Import duties are levied in accordance with the Common External Tariff of CARICOM for enterprises in St. Vincent and the Grenadines except for those that have fiscal incentives.
An import licence is required to import some specified goods as listed in the First and Second Schedule of the Import and Export (Control) Regulations which originate from any country outside the OECS, Belize and the Caribbean Community.
Fireworks (except those granted permission by the Minister), jet skis and water bikes are prohibited.
Processing of Customs Entries (Declarations) to Facilitate Clearance of Goods
This involves verification of customs’ values, tariffs classification, imports and origin of goods.
An importer or the agent representing the importer should declare invoices, bills of lading and any other document in respect of any consignment of goods. Import licences are also required to import goods in the First and Second of the Import and Export (Control) Regulations - Statutory rules and orders 1992 No. 10. All declarations or entries must be submitted to the Customs using the Lodgment Desk with the exception of concessional entries (Preventive Section) and warehousing entries (Warehousing Section).
Certificates should be obtained to import live animals, meat and meat products as well as live plants, plant and plant material from the veterinary and plant quarantine divisions in the Ministry of Agriculture respectively. Persons must also obtain certificate from the Fisheries Division to import live, fresh, chilled or frozen fish and any other aquatic life.
All food items must be inspected and certified on Customs declaration as being fit for human consumption.
A permit to import is required for the importation of firearms. This must be obtained from the Commissioner of Police prior to importation.
The export of some agricultural and marine products, for example, conches and lobsters require an export license.
A Certificate of Origin issued by the Customs and Excise Department is required to export duty-free goods to the following countries, as stipulated under the Trade Agreements.
Country Certificate of Origin Form
CARICOM Countries Caribbean Common Market
The European Community EUR 1
United States Generalized System of Preferences
Canada Caribbean Common Market
The Republic of Venezuela Caribbean Common Market
The Republic of Colombia Caribbean Common Market
Dominican Republic Caribbean Common Market
The Republic of Cuba Caribbean Common Market
Costa Rica Caribbean Common Market
In accordance with the Import and Export (Control) Regulations, 1992, a licence is required to export the following goods from St. Vincent and the Grenadines:
Live sheep and goats
Lobsters and conch, fresh or chilled
Lobster prepared or preserved
Such a licence may be obtained from the Comptroller of Supplies, Customs and Excise Department, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Processing of Export Documents
Export declarations are processed at the shipping desk in the Long Room of the main Customs Building. This involves verification of Tariff numbers and customs values. (Licences must be obtained for the exportation of certain goods.)
• Potatoes, Oranges and Plantains – Licences obtained from National Properties Ltd
• Bananas – St. Vincent Banana Growers’ Association
• Coconuts – Ministry of Trade
• A phytosanitary certificate must also be obtained for the exportation of local produce or plant and plant materials, from the Ministry of Agriculture
• Live swine, sheep and goats, lobsters – Ministry of Trade.
Entering of Ships
All vessels must be reported within 24 hours of arrival within St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ territorial waters. For vessels arriving at the Kingstown Port this must be done at the shipping desk.
The master or agent must present a Ship’s Report completed in triplicate.
The Ship’s Report must give all the particulars relating to the Ship and its cargo or passengers.
Clearance of Ships
All vessels departing from St. Vincent and the Grenadines for a foreign port must apply for clearance. The master or agent of a vessel must present a ship’s content completed in triplicate.
The content of the ship must give an account of all cargo and stores taken on board or remaining on the vessel from its inward voyage. He must also present a crew list, a passenger list (if any).
A clearance from the Port Authority must also be presented before a Customs Clearance is issued.