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. They are reasonably priced and know the process inside out. The cost is usually CI$75-$100.
If you’d prefer to handle the process yourself, here is an overview of what you need to do:
- Before your shipment arrives, you will first need to pre-register on the new Customs Online System (COLS) website. Once you submit the request they will either approve the registration or they will advise, via email, what other documents are required. If approved, you will be given a COLS trader identification number (TIN) and login information.
- You will then be able to log in to the COLS website where you must start the nine step process to declare your goods. Supporting PDF documents needed will include invoices and the Bill of Lading/Airway Bill. Confirming the declaration will constitute as your electronic signature which will be legally binding. This process is subject to change as Customs continually upgrade its systems.
- Once the Customs entry has been approved/finalised by Customs, payment will have to be made at the Customs Department on Owen Roberts Drive, Tel: (345) 949 4579 before collection. There is also a Government inspection fee of CI$100 on all containers and CI$0.15 per cubic feet for less than container load shipments.
- For air freight you‘ll need to go to the Customs Warehouse on Owen Roberts Drive to collect your shipment. You will pay the warehousing fee which depends on the weight and/or size of the package, whichever is greater.
- For ocean cargo, once the shipment has been released by Customs, go to the Port Authority on Portland Road in the Industrial Park area, Tel: (345) 949 2055 to get Port Authority clearance of your goods. Once all fees are paid, you can collect your shipment from the Port Authority. They are open Monday-Friday 8.30am-4.30pm and Saturday 8.30am-12pm. For a 20ft container, the fee is CI$384. For a 40ft container, the fee is CI$768 and prices will vary for less-than-container loads (LCL) based on the size and number of pieces in the shipment, calculated at CI$16.65 per 40 cubic feet and CI$7.20 per dock receipt. (Note: these prices are subject to change.) Collect your items as soon as possible, as storage is charged after five days.
- In the event that your goods are to be inspected, you will have to arrange an inspection time with the Customs Inspection Unit and have your documents ready to show what has been declared.