Country Guide: Aruba

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Updated: August 16, 2016

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Passport
  • Import declaration
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) / air waybill (AWB)
  • Detailed and valued inventory
  • Tax ID (Tax Service Office)
  • Certificate of registration at Aruba’s Population Register (the Census Office of Aruba)


Specific Information

  • Persons having a primary residence abroad prior to entry for at least 12 consecutive months may qualify for a duty exemption. 
    • A “primary residence” refers to the place of residence by the person for at least 185 days per calendar year due to personal or professional ties. 
    • If a person does not have professional ties, the personal ties that show a close relationship between the person and the place of residence will be the decisive factor.
  • An exemption on home furnishings may apply if the following conditions are met:
    • The household goods must have been used in the previous primary place of residence.
    • Import duties must be paid on new household goods;
      • The household goods are to be used for the same purpose in Aruba.
      • The household goods have been used outside of Aruba in accordance with the prevailing norms in that country.
      • Exemption is only granted to persons who were not yet considered residents of Aruba.
  • Household goods imported using a duty exemption must be imported within 12 months after the normal place of residence has been transferred; this can be achieved in one or more shipments. 
    • An extension may be requested to the Commissioner of Customs if more time is needed.
  • If a request for exemption of import duties on the household goods shipment is rejected in whole or in part, the owner of the goods may appeal to the Commissioner of Customs within a period of 1 month after the rejection. 
  • The owner of the goods may also file an appeal to the Board of Appeals in Tax Affairs within 1 month after the owner of the goods has received the verdict from the Commissioner if the owner of the goods disagrees with it.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Title / registration
  • OBL
  • Inspection certificate
  • Detailed and valued inventory
  • Insurance policy
  • Purchase invoice / bill of sale


Specific Information

  • Shipments are subject to inspection, which may occur from arrival to 1 month after arrival.  If violations are detected during inspection, disciplinary action and sanctions may be imposed by Customs.
  • To receive an exemption on the import of motor vehicles (e.g., motor vehicles, private aircrafts and sport vessels) as part of the household goods shipment, the following conditions must be met:
  • The vehicles must be proven to have been, for a period of at least 6 months prior to the date upon which the normal place of residence was moved:
    • In possession
    • In ownership
    • Used at the previous normal place of residence
  • Motor vehicles, private aircrafts and sport vessels imported with exemptions of import duties, may not be transferred in legal nor economic ownership, or be transferred in use, nor to hold in escrow or be given as a security hedge, not be loaned out, without prior consent of the Commissioner of Customs and Excise.
  • Documents must be submitted to the Technical Department of Customs, which may or may not approve an exemption.


Documents Required

  • Vaccination record
  • Veterinary health certificate


Specific Information

  • The vaccination record must be issued at least 30 days prior to import but no older than 1 year (for dogs and cats).
  • The veterinary health certificate must be issued within 3 weeks of import.
  • The import of animals is prohibited from certain countries; contact the destination agent for specific information.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco and tobacco products
  • Company vehicles
  • Industrial materials (other than portable instruments for the arts and crafts)

Prohibited Items

  • Illegal drugs
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Counterfeit money and goods
  • Furs
  • Precious stones
  • Food items
  • Meat and meat products
  • Pornographic materials
  • Explosives

Consignment Instructions

Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.


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IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.