Hurricane Dorian Exigency Order

IMPORT PROCESS FOR HURRICANE RELIEF SUPPLIES

under the Hurricane Dorian Exigency Order of September 2, 2019

Under the Exigency Order, hurricane relief supplies can be imported into The Bahamas duty free and VAT free based on the conditions outlined in the Order. Importers must complete a simple, one-page application form to benefit from these tax breaks. The Bahamas Customs clearance process has also been simplified to facilitate the smooth release of hurricane relief supplies. There are three simple steps:

  1. Complete an Exigency Order Application Form
  2. Complete Relevant Customs Declaration Form
  3. Present Documents to Customs at Port of Entry for on-site clearance and approval

See additional details below.

ELIGIBLITY CRITERIA

Individuals and businesses are eligible to import tax free goods under the Exigency Order under the following three conditions:

  1. Imported goods fall under the approved list of items
  2. The final destination of the imported goods is an approved island
  3. Imported goods will be used for charitable purposes to support restoration activities directly related to Hurricane Dorian or by individuals who have directly suffered hardship or loss as a result of Hurricane Dorian

APPROVED ISLANDS

The final destination for all donated goods must be an approved island.

  • Abaco
  • The Abaco Cays
  • Grand Bahama Islands
  • Sweetings Cay
  • Deep Water Cay
  • Water Cay

APPROVED GOODS

The following items are listed in the Exigency Order and considered approved goods.

  • *Bottled water
  • Cots
  • *Clothing
  • Bedding materials
  • *Food for personal consumption
  • Mosquito nettings
  • *Personal hygiene products
  • Electrical and plumbing fixtures and materials
  • Medicine and medical supplies
  • Household furniture, furnishings and appliances
  • Building materials
  • Tents

 

*These items are only tax free for 30 days. All other items are covered under the 90-day order.

Ministry of Finance approval is needed for tax breaks on imported donations that are not included on the list. See process below.

 

THE PROCESS

STEP 1 – Complete an Exigency Order Form

  • Download forms online or request a copy in-person at Customs (www.bahamascustoms.gov.bs, inlandrevenue.finance.gov.bs, bahamas.gov.bs)
  • Form A is used to import Approved Goods. This form is processed and approved by Customs at the Border.
  • For goods not included on the list, Form B is required to obtain Ministry of Finance approval.
  • The individual importer or business importer that is requesting the tax relief should complete the relevant Exigency Order Form.

STEP 2 – Complete Relevant Customs Declaration Form

  • C-18 for Unaccompanied Goods (e.g. Goods arriving on a private aircraft or charter plane)
  • C-17 Accompanied Goods (e.g. When travelling through baggage claim at the airport or on private vessel/pleasure craft)
  • C-13 Air Cargo or Sea Cargo (e.g. Goods arriving through a shipping company, freight forwarder, courier: DHL, Zipx, Betty K, etc.). This Customs form is typically complete by a broker or agent.

STEP 3 – Present Documents to Customs at Port of Entry

  • Customs will be responsible for reviewing and approving documents at the Port of Entry.

 

NEED HELP?

The Customs Department, Ministry of Finance, and Department of Inland Revenue have dedicated officers to support individuals and businesses importing tax free goods under the Exigency Order

Customs

Ministry of Finance – Revenue Department

Department of Inland Revenue