Importation and exportation can be done by either air cargo or by sea freight. Transit time will depend on the type of cargo you choose, as well as weather conditions and the location that your shipment will be coming from.
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Larger items, such as furniture, lighting and appliances, will most likely be shipped by sea freight, while smaller items like kitchen appliances and fragile pieces can be shipped by air cargo. Airfreight is usually more expensive but can be quicker and more convenient.
Before shipping anything to the Cayman Islands, please review the import prohibitions. Prohibited items will include dangerous/hazardous goods, illegal goods and various animals and wildlife.
Information on prohibited items that cannot be imported to the Cayman Islands can be found on the Cayman Islands Customs website and the Cayman Islands Airports Authority website.
Shipping by sea freight has less prohibitions than air cargo, however there is a greater risk of damage. However, many shipping companies offer cargo and freight insurance that provides coverage from damage.
If you want to ship anything from the Cayman Islands be sure to research import prohibitions and restrictions of the country that you are sending the item to.
Shipping by Sea (Sea Freight)
The transit time from Florida to Cayman is usually two to three days, from anywhere else transit time is typically 10-20 days. This also depends on weather conditions and location. You can ship your personal items through a shipping company (see below) or a freight forwarder.
Upon arrival in Cayman, you or your freight forwarder of choice will be required to clear the shipment through Cayman Customs and the Port Authority and then arrange delivery.
Seaboard Marine Cayman
An ocean transportation company providing direct, regular service between the United States, the Caribbean and additional locations.
Freight Forwarders and Customs Brokers
Having someone to help you consolidate and clear your packages is very useful and cost effective. Standing in line at Customs can be slow and very time consuming. The following companies can help you with arranging to get your items shipped from overseas to the Cayman Islands or visa versa.
Shipping by Air (Air Cargo)
All local and Miami-based freight forwarders can also ship by air. Alternatively, Cayman Airways Cargo has an air shipment service which can prove to be a cost-effective shipping option if you are moving from the US. You need to deliver the items packed for shipping to the cargo area at the airport. Once they are delivered in Cayman you will need to either arrange collection yourself or use a customs broker.
If you are only bringing your personal effects with you, other options to consider are using your airline’s excess baggage allowance.
Cayman Airways now charges a fee of US$20 on the first and second bag for economy class passengers travelling to or from Miami, Tampa, Jamaica, Honduras and Cuba. Passengers travelling to or from New York or Chicago will be charged US$25 for the first bag and US$35 for the second bag. If your bags exceed the weight limit of 55lbs you will be charged, however, more bags can be checked for a fee.
Southwest airlines, who fly direct to and from Fort Lauderdale, accept the first two checked bags for free, as long as they are under 50lbs.
The free baggage allowance on British Airways varies depending on the destination of travel and ticket class purchased. Fees for extra bags are less if you pay for them in advance online.
WestJet charges CAD$35 for the first bag, CAD$60 for the second and CAD$100 each for third and fourth bags.