Country Guide: Barbados

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Updated: November 17, 2015

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Passport
  • Proof of residence
  • Detailed Inventory
  • Original Bill of Lading (OBL) / Express Release / Air Waybill (AWB)

 

Specific Information

  • Instead of a passport an individual may use:
    • Barbados ID Card
    • Certificate of Citizenship
    • Barbados Birth Certificate accompanied with a photo ID
  • For Diplomats, the OBL and detailed inventory are required prior to arrival of the shipment so that diplomatic agencies can apply for the Exemption Certificate required for Customs clearance. Approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes about 4 days and clearance can be done as soon as 1 day after the documents are returned from the Ministry.
  • Proof of Residence of the last 10 years can be one of the following documents:
    • a signed job letter covering the last 10 years;
    • a signed affidavit from a Justice of Peace/Attorney-at-Law;
    • successive income tax returns for the last 10 years
  • A returning national is one who:
    • has a Barbadian citizenship (by birth, registration , descent or naturalization),
    • Resided outside of Barbados for at least 10 years immediately preceding their return to Barbados. (A person does not have to meet the 10 year requirement if they are eligible for citizenship by descent and have formally applied for Barbadian citizenship)
    • Permanently returning to Barbados.
    • Not previously a Networker.
    • Must not have lived in Barbados for six months (183 days) in any calendar year during the 10 years immediately preceding their return.
  • It should be noted that Barbadian nationals deported for criminal activities do not qualify under the Returning Nationals Program. Contact the destination for more information.
  • Returning nationals who are planning to import their tools/equipment of their trade or profession should submit that list to the Comptroller of Customs for approval prior to their return to Barbados.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Import Permit
  • Owner’s log book
  • Proof of Payment
  • Proof of Ownership
  • Proof of insurance
  • Commercial Invoice (new vehicles)
  • Import License
  • Specifications of the vehicle
  • OBL

 

Specific Information

  • If the shipper is a Diplomat, no restrictions apply on the import of motor vehicles and import is free of all customary applicable import duties and taxes.
  • For non-Diplomats and foreigners, an imported vehicle must be less than 4 years old, with an odometer reading of 50,000 kilometers or less.
  • Returning nationals are now allowed to purchase a vehicle duty-free from a local car dealer in Barbados. In such cases payment in full must be made via wire transfer from their overseas bank account directly to the local car dealer in question. The requirements for accessing this duty free benefit are:
    • The applicant must be a Barbadian citizen
    • Must have spent at least the last ten (10) years living abroad.
    • Must be returning home permanently
    • Must be approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as being eligible
    • The vehicle must be paid for in full
    • Payment must be by funds directly transmitted from an overseas account bearing the name of the networker or their legal spouse and sent directly to the car dealer.
  • Returning nationals are allowed one (1) vehicle per household
  • Barbadians returning home who however prefer to import their existing vehicle, or another vehicle of their choice, subject to certain regulations, will still continue to be accorded the duty-free status for the vehicle, also on the basis of one vehicle per household
  • Boats must not be shipped until the Import License has been approved.
  • The shipper should apply for an import license prior to vehicle import
  • Customs clearance generally takes a minimum of 4 days.
  • The rates of duty on motor vehicles are outlined below:
    • Import duty of approximately 45% on all cars
    • Environmental levy: $ 4,000.00 per used vehicle or $ 300.00 per new vehicle
    • Value added tax 17.5%
    • Port FAS charge
    • Excise tax as follows:
    • For motor vehicles falling under H.S. Heading 87.03 whose engine capacity is 1800 cc or more and have a chargeable value exceeding $45,000, the rate is approximately 120%.
    • Motor vehicles for the transport of goods (H.S. No. 87.04) will be taxed as follows:
      • Where the gross vehicle weight does not exceed 5 tons and the chargeable value does not exceed $45,000, the rate of excise tax is approximately 62.77%.
      • Where the gross vehicle weight does not exceed 5 tons and the chargeable value exceeds $45,000, the rate of excise tax is approximately 80.16%.
      • Where the gross vehicle weight exceeds 5 tons, the rate of excise tax is 10%.
    • The base for the new tax measures would be on gross vehicle weight (gvw) which is in consonance with the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding system (H.S.).

Pets

Documents Required

  • Import Permit
  • Vaccination Record
  • Veterinary Health Certificate
  • Must be permanently identified with a microchip

 

Specific Information 

  • All pets must clear customs upon arrival. Import Permits must be obtained from the Veterinary Services Department. Permits are valid for six (6) months from the date of issue.
  • Microchips: Only ISO standard microchips should be used
  • Rabies vaccination: The animal must be implanted with a microchip before or at the time of vaccination against rabies.
  • The Official Health Certificate must be endorsed (signed and stamped) by an Official Government/Federal Veterinarian. The health certificate must contain the following information:
    • Country information: Country of origin, name of competent authority, unique certificate reference number
    • Identification of the animal(s): Microchip number, species, breed, sex and age
    • Origin of the animal(s): Name and address of exporter
    • Destination of the animal(s): Name and address of importer,
    • Health information: vaccinations, laboratory tests and treatments, certification statements
    • Signature, stamp, name and title of official veterinarian,
  • As of 1 5 January 2015 pets are allowed to enter the island from all countries, countries have been divided into two categories:
    • Category 1: Countries and territories that are rabies free or those that present a low risk with respect to rabies
      • Requirements for Category I countries to qualify for entry:
        • The pets must be microchipped;
        • the pets must be vaccinated against rabies after the microchip has been implanted;
        • thirty-five (35) days must pass after the rabies vaccination before the pets are eligible to enter Barbados;
        •  within seven (7) days of travel, dogs must be treated against ticks and tapeworms;
        • for countries where the following diseases are endemic, the pets must be tested for heartworm, leishmaniasis, nipah virus and/or hendra virus and found to be negative;
        • within seven (7) days of travel, the pets must undergo a veterinary examination and be issued with an Official Veterinary Export Health Certificate.
      • Category 2: All other countries and territories. Animals travelling by sea (e.g. on yachts, cruise ships and cargo vessels) also fall into this category
    • Requirements for Category 2 countries to qualify for entry:
      • The pets must be microchipped;
      • the pets must be vaccinated against rabies after the microchip has been implanted;
      • thirty (30) days after rabies vaccination, the pets must have a blood test (FAVN rabies antibody titre test) carried out by an approved laboratory, with a result of at least 0.5 IU/m1
      • ninety (90) days must pass after the successful blood sample was taken before the pets are eligible to enter Barbados
      • within seven (7) days of travel, dogs must be treated against ticks and tapeworms;
      • for countries where the following diseases are endemic, the pets must be tested for heartworm, leishmaniasis, nipah virus and/or hendra virus and found negative;
      • within seven (7) days of travel, the pets must undergo a veterinary examination and be issued with an Official Veterinary Export Health Certificate.
  • Eligibility (pets must have been resident in one or more of these countries for at least 3 months prior to entry):
    • Category 1: Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Ascension Island, Australia, Bahamas, Bermuda, BES Islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius & Saba), British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Channel Islands, Curacao, Dominica, European Union Member Countries, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Greenland, Guam, Guadeloupe, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Martinique, Mexico, Monaco, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, Russian Federation, St. Helena, St.Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten/St. Martin, St. Pierre & Miquelon, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, San Marino, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, US Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Vatican City State, Wallis & Futuna
    • Category 2: All other countries.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Meat (a Health Certificate must be inspected by the Port Health Authority)
  • Plants (must be inspected by a Plant Quarantine Office before being allowed into Barbados)
  • Commercial and new furniture (subject to an approximately 60% duty payment)

Prohibited Items

  • Firearms and ammunition (Police and Government permits are required before importation)
  • Narcotics

Consignment Instructions

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

 

Helpful Website(s):

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1022.html

http://barbados.usembassy.gov

 

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.