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Cayman Islands Imports Law

ARE YOU LIABLE TO PAY CUSTOMS DUTY? You have important rights and entitlements as an importer. You are entitled to expect that…

GENERAL

The Tariff headings, under which goods are charged Import Duty and the Duty Rates applied, are found in the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Law. Goods Exempt from Customs duty are shown in the Second Schedule. Rates of Package Tax payable on goods being imported by air or post are listed in the third schedule. Warehouse fees are listed in the customs regulations.

Copies of the various Laws and Regulations can be purchased at the Legislative Assembly Building in George Town, Grand Cayman.

The Principal Law relating to the administration and procedures of the Customs Department is the Customs Law. This Law constitutes the legal basis for the collection and management of the Customs Duties and the Enforcement of the Prohibitions and Restrictions on the importation and exportation of goods.

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HELP AND INFORMATION

The staff of the Customs Department will help you in every reasonable way to obtain your rights and to understand and meet your obligations under the Customs Law. So that they can do this, Officers are entitled to expect that your declaration will give them the full facts they need to decide how much duty you should pay.

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COURTESY AND CONSIDERATION

The staff of the Department will at all times carry out their duties courteously, considerately and promptly.

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FAIRNESS

You will have your liability for duty decided impartially and be required to pay no more than the law requires.

You will be treated in the same way as other importers in similar circumstances. You will be presumed to have been honest in your dealings with Customs, unless there is reason to believe otherwise.

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PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY

Information about your business affairs supplied to Customs will be treated in strict confidence and used only for purposes allowed by the law.

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COSTS OF COMPLIANCE

In applying the law, the Department will recognize the need to minimize the costs you incur, subject to their responsibility to collect efficiently and economically the duty that is due from you.

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DUTY EXEMPTIONS AND RELIEFS

The Customs Law provides for the grant of a number of different kinds of exemption or relief from import duty for certain special classes of importation. Particulars are given below of the main provisions. More detailed information can be found in Second Schedule to the Customs Tariff Law. Details about conditions, which may be attached to duty exemptions or reliefs, can be obtained from the Customs Department.

TEMPORARY IMPORTS:

Goods, which are temporarily imported for a specified period (not normally exceeding six months), may be eligible for duty free importation, subject to certain conditions, which may include a deposit of duty or a guarantee to cover the duty at risk. Application for temporary importation facilities must be made to the Collector of Customs at the Administrative Offices at 42 Owen Roberts Drive, Grand Cayman. The request for temporary import should be MUST be made before the goods are delivered out of Customs charge.

DUTY FRANCHISES AND OTHER SPECIAL DUTY RELIEFS:

Section 48 of the Customs Law provides that the Governor in Council may in any particular case, waive, reduce or order refund of, any duty or package tax or part thereof, which would otherwise be payable or would not be liable to refund under the law. Use is made of this provision from time to time to grant “franchises” to particular importers in circumstances in which it is in the best interests of the economy of the country to do so. Persons who consider that they might be entitled to request such exceptional treatment should consult the Customs in the first instance. Rigorous conditions may be attached to any such duty relief.

RE-IMPORTED (UNPROCESSED) GOODS:

Goods which can be shown to the satisfaction of the Customs to have been previously imported on payment of the duty due (which has not since then been repaid, as drawback or otherwise) and not to have been repaired or otherwise processed while abroad or to have changes their form or character may be entitled to be imported free, or partially free, of any charge to duty.

Importers who consider that they have a claim to this duty relief should consult the Customs.

GOODS RE-IMPORTED AFTER PROCESSING ABROAD:

Provided that proper notice is given at the time of exportation and certain other conditions are observed, importers who can establish to the satisfaction of the Customs that their goods are being re-imported after having been repaired, restored or otherwise processed abroad without having substantially changed their form or character and that any duty chargeable on them before their exportation was duty paid and has not since been refunded may be entitled to pay duty only on the cost of process or repair which has been under taken whilst the goods were abroad. Freight and insurance will be included in the costs on which Customs duty will be assessed.

Importers wanting more information about this provision should consult the Customs.

In certain circumstances a “drawback” or other form of repayment of duty previously paid may be payable.

Drawback is payable on the following classes of goods, provided that the goods concern have not been in the islands for two years or more, and have not been used during that time; that they would, if sold realize more than the amount of drawback claimed; that the amount claimed exceeds $10.00; and that the payment of drawback is made within one year of exportation:

Goods re-exported in the packages in which imported. Goods exported as ships or aircraft stores. Spirits and wines sold to passengers about to depart from the islands. Goods deposited in a bonded warehouse.

REFUND:

subject to certain conditions, the importer may be eligible to claim from the Customs a repayment of duty paid by him on imported goods where he can show to their satisfaction:

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REPAYMENT PROVISIONS

  • that the goods were imported in pursuance of a contract of sale and that their description, quantity, state or condition was not in accordance with that contract, or that the goods were damaged in transit; and
  • That he, with the seller’s consent, either returned the goods unused to the seller, after duty entering the goods for exportation, or destroyed the goods with Customs agreement.

This provision does not in any way entitle importers to a refund of duty on goods imported on “sale or return” or similar terms.

The Customs are responsible, among other things, for the enforcement of certain import and export prohibitions, including the control of firearms and prohibited dangerous drugs.

The statutory authority for a number of prohibitions and restrictions is provided in Section 10 of the Customs Law and the Customs (Prohibited Goods Order).

The remainder is from other legislation such as: The Misuse of Drugs Law The Firearms Law The Plants Law The Animals Law The Endangered Species Protection & Propagation Law The Penal Code Law The Traffic Law

Importers of radio or radar apparatus must be in possession of the relevant license permit or certificate, except where exempted. Please contact the Cayman Islands Customs Department for further information.

The import of marine radio transmitting equipment for operation in the A.M. mode only within the bands 1605 and 4000 kHz is prohibited.

Any other Law that Restricts or Prohibits the import or export of certain goods, and any other goods that may be prescribed by the Governor and Cabinet from time to time.

Any violation of these prohibitions laid down in the Customs Law or in any other enactments, could result in the prosecution of the offender, with heavy penalties and imprisonment.

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PROHIBITIONS and RESTRICTIONS

The Customs are responsible, among other things, for the enforcement of certain import and export prohibitions, including the control of firearms and prohibited dangerous drugs.

The statutory authority for a number of prohibitions and restrictions is provided in Section 10 of the Customs Law and the Customs (Prohibited Goods Order).

The remainder is from other legislation such as:

  • The Misuse of Drugs Law
  • The Firearms Law
  • The Plants Law
  • The Animals Law
  • The Endangered Species Protection & Propagation Law
  • The Penal Code Law
  • The Traffic Law

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VHF RADIOS, RADAR AND CB RADIOS

Importers of radio or radar apparatus must be in possession of the relevant license permit or certificate, except where exempted. Please contact the Cayman Islands Customs Department for further information.

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MARINE RADIOS

The import of marine radio transmitting equipment for operation in the A.M. mode only within the bands 1605 and 4000 kHz is prohibited.

Any other Law that Restricts or Prohibits the import or export of certain goods, and any other goods that may be prescribed by the Governor and Cabinet from time to time.

Any violation of these prohibitions laid down in the Customs Law or in any other enactments, could result in the prosecution of the offender, with heavy penalties and imprisonment

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Last Updated: 2008-11-27