Skip Allen’s View from the Pilothouse column is always worth reading. In the April 2010 Southern Boating says, in part:
“I keep quite a number of spares on board for the expected things like impellers, belts, oil filters and fuses, but knowing that the Bahamian government has reversed a previous unpopular decision and is no longer charging hefty duty on imported repair parts for those boats with valid Bahamas cruising permits gives me more peace of mind and means I don’t have to provide for complete redundancy.”
This is the first mention I’ve seen of the Bahamas doing away with “hefty duty” on parts for cruisers. Does anyone have more information on this?
I’m headed to Abaco in a couple of weeks.
Milt Baker, Nordhavn 47 Bluewater
The duty was lifted last summer (I believe May) but the vessel must have a valid Bahamas Cruising Permit.
Ted Stehle, Editor
Waterway Guide/Skipper Bob Publications
Many thanks, Bob and Ted.
The definitive word seems to be that duty is no longer payable on “replacement boat parts,” though the 7% stamp tax is. Details are at:
Specifically, that URL reports:
BAHAMAS CUSTOMS DUTY FOR BOAT PARTS
There has been a rumor circulating that boaters now have to pay duty on replacement boat parts coming in to the Bahamas. Customs Superintendent Raphael Whyms said that boaters who have a valid cruising permit should have to pay only a 7% stamp tax on replacement boat parts. They should not have to pay any duty. If a boater is assessed a duty fee, he should call Mr. Whyms in Nassau at 242-302-3531 to report it and have the problem corrected.
In addition, I just heard this from friends living on Grand Bahama:
“Yes, the Bahamas has reversed their short-lived practice of charging duty on parts (it lasted for about 1 year) that come in for boats, provided that the in-bound shipment is accompanied with a valid cruising permit. Just recently, my brother came for a visit and was carrying several parts for us — some of which were clearly boat related, the the others that could had been for boat or house use. The clearly boat-related parts were allowed in duty-free without a problem when my brother presented the cruising permit. The other parts that could be used either on a boat or in a home were allowed in under the normal tourist terms — first $100 duty free.
“It is very important that when you order parts from the States that you provide a copy of the cruising permit and request that it be included in the shipment.
“Keep in mind that duty is the main source of income for the Bahamian government and, with the decrease in tourism, and the increase in unemployment, Customs officers are like mother lions protecting their kids!
“Now if they would just change the terms of the $300 cruising permit and allow us to come and go freely for one year, that would be great. As it is, you can exit/re-enter one time within the first 90 days of your 1 year cruising permit.”
I’ve seen reference to this also, several times recently, but I can’t quote where other than in several magazines.
Rudy and Jill
Briney Bug, Panama City, Fl
It surely represents a change back to the way things ought to be.
When I owned Bluewater Books & Charts we sent hundreds, maybe thousands, of packages to yachts in the Bahamas, each package with a neatly labeled with something like “IMPORTED DUTY FREE FOR “YACHT IN TRANSIT” UNDER BAHAMAS LAW (law number included here)” and it always worked really well.
While I’m at the computer, let me say thanks for you frequent posts–they are knowledgeable, valuable, witty, and a thorough joy to read. We on this board are most fortunate to be the beneficiaries of your knowledge, Rudy, and your willingness to share it. Bravo Zulu!
Importing parts for vessels “in transit” with a cruising permit are duty free. Here is the link to the official Bahamas.gov website. Once there, click on the Tariff Act amendment to see the PDF file. Read the
title of the amendment which in part says “to restore the exemption from duty …. parts for temporary cruising vessels”
Folks in George Town report problems with local customs still charging duty. I shipped many parts to Staniel Cay and never paid a cent of duty this past winter.