FAQ’s

  • IMPORT & EXPORT
  • 1) What motor vehicles can be imported?

    • Vehicle must not be older than 10 years
    • If older than 10 years, prior approval is needed from the Ministry of Finance and the applicable environmental levy is 20% of the landed cost
    • If the vehicle is considered an antique/vintage, prior approval is needed from the Ministry of Finance and the environmental levy is $200.00
    • Environmental levy is applicable on all motor vehicles, heavy equipment and motor cycles
    • Motor vehicles that possess “Certificates of Destruction” and a title that is Salvage/Non-rebuildable are PROHIBITED
  • 2) I recently imported some VAT-free items and was still charged VAT, why?

    • Effective July 1st 2018, only VAT free items arriving as accompanied baggage remain free, however if imported via freight these items are subject to VAT charges. Note that these items if purchased locally, are VAT free at the register.
  • 3) If I have lost or misplaced my invoice, how can I clear my goods?

    • All shipments being entered into The Bahamas require a proper invoice from the supplier. In the absence of the proper invoice, the importer may contact the supplier and have a copy of the invoice sent electronically or a hard copy.
  • 4) What is environmental levy?

    • This is a fee imposed to assist the government, via the Ministry of Environmental Health with the disposal of items that are hazardous to the environment and require special waste disposal treatment.
  • CLICK2CLEAR
  • 1) What is Click2Clear?

    • Click2Clear is a secure internet portal that simplifies trade and business processes by providing around-the-clock access to relevant government services. This platform will considerably reduce consumer’s time and costs of trade and business transactions for private sector users while gathering and sharing relevant information among government agencies to simplify processes and optimize revenue collection. This system will replace the current CAS (Customs Automated System) that is in place, therefore placing the Bahamas in line with other developing countries with this modernized system.
    • Click2Clear is a system for the Import and Export of Cargo Only. This does not include baggage claim after returning from vacation or travel abroad. For instance, ordering online either by air or sea for companies like MailBoat, FedEx, ZipX, DHL etc...
    • For further information, click here.
    • To see how Click2Clear will benefit the Bahamas, click here.
  • 2) How can I signup up for Click2Clear?

    • The documents needed for registration for companies are:
      • Certificate of Registration (TIN)
      • Current Business License
      • Broker License (where applicable)
      • Courier’s License (where applicable)
      • Bonds (where applicable)

     

    Individuals:

    • Whether you are a Resident or Non-Resident, you are able to registering with the Click2Clear (C2C).

    Requirements for Residents:

    • A Valid NIB (Photo ID) Card

    Requirements for Non-Residents

    • A Valid Passport or Driver’s Licence.

    Registration is a one time process that allows you to be found in the system so that brokers, couriers, freight forwarders, shipping agents and other agents to complete work on your behalf regarding imports and exports either by sea or air. 

    (This does not include baggage claim/accompanied baggage for returning residents after travel.)

  • 3) What methods of payment are accepted by the Customs Department?

    • Cash
    • Online Payment – Importers must register with Click2Clear. (In the near future)
    • Debit or Credit Card (Currently at the Cashier counters)
    • Manager’s Cheque
    • Company’s Cheque – A letter of guarantee must be on file from the drawer’s bank
    • Credit Note (Available only through Click2Clear)
  • 4) When registering online, how do I get my upload to attach?

    • Ensure that the file name does not have any Special Characters ( _ , . = - etc) or spaces.
    • The file has to be in PDF or JPEG format.
    • Only one file can be uploaded into each slot.
    • Upload only what is required of you.
    • The Maximum Size of the Upload is 5 MB

    Special Note: (Invalid First Name Error)

    • Be sure to put in the correct NIB Number.
    • Ensure that your Name is put in exactly as it is on your National Insurance Card. (eg. "D-Vonne John Doe")
  • 5) What do I do when I get a white screen/my Click2Clear account won't load?

    Here are a few steps you can try:

    1. Clear your Browsing Data.
      • Steps:
        • Navigate to Google.com
        • Press and hold CTRL+Shift+Delete
        • Release the buttons.
        • You should see a white screen with a blue strip appear.
        • Select "All Time" as your Time Range.
        • Click the Clear Data button.
    2. Call the Help Desk and confirm if the system is either down or experiencing an update.
        • 604-3004
        • 604-3005
        • 604-3007
        • 604-3010
        • 604-3011
        • 604-3013
        • 604-3014
  • 6) I have Registered for Click2Clear, what is next?

    • Congratulations! Welcome to Click2Clear.
    • Registration is a one time process that allows brokers, couriers, freight forwarders, shipping agents and other agents to complete and submit declarations/entries on your behalf regarding your imports and exports, either by air or sea.
  • 7) What if I wanted to do my own Declarations?

    • You would require a User Account to do so.
    • A user account is only intended for Companies/Individuals that wish to process their import/export Declarations. It is important that the declarants are familiar with Customs Procedures.
    • If you are an individual that is familiar with Customs Procedures, after you register, please contact the Customs Help Desk so that your user role may be activated in the system as an Importer/Exporter.
  • 8) I own a business and I wish to do my own Declarations, what do I do?

    • Once the Company is registered should contact the Customs Help Desk so that they may be activated in the system as an Importer/Exporter.
    • This Registration process makes it possible for you to be notified that your broker has paid a declaration on your behalf
  • 9) What if I don't receive a notification upon registration/notice of declaration payment?

    • In order to receive your email notification, you will need to add Click2Clear (click2clear@bahamas.gov.bs) to your trusted sender's list. Otherwise, the notifications will go to your junk mail.
  • 10) If I am travelling, do I need to register before I go to clear my goods?

    • If you are travelling and returning with your goods as baggage, you will not need to register.
  • 11) If I travel internationally and return with my goods, can I submit my declaration online?

    • Not at this time.
    • This feature is currently being developed and will be available in early 2020.
  • 12) I use my declarations for accounting and VAT purposes. Can I have access to the declarations/entries my broker submitted on my behalf?

    • No. You won't have access to the declarations submitted on your behalf
    • The Declarations were submitted by your broker using his/her profile. Therefore only the broker would be able to access your declarations.
  • 13) What does Preferred Login ID mean?

    • This refers to the Username you are identified by in the system.
    • This should be something you easily remember.
  • 14) What are the requirements for making a New Password?

    • Password minimum length is 10 characters and maximum length is 20 characters. This is configurable.
    • Passwords must include one of the following:
      • English uppercase characters (A through Z)
      • English lowercase characters (a through z)
      • Numerals (0 through 9)
      • Allowed Non-alphabetic characters are @, #, $, %, ^, !, & or  +
  • PLEASURE VESSELS
  • 1) I am visiting the Bahamas on my pleasure vessel, am I required to pay a fee?

    • Yes, there is a fee associated with clearance of a pleasure vessel into the Country from a foreign port.
    • Vessels up to 35 feet will pay a fee of $150.00.
    • Vessels that are 35 feet and over pay a fee of $300.00.
    • For vessels carrying more than three passengers, every additional passenger of or above the age of six years who is not a resident passenger must pay a passenger tax of $20.00.
    • A Temporary Cruising Permit & Fishing Permit is issued.
  • 2) How many firearms and ammunition am I allowed to bring on my pleasure vessel?

    • A pleasure vessel entering The Bahamas is allowed to import the maximum of :
    • Three firearms inclusive of handguns, rifles, and shotguns, where the caliber of firearms shall not exceed 308 calibres.
    • 250 rounds of ammunition per firearm.
  • 3) How long is a Cruising Permit good for?

    • A Cruising Permit is good for one year as long as the vessel does not leave The Bahamas.
    • If the vessel leaves The Bahamas, the Cruising Permit can be used again if the vessel returns to The Bahamas within 90 days of the initial issuance of the Cruising Permit at no cost except where the passenger limit is exceeded. Even though the fee for the permit is waved, the pleasure vessel must still clear in at a port of entry upon arrival into the Country.
  • 4) Can I take my vessel straight up to my dock in my yard and call Customs to clear me in?

    • No. Upon arrival to the Island of your destination, you must take your vessel to a port of entry for clearance.  Failure to do so is a breach of the Customs Laws and could result in your vessel being forfeited and fines levied.
  • 5) What can I bring with me on my pleasure vessel?

    • Exemption on a pleasure vessel are the same as if you were visiting by air/sea. Anything more than your entitlement must be duty paid.
  • 6) As a Bahamian, can I own a pleasure vessel?

    • Yes. Unlike a foreign owned/registered vessel, a Bahamian owned pleasure vessel must be duty paid and must clear outbound when leaving The Bahamas for a foreign port and upon return to The Bahamas must clear inbound.
  • GENERAL TRAVELER’S QUESTIONS
  • 1. What are the requirements for travelling to the Bahamas with an animal?

    • A current permit from the Department of Agriculture (one time use only)
    • The animal must be at least six months of age
    • A current Veterinary Health Certificate (vaccination records must be up to date)
  • 2. I have someone bring something in for me, can I use my exemption?

    • No. You must travel to claim your exemption.
  • 3. I traveled by air and sent my goods by boat; can I use my exemption?

    • No. You must travel with your goods to claim your exemption.
  • 4. When returning as a passenger what exemptions am I entitled to?

    • All Bahamians and Residents are entitled to two exemptions valued at $500 twice per calendar year. There is no age restriction. Exemptions are not transferrable to any other person and can only be claimed on personal items.
    • Bonafied visitors are allowed $100.00 per trip.
  • 5. What are my duty-free allowances?

    • In addition to the entitled exemption, every traveling adult, either visitor or resident is also entitled to the following duty-free allowances:
    • Alcoholic Beverages not exceeding one quart of spirits and one quart of wine (adults only),
    • Tobacco not exceeding one pound in weight or 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars (Adults Only).
  • 6. Must I declare how much cash I am carrying?

    • Any person carrying cash and negotiable instruments of a value equivalent to $10,000.00 or more,
    • loose or uncut precious stones or jewelery with intention to trade of a value equivalent to $10,000.00 or more; and precious metals in bullion
    • Cash” includes coins and bank notes in any currency. “Negotiable Instruments” includes monetary instruments such as cheques, travellers cheques, promissory notes, money orders and instruments in bearer form.
  • 7. Who is responsible for the duty rate changes?

    • Rates of duty are defined in the Customs Tariff Schedule and are decided by Parliament and enforced by The Customs Department.
  • 8. When can I claim my exemption?

    • Exemptions can only be used on accompanied baggage. Meaning, the person claiming the exemption must have travelled with the goods, therefore goods arriving as cargo do not qualify (example – courier packages, goods via air or sea)
  • 9. I have been absent from the Bahamas for more than two years consecutively, what am I entitled to?

    • You are entitled to a general exemption.
    • A returning resident (citizen or permanent resident) is not entitled to the general exemption more than once in every 5 years.
    • All household effects, books, apparel, footwear, articles of personal adornment, toilet articles and other articles and effects not intended for sale nor for the purpose of any business up to a limit in value of $10,000.00; and
    • A vehicle up to a limit value of $30,000.00 (restriction on year of vehicle)
  • 10. What is environmental levy?

    • This is a fee imposed to assist the government, via the Ministry of Environmental Health with the disposal of items that are hazardous to the environment and require special waste disposal treatment.
  • 11. If I have lost or misplaced my invoice, how can I clear my goods?

    • All shipments being entered into The Bahamas require a proper invoice from the supplier. In the absence of the proper invoice, the importer may contact the supplier and have a copy of the invoice sent electronically or a hard copy.
  • 12. What format is accepted for electronic submission of documents?

    • Customs accepts xls, pdf, doc, or csv formats for declarations, however in the submission of support documents, it is a requirement that the documents are submitted in an electronic signature format, such as pdf or jpg. The format for all invoices and supporting documents should be in a format where it cannot be altered.
  • 13. How is VAT (Value Added Tax) calculated?

    • VAT is applicable on value of goods, the actual duty, processing fees, storage, Insurance, freight, other charges, local landed chargers and environmental levy fees.
  • 14. Can I bring food as a traveler?

    • Yes, you are allowed to travel with certain foods. There are restrictions when importing fruits, vegetables and some dairy items. These restrictions are in place to protect national health, and to prevent the introduction of certain diseases that are contracted from plants and animals. You must declare all food products. Failure to declare food products can result in forfeiture and or fines. Additionally, permits are required to import fruits, vegetables and plant/flowers from the Department of Agriculture prior to importation.
  • 15. How do you become a Customs Broker

    • Take a Customs Brokerage Class (not offered by Customs)
    • Sit an exam (Set by Customs, must enquire for exam dates)
    • Once a passing mark is obtained, apply to Customs for a License.
    • If approved, a Customs Broker's Licence costs $100.00