Unfortunately, you cannot buy everything you need in Cayman, so you can either shop when off-Island, have visitors bring what you need or purchase online and get the items shipped to the Island. Keep in mind that a lot of online retailers do not ship to Cayman and if they do, shipping costs will be high.
Duty Free Allowance for Travelers
When returning to the Cayman Islands from overseas, the Department of Customs and Border Control give local residents a duty (free) allowance of CI$500 per person.
If the resident is over the age of 18 then in that dollar allowance they can also include 200 cigarettes and up 1 litre of spirits, or 4 litres of wine or 1 case of beer (cannot exceed 8 litres). If the resident’s overseas purchases do not exceed CI$500 per person then they do not need to declare their goods to Customs on arrival. If they have spent over CI$500 then they must present all receipts and show this to the Customs Officer in the ‘Goods To Declare’ line at the airport. You will then be charged 22% duty on all purchases over CI$500.
If a resident has bought something for a business then this is not duty free and 22% will need to be paid on it.
All visitors are expected to declare anything new they are bringing in with them, including gifts to family, and will be expected to pay 22% on the items. Please make sure you travel with your receipts to make this process easier!
The Cayman Islands derives a significant portion of their revenue from the collection of duties and people are expected to be completely honest when they declare their overseas purchases. Without duties the alternative may well be income tax, and that would be a far worse burden to bear!
Shipping Items to Cayman
Also note that many online retailers may not ship to Cayman and if they do, shipping costs will be high, therefore it is a good idea to consider using a freight forwarder who will provide you with an address in the US and will then forward the package to Cayman.
Please keep in mind that some items cannot be imported into Cayman due to certain laws. For example, all items that depict the cannabis plant are prohibited from entering the Island. However, de-hulled hemp seeds can be bought at Kirk Market because they do not depict cannabis leaf imagery.
NCI Freight & Logistics Ltd.
NCI offers a fast and efficient shipping solution for personal and household goods, which is perfect for getting all your online shopping sent to Cayman quickly and easily.
Seaboard Marine Cayman
An ocean transportation company providing direct, regular service between the United States, the Caribbean and additional locations.
Cayman Islands Customs Agency (CICA)
Services include twice a week ocean consolidations and cargo clearance, daily air shipment handling and many others from Miami to Cayman.