The current Customs tariff nomenclature of St. Kitts & Nevis is based on the WCO Harmonized System (HS) Convention. Customs duties and taxes are collected based on the value which is derived from the value stated on the invoice, receipt or other proof of purchase.
The dollar value must be converted from the foreign currency stated on the proof of purchase document to Caribbean Dollar XCD. An exchange rate for the conversion of foreign currency to XCD is published by Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. Other foreign currency rates are subject to change and are updated weekly in conjunction with the Central Bank.
Customs Import Duties are applicable according to the rates set out in the Common External Tariff of the Caribbean Common Market. The rates are applied based on the (Cost, Insurance and Freight )- CIF. Rates applicable ranges from 0 to 70% with the majority of commodities attracting a rate of 25%. Following are the tariffs for some major categories -
Machinery Goods in Primary Forms, Machinery and Parts, Raw Materials, Textile Fabric, Chemicals, Office Equipment, Hand Tools - attracts a rate of 0% to 10% based on the tariff classification.
Computer & Accessories - attracts a rate of 0% Import Duty and 6% Customs Service Charge. See S.R.O. #4 and S.R.O. #12.
Motor Vehicles - attracts a rate of 45% Import Duty; Vehicle Environmental Levy (VEL) is based on the aged of vehicle.
- 4 years or more after the date of manufacture - $5000 E.C.
- more than 2 years but less than four years after the date of manufacture - $3500 E.C.
- 2 years or less - $1000 E.C.
Refrigerators, Stoves, Freezers, Microwave - attracts a rate of 25% Import Duty and 6% Customs Service Charge.
Clothing and Shoes - attracts a rate of 25% Import Duty and 6% Customs Service Charge..
Tobacco - in addition to Duty and Taxes, 20% Excise Duty is payable on the importation of all tobacco products.
Value Added Tax is associated with these imported products. VAT is payable at 17%.
The laws of St. Kitts and Nevis provides for exemptions from duties and taxes for items imported as accompanied baggage of a passenger that includes:
1) Wearing apparel, jewelry, toilet requisites and any portable article reasonably expected to be carried by him for his own private and personal use, and in the case of a passenger (18) eighteen years old and over;
- Wines or spirits not exceeding 1.5 litres in all and
- Tobacco, not exceeding 250 grams or
- Cigars, not exceeding 50, in number, or
- Cigarettes, not exceeding 200, in number
- Residents of St. Kitts/Nevis who were abroad for a period exceeding seven (7) days are entitled to a E.C.$400.00 allowance on items, excluding firearm(s) and or ammunition, acquired or purchased overseas.
Provided that :
A passenger shall not be entitled to the exemption granted above in respect of alcoholic beverages or tobacco products in excess of the quantities specified in those shown above.
Importation from countries within the Caribbean Common Market (Caricom) are exempted from the payment of Import Duty, provided the importer produces a Certificate of Origin from the country within the Common Market certifying that the goods were produced within the region of the Common Market.
POLICY FOR DUTY - FREE CONCESSIONS
- 1) A returning national is any citizen of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis who has lived abroad for a continuous 10 years or more and has decided to return home permanently.
- 2) Grace periods for duty-free concessions on imported goods: three (3) months prior and three (3) months after returning home, or six (6) months after returning home, or at any other time at the discretion of the Comptroller of Customs.
- 3) If at anytime there is doubt as to the worthiness of an applicant, a deposit will be collected. If at a later date the applicant is deemed worthy, duties will be refunded.
- 4) Returning Nationals bringing automobiles into the Federation, will be required to pay the following charges-: 12% Customs Service Charge plus the Environmental Levy. Environmental Levy for cars 2 years or less: $1,000. For cars more than 2 years but less than 4 years after the date of manufacture: $3,500. For cars imported 4 years or more years after the date of manufacture: $5,000.
- 5) Only one (1) vehicle is allowed for duty-free concession.
- 6) The vehicle must be owned by the returning national for at least six (6) months prior to arriving in the Federation, and be accompanied with a copy of the title from the country of origin.
- 7) The returning national must be 18 years or older and be a holder of a valid driver's license in the country of origin.
- 8) The vehicle must be cleared from Customs within six (6) months after arrival in the Federation from the country of origin of the returning resident, in accordance with condition (2) above.
- 9) The vehicle must be cleared from Customs either at the same time when the returning national's household and personal effects are being cleared or else at a time prior to or subsequent to the clearance of the said household and personal effects; provided however, that the vehicle is cleared in conformity with condition (8) above.
- 10) The ownership and/or control of the vehicle must NOT be transferred within three (3) years of the grant of the concession. Anyone selling the said vehicle within three (3) years on which a concession is granted, should advise the buyer and notify the Competent Authority, so that the appropriate duty could be collected at the time of sale.
- 11) Where at any time within three (3) years of the grant of the concession the Competent Authority finds that the condition above is contravened, the returning national may be ordered to pay on demand the proportionate part of the duty and taxes due on the vehicle as determined by the Customs Department.
- NB: Returning students who have been abroad for less than ten (10) years should produce to the Customs Officer some form of documentation from the college/university proving that they were out studying. Concession is given at the discretion of the Comptroller of Customs. Returning students do not have to complete the form.
CONDITIONS FOR OBTAINING DUTY-FREE CONCESSIONS
- 1) That the returning national intends to return home within a period of six (6) months from the date of application to take up permanent residence.
- 2) That the items imported duty free under the policy will not be sold before informing Customs and making arrangements to pay the duty on the residual value.
- 3) That the items are for the applicant's use and will not be tranferred to another party whether as a gift or as a sale.
- 4) To be considered as resident in St. Kitts and Nevis for the purpose of this policy, a returning national during the first three (3) years of his/her return, must NOT return abroad and reside there continuous period of more than 3 months.
- 5) Failure to comply with the above may result in the levying of duties on all items imported.
PROCEDURES FOR CLEARING CUSTOMS
- 1) When returning nationals arrive in St. Kitts and Nevis, they should first visit or contact the Secretariat for Returning Nationals (in St. Kitts), or the Ministry of Finance (in Nevis) for the proper procedure for clearing their personal and household effects and/or automobile through the Customs.
- 2) The returning national will be interviewed by the administrator to determine their eligibility for the concession.
- 3) The returning national will complete an application for the concession and if all of the requirements have been met, the Administrator will certify this to the Comptroller of Customs. Prior to the recommendation, a background check will be done on the information provided by the applicant. This may require a day or two.
- 4) The returning national will then proceed to the Customs and should be able to clear their goods with relative ease.
- 5) Returning nationals will be require to file for concession in person at the office of the Secretariat for Returning Nationals. The Administrator may waive this requirement under very extreme circumstances at his/her discretion. A letter from the returning national authorising an agent or representative to act on his/her behalf will be required.
PROOF OF ELIGIBILITY
- Valid Passport
- Proof of nationality
- Airline Ticket
- Documents showing length of stay abroad
- Retirement Letter
- Pension Letter
- Employment Letter