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Imports

It is the importer’s responsibility in law to enter all goods (whether dutiable or not) with the Customs within seven days of their arrival in the Cayman Islands, by completing the appropriate entry form and lodging it with the Customs. The forms to be used for ordinary merchandise vary according to the type of transaction involved, as follows:

C1-Customs form No.1: Entry For Home Use - is to be used for goods to be cleared outright on payment of any duty (and package tax / warehouse fees, where applicable) legally due on them.

C2-Customs Form No.2: Export Entry - is used for exports.

C3-Customs form No.3: Entry For Goods To Be Warehoused - is to be used when the goods are to be stored in a bonded warehouse, where permissible, without the immediate payment of any import duty legally due, pending re-export or later clearance for home use on payment of duty.

C4-Customs form No.4: Entry For Transit Or Transhipment - is to be used when imported goods are to be immediately re-exported on another vessel or aircraft, without payment of duty.

C5-Customs form No.5: Declaration of Unaccompanied Personal Effects - This form is to be completed when persons taking up residence in the Cayman Islands have additional personal effects that are not arriving with them as baggage but will arrive as cargo

All forms are available online, at any Customs location including Cayman Brac at the District Administration Customs office in Stake Bay.

The forms are self-explanatory and the notes on the reverse of each form will be of assistance in completing them. It is the importer’s responsibility to complete the entry forms and he must not expect a Customs Officer to do this for him, nor to assist him to do so. If an importer cannot complete the documentation himself, he should seek the assistance of a Customs Broker.

In the case of regular importers of large consignments (Such as container loads of goods of many different descriptions), the Customs are prepared to make special arrangements. The importer may present a summarized entry, provided that it is accompanied by a computerized (or similarly prepared) invoice or other commercial document from his supplier, giving all the details required for Customs purposes. Eligible importers who wish to avail themselves of such special arrangements should make application to the Collector of Customs.

When the appropriate entry has been presented to Customs and checked and accepted by the, and the duty (if any) paid, the Department has the right to require the goods to be opened for physical examination to ensure that they have been correctly declared. Such examinations must normally take place at the transit shed at the dock or airport where they have been landed, or at an approved clearance depot inland. In certain circumstances however, it may be possible for the goods to be removed under bond to the importer’s premises for examination there by Customs. In such cases outside of customs normal working hours, the importer may be required to pay for the attendance of the customs officers involved.

Ships, Fishing Boats, Yachts, Other Craft and Aircraft require special mention because, in addition to their being within the definition of “goods” (i.e. a form of merchandise that can be bought or sold), they are themselves carriers of goods, passengers and crew. As such they are not formally required to be entered each time they arrive from abroad- although they must of course, report their arrival to Customs in the proper manner. Until this has been done, no passengers or crew are allowed to disembark. Customs clearance must be obtained before a ship or aircraft may depart. This requirement applies even to vessels, which are journeying “coastwise” (i.e. to Cayman Brac or Little Cayman). An Import Entry (C1) is required when a previously foreign-owned vessel is purchased by a Cayman resident and subsequently arrives for the first time in the Cayman Islands, whether or not duty is payable on it. Import Duty is not payable on ships, yachts and aircraft, which are used exclusively on international voyages. Duty is payable on other classes of ships, boats, yachts and vessels. Boats up to 18 feet are duty free, vessels exceeding 18 feet is dutiable at 12 % of the CIF value. Duty is payable on non-commercial aircraft (including company owned ‘executive aircraft’).

Passengers Personal Effects imported in their accompanied baggage are not subject to the full Customs entry procedures described above, but particulars should be given on the Customs Declaration Form which all passengers are required to complete on their voyage or flight into the Cayman Islands (whether the goods concerned are dutiable or not).

It should be noted that merchandise (i.e. goods imported for sale in this country) should not normally be imported as baggage, but as manifested cargo or freight. If imported in baggage, however, it must be properly declared and entered.

Passengers Unaccompanied Personal and Household Effects are subjects to Customs Entry procedures: in addition, a declaration on C5- CUSTOMS FORM No.5 must be made to customs by the owner of the goods and attached to the import entry.

Postal Importations are normally cleared against the sender’s declaration accompanying the package and do not require formal entry procedures. In some cases, however (e.g. when the goods are of high value or might be eligible for a duty relief of some kind, or where further information about the goods is required), the Customs Officer at the Postal Depot may call for the completion of the appropriate form of entry.

Last Updated: 2008-11-28