In this section we describe the process of shipping things to the Cayman Islands.
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We recommend Cayman based movers and freight forwarders that can assist you and we explain the various options of shipping by air or by sea including the companies that can actually ship your possessions or overseas purchases to Cayman. We then explain how you can import your goods duty free and process of clearing them through Cayman Customs.
The Process of Moving
When it comes to shipping your possessions you basically have three main options:
- Do It Yourself: This involves you doing 98% of the work yourself by packing up your belongings and arranging for a company to ship your personal items to Cayman. This may be the least expensive option but it certainly isn’t the easiest. You must be prepared to arrange for the items to be inspected and cleared by customs when they arrive in Grand Cayman, pay the Port Authority and have your items picked up and delivered to your new home.
- You Pack and Hire a Freight Forwarder: The second option is to pack everything yourself but then have a freight forwarder organise the collection, shipping and eventual customs clearance on arrival.
- Hire a Moving Company: The third option is to arrange for a moving company to do everything for you from packing up your home/overseas purchases, trucking to the port and organising the shipping, to clearing it through customs in Cayman, arranging for delivery to your home and finally unpacking and set up.
If you decide to use a moving company you will need to book it at least eight to ten weeks in advance. It’s prudent to find out if they are an accredited member of a moving association to ensure that you will have recourse if you encounter any problems.
Sort through your personal items and decide what you are going to take, then call the moving company so they can visit your home and work out a quote. Be sure to get any quote in writing, but keep in mind that most expire after 30 days.
Next, establish a time frame for your move and confirm that the insurance policy being offered has sufficient protection to cover the cargo for the duration of the journey, i.e. until you take possession at the new destination. You should also discuss the deductible. Ask your mover to provide a copy of the documents with the itinerary, along with an itemised inventory and the name of the receiving agent at the destination.
Finally, the moving company will expect payment prior to exporting or shipping your personal effects, as it will be necessary for them to prepay the freight and any other handling and destination charges.
There are several Cayman-based shipping companies, freight forwarders and moving companies who, to one degree or another, can help you move your home or business effects to or from Cayman. Their standard of service is very high.
When Cayman residents have been overseas on holiday or on a shopping trip they are allowed a CI$500 duty-free allowance on new items they have bought abroad. This allowance is not given to Visitors who have to declare and pay 22% duty on all items they import including gifts to friends and relatives. If you have bought items for a business while overseas and then brought these items into Cayman, these items do not count towards the $500 allowance. You have to pay 22% duty on them. If you are entering Cayman to take up employment or residency for the first time and for a period in excess of 12 months, then your personal and household effects are admitted duty-free, although they must be imported within six months of arrival.
Cayman Islands' based customs brokers work as intermediaries between you, the shipping company and the Cayman Islands Customs Department. They also traditionally work with an overseas freight forwarder (or shipping company) who has shipped your items to Cayman. The customs broker will assist with the preparation and submission of all paperwork needed to obtain customs clearance for your goods, however, they are also used as a conduit in the process of shipping items to their Miami address and then on to Cayman.Read More
Freight forwarders facilitate the shipping process between Miami and Grand Cayman and vice-versa. When shipping to or from Miami there are three options you can consider, depending on the quantity. All companies charge by cubic feet, rather than by weight.
Read more for a list of companies who offer a full international moving service that takes all the stress out of moving.
Importation and exportation can be done by either air cargo and sea freight. Transit time will depend on the type of cargo you choose, as well as whether conditions and the location that your shipment will be coming from.Read More
Clearing your household effects through Customs yourself is possible, but it can be quite complex, so we recommend that you do it through a customs broker. But if you would prefer to handle the process yourself, here is an overview of what you need to do.