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Understanding Customs in Dominica

The Customs and Excise Division of the Ministry of Finance is responsible for the control and management of the customs clearance of goods process. All goods imported into Dominica must be cleared through Dominica customs. The most efficient way to clear goods imported into Dominica is to appoint a Customs Broker, who will lend advice and handle all the necessary documentation.

The custom duties payable depends on the items being imported and whether an exemption has been granted. The custom duties include the Import duty, Value Added Tax, Customs Service Charge, Environmental Levy and the Excise Tax. All imports must be accompanied by an import declaration, except for fresh fish taken by Dominican fishermen and imported by them in their vessels in accordance with section 26(2)(a), and baggage in accordance with section 26(2)(b) of the Customs (Control and Management) Act. The importers must present a declaration to the Customs and Excise Division within:

  • Seven days after the goods have been landed for goods transported by air, in accordance with section 26 (1) (a) of the Customs Act.
  • Fourteen days after the goods have been landed for goods transported by sea, in accordance with section 26 (1) (b) of the Customs Act.
  • Import duties levied against goods are based on the cost, and freight (CIF) value and rates determined by the CARICOM Common External Tariff (CET).
  • Importers can find a list of the CET Rates at the Customs and Excise Division.

Customs FAQ

What type of duties are there?

General Imports are subject to five different types of duties, taxes and surcharges. Duties, taxes and surcharges levied on imports are: import duty, customs service charge, environmental surcharge, excise tax and value added tax.

Where can I find a customs broker in Dominica?

The facilitation of a Customs Broker is advisable at all time, this allows for same day clearing of your items. Click here to search for one.

Where can I get more information?

The emergence of Asycuda World has helped the clearance of goods to be hassle free.

What are the duties on vehicles?

  • 40% CIF Value
  • Excise tax - 28% CIF Value
  • VAT 15%
  • Customs Service Charge - 4% CIF Value
  • Environmental levy – 5 years and over EC$3,000, under 5 years 1% of CIF value

Can new businesses get a VAT or duty exemption?

Yes. New business allow for VAT and duty exemption.

Are There Duty Free Shops in Dominica?

Yes. No duties are paid by Duty Free Shops.

Is anything automatically duty free?

Yes, renewable energy items, for example, are automatically duty free (see the Duty Free list for more information). There are also exemptions of duties on vehicles for agricultural purposes in Dominica. Manufacturers are exempted from the payment of import duty and VAT on packaging and labeling materials, and equipment and machinery used in the production of goods.

How quickly do I need to pick up items from the port in Dominica?

Investor can keep item on the port for 7 days without paying any rental space.

What about locally manufactured exports?

There are no major charges on locally manufactured exports. Manufacturers are exempted from the payment of import duty and VAT on packaging and labeling materials, and equipment and machinery used in the production of goods.

What is the duty exemption process? How do I get it?

Apply through Invest Dominica Authority. If duty free exemptions are granted and approved by the Ministry of Finance these organizations submits a master list (also subject to approval by the Ministry of Finance) to Invest Dominica Authority of all the goods and products they wish to import under the program.

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