Brokers, Importers, Exporters, Investors, and Traders: Import and Export Procedures in the Commonwealth of Dominicaâ€ produced by the Customs and Excise Division, Customs Building, Deep Water harbor, Fond Cole, Dominica; telephone 767-448-2401 ext. 3117, fax 767-448-7950, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a 35-page document on the Import and Export procedures of the Commonwealth of Dominica, which I have reformatted it into a PDF and have posted it to my Web site for the convenience of others.
Of particular interest to those who, like us, are planning to retire to Dominica are the contents of pages 32-33:
EXEMPTIONS OF DUTIES ON GOODS IMPORTED BY FOREIGN NATIONALS TAKING UP RESIDENCE IN DOMINICA.
Foreign Nationals who will be coming to Dominica to work and or reside will be allowed to import free of duty their used Household and Personal Effects. (Vehicles do not apply)
This policy is intended to facilitate
- Working experience and expertise
Exemption of duties may be in the category of Import Duty and VAT.
NB â€“ Customs Service Charge, Excise Tax and Environmental Surcharge will apply (see table iv)
These persons will qualify if He/She:
- Has a Residence Permit from the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Labour and Immigration; or
- Has a Work Permit from the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Labour and Immigration; and
- Will keep Personal and Household Effects for His/Her personal use; and
- Will not sell, lend, hire out or otherwise dispose of them after duty free concession is granted unless with directives from the Comptroller of Customs.
The applicants should prepare a customs declaration listing all the items he/she intends to import into Dominica. The list should include the quantity and value of each item as far as possible.
Goods that do not qualify will attract Import Duty, Environmental Surcharge, Customs Service Charge, Excise Tax and VAT at the rates specified in the various schedules. (See table iv)
He/She will be required to attend a brief interview at the Customs and Excise Department carrying with them documentary evidence to substantiate their intention to establish residence in Dominica. Residence Permits, Work Permits, Employment Contracts, Title of Property, Proof of Ownership and the like would assist in this regard.
Persons wishing to take advantage of this concession must ensure that their goods arrive in Dominica within three months before or after taking up residence on the island.
In cases where your Personal and Household effects is shipped in advance of your arrival, they may remain in the custody of the Dominica Port Authority in which case storage dues will be charged. They may however be cleared by your representative after depositing an amount with the Comptroller of Customs to cover the duties applicable. The deposit can be recovered upon processing a customs declaration when you arrive.
If all belongings are not shipped, the remainder can be imported duty free; in the event they arrive no later than three (3) months after the date you returned to Dominica. If you are unable to do so within that time, you are required to apply to the Financial Secretary for an extension within three (3) months of your return. There is no guarantee that an extension will be granted.
Guidelines for Tools of Trade
Tools of Trade means tools, instruments and pieces of equipment normally used in the pursuit of the declared profession or trade of an applicant. He/She may import free of Import Duty and VAT, Tools of Trade. Please note however that these Tools of Trade do not include plant, machinery and vehicles.The Comptroller of Customs shall determine the type and quantities of tools of trade.
This is very fair treatment, we think. Still, we donâ€™t intend to bring much. We want to own our possessions, not be owned by them, as so many Americans seem to be. Weâ€™re clearing house by holding yard sales and hope to lead an uncluttered life in retirement.