IMPORT PROCESS FOR HURRICANE RELIEF SUPPLIES
under the Hurricane Dorian Exigency Order of October 3, 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:
- Complete an Exigency Order Application Form
- Complete Relevant Customs Declaration Form
- Present Documents to Customs at Port of Entry for on-site clearance and approval
See additional details below.
Individuals and businesses are eligible to import tax free goods under the Exigency Order under the following three conditions:
- Imported goods fall under the approved list of items
- The final destination of the imported goods is an approved island
- 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
The final destination for all donated goods must be an approved island.
- The Abaco Cays
- Grand Bahama Islands
- Sweetings Cay
- Deep Water Cay
- Water Cay
The following items are listed in the Exigency Order and considered approved goods.
*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.
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.
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
- Telephone Support: 376-7657, 604-3011, 604-3076, 604-3157
- Mark Daniels – firstname.lastname@example.org (Nassau)
- Lorrain Smith – email@example.com (Nassau)
- Clarkson Darville – firstname.lastname@example.org (Nassau)
- Cleveland Dawkins – email@example.com (Abaco)
- Celestine Cox – firstname.lastname@example.org (Freeport)
- Larry Bodie – email@example.com (Freeport)
Ministry of Finance – Revenue Department
Department of Inland Revenue
- Gaynel Rolle –firstname.lastname@example.org, 604-8071 (Nassau)
- Jamal Moss – email@example.com 604-8136 (Nassau)
- Leo Hepburn – firstname.lastname@example.org (Freeport)
- Miriam Fernander- email@example.com (Grand Bahama)
- Shanique Lightbourne- firstname.lastname@example.org (Grand Bahama)
- Crystal Spicer – CrystalSpicer@bahamas.gov.bs, 699-0053 (Marsh Harbor, Abaco)