All people or companies interested in importing one or more used vehicles should know that there are a number of conditions that must be met before claiming their vehicle. All cars must be insured if you want to import to the Bahamas and this has to be reflected in the Bill of landing.
If you are importing a right-hand drive vehicle, note that the headlights will need to be readjusted to illuminate to the left of the road. Once your vehicle has arrived, you must take it to the local highway and traffic department immediately in order to obtain a license and inspection.
You must present the appropriate documents and pay the specified amount of money to cover the customs duty fees and any other associated fees. In this regard, you will need to complete the relevant entry forms (Form C-14 for Nassau, Form C-13 for Freeport, and Form C-43 for Declaration of Value), submit the shipping documents, and provide an invoice received by you to the Bahamas Customs Department. Due to the recent government implementation of the Value Added Tax (VAT) that began on January 1, 2015, Bahamians are required to pay an additional 7.5% tax on imported vehicles, with the exception that they are imported from temporary form.
Customs duties on imported vehicles vary based on several factors:
1. How the vehicle will be used: It can be for private, official or public transport use. Taxi owners could now also import used tax-free vehicles up to three years old, as opposed to the current restriction of only new cars
2. The size of the engine: With an engine greater than 1500cc. taxes will be higher. Hybrids and other electric vehicles are far less, charged with just 25% tax.
3. The age of the vehicle: The government has also banned the importation of wrecked vehicles and cars older than ten years.
It is usually 35% or more. There is a maximum duty rate of 65 percent on vehicles, below the pre-existing tax of 85 percent.
Customs duty rates are determined by the value of the vehicle. For example, if a vehicle costs $ 10,000 or less, you will be charged a 65% tax rate, while a vehicle that is valued at $ 10,001 to $ 40,000 will have a 75% rate. Vehicles priced over $ 40,000 have an 85% tax rate.
Other charges may include: 1% processing fee, vehicle environmental tax fee, storage fees, freight and insurance, and landing fees. Please note that 7.5% VAT is not included in these rates and must be paid separately.