Many cruisers need to have items shipped to them while they are in the Bahamas - particularly repair and replacement parts for their vessels. Just about everything people need in the Bahamas is shipped in - mostly from the U.S.. This means that there are well developed and effective methods to get things to you when you need them. The way to do it varies a great deal depending on your location.
Updated: 21 January 2015
Note: Use the Geographic Index and check Packaging & Shipping in the directory of services, facilities, and attractions for your area.
Procedures to avoid duty on boat repair parts:
- You will need to provide a copy of your cruising permit (a .pdf scan or a fax will do).
- A cover letter "To Whom It May Concern" (can be an email) to the shipper with all necessary information will assist them with transport and customs issues. This is particularly important for repair / replacement parts that were exempted from customs duty by a new regulation in 2009.
- Invoices for the items being shipped (.pdf files or faxes will do).
- You will need to make arrangements to pay customs duty on non-repair / replacement items (Duty is 35% of the value and 7% for stamp tax).
- The agent who handles customs for you will usually charge a separate fee.
- There are a number of enterprises in the Bahamas that have offices in the US that can receive shipments that will then be transshipped by air of boat to the Bahamas where they will go through customs. These service can provide end-to-end responsibility from US to final destination in the Bahamas where you will pay shipping and customs costs when you pick up your package. Contact them by email or phone before shipping.
- Use the Geographic Index for your general area and check the Packages & Shipping topic to see what services are available.
- FedEx, UPS, DHL provide their excellent service to the larger islands: New Providence (Nassau), Abacos, and many other islands.
- Use the Geographic Index and check with marinas in your general area as they usually have experience.
- Use the Geographic Index and check with air service providers in your general area as many can provide this service.
Specific Local Services:
- Florida Air Cargo; 305-687-1080. Daily airfreight to Nassau from Ft. Lauderdale.
- IE Imports / Inter-Island Export; 242-367-3622 (Marsh Harbour); 561-210-5059, 954-793-7508 (US); email@example.com (US office) . Will air ship packages to Marsh Harbour that are sent to their West Palm Beach FL office [Your Name / Company Name ℅ Inter-Island Export, 6970 Wallis Rd., West Palm Beach, FL 33413]. They will handle customs.
- Watermakers Air; 954-771-0330; Fax:954-771-0499; firstname.lastname@example.org Will transport items that you have shipped to their Ft. Lauderdale office at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. There are twice daily flights to Staniel Cay. They handle customs at the stop at Andros on the way to Staniel. Watermakers Shipping Instructions
John Doe/M/Y “Finnegan”/Staniel Cayc/o Watermakers Air
2331 NW 55th Court
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
Highbourne Cay to Staniel Cay
- MV Retrieve; 910-599-8707; email@example.com. A freight boat providing regular freight service between Miami FL and the Exumas. The ship has a 3000 lb crane to handle heavier items. They handle customs and VAT.
- Forbes Enterprises Ltd.; 242-336-2857; Fax: 242-225-0139; firstname.lastname@example.org. Naaman Forbes. Customs brokerage. Are agents for UPS. They can arrange for shipment of items from US to George Town by air or by ship; contact for ordering, clearing, delivering parts.