Importing Vehicles to the Bahamas

Duty Information And Regulations for Importing cars into the Bahamas

All individuals or businesses interested in importing one or more used vehicles should know that there are a number of necessities to be accomplished before claiming your vehicle. All cars should be insured if you wish to import to The Bahamas. If a right hand drive vehicle is being imported, please keep in mind that the headlights will need to be readjusted to be set to the left. Once your vehicle has arrived it should be carried to the local Road and Traffic department immediately for the purpose of licensing and inspection.

You must produce the appropriate documents and pay the specific amount of money to cover custom duty fees and any other associated fees. In that respect you will need to complete the relevant entry forms (C-14 form for Nassau, C-13 form for Freeport and C-43 form for Declaration of Value), submit shipment documents and provide an invoice received by you to the Bahamian Customs Department. Due to the recent government implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) that began on January 1st 2015, Bahamians are obligated to pay an additional 7.5% tax on imported vehicles with the exception of it being imported on a temporary basis.

Customs Information

Customs duties on imported vehicles varies on a few different factors:

  1. How the vehicle is to be used
  2. The size of the engine
  3. The age of the vehicle

Typically it is 35% or higher. There is a 65 per cent maximum duty rate on vehicles, down from the pre-existing tax of 85 per cent!

Taxicab owners would also now be able to import duty free used vehicles up to three-years-old as opposed to the current existing restriction of new cars only

THe government has also banned the importation of wrecked vehicles and cars more than ten years old.

Custom duty rates are determined by the value of the vehicle. For instance, if a vehicle costs $10,000 or less you will be charged a duty rate of 65% while a vehicle that is valued at $10,001 to $40,000 will stand at a rate of 75%. Vehicles priced over $40,000 have a duty rate of 85%. Hybrids and other electric vehicles are much less, charged with only 25% duty. Other charges may include: 1% processing fee, environmental levy fee for vehicles, storage fees, freight and insurance and landed charges. Bear in mind that the 7.5% VAT is not included with such fees and must be paid separately. For vehicle importers that reside in Freeport, Grand Bahamas please be advised to read the "VAT and the Hawksbill Creek Agreement". Head over to www.bahamas.gov.bs/customs for more information on fees and importing vehicles.

Bahamas Shipping Ports

Nassau Container Port

The Nassau Container Port is located in in the Arawak Cay area. It is approximately 56 acres and it is only a short two miles heading west of Downtown Nassau, Bahamas. With provisions by the Port there are facilities for container cargo for persons importing cars. The use of a wide range of ocean carriers is accepted for importers. In addition to that, the customer service is spectacular and very effective.

For your convenience, there is a Customs Department present at the Nassau Container Port to speed up the processing of entry as well as inspection of freight. Fortunately, persons importing cars to Nassau, Bahamas have the advantage of handling all related business on-site at the Nassau Container Port.

Freeport Container Port

The Freeport Container Port is located in Grand Bahama which is one of the largest islands in The Bahamas. It deals entirely with international transshipment of cargo that is containerized. The Freeport Container Port is known for its ability to manage even the most enormous vessels on the planet. The FCP is about 16m deep and it has the capacity for up to 1.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units within a twelve month period.