A small island nation located in the North Atlantic, Barbados is one of the top tourist destinations in the Caribbean--and one of the most developed islands in the Lesser Antilles. Barbados became an independent nation in 1966 when they declared sovereignty from British rule. Today, the island remains a perfect place to experience the island lifestyle with influences from many different cultures.
Whatever your reasons for relocating to Barbados, whether it's for employment, family or just a change of scenery, you'll need to be properly prepared when entering the country through customs.
Here's what you need to know when preparing to travel to Barbados from the United States:
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR ENTRY
Traveling is stressful, especially when you're moving from your home country to a foreign land. One thing you don't want to forget is your identification and any other important documents that you'll need to get through customs in your new country.
In addition to the usual documents required when traveling abroad (passport, visa, etc.) there are also several more important documents that you'll need if you're relocating to Barbados:
- Passport (original)
- Copy of shipping inventory
SHIPPING AND CUSTOMS REGULATIONS
When you're relocating to another country, you're going to be bringing quite a bit more than a few pieces of luggage and a carry-on. You'll need to have most of your belongings shipped overseas to your destination.
Here are some of the customs regulations for people entering Barbados:
- Customers must be present at customs clearance
- Household and personal effects may be imported duty- and tax-free provided they have been owned and used for at least 12 months
Laws are different all around the world, as are the rules and regulations regarding what you can bring with you when entering a foreign country. Before you move, take a moment to familiarize yourself with which items are prohibited in the country.
The following items are prohibited from entry into Barbados through customs and may be seized upon arrival:
- Illegal drugs
- Knives and other deadly weapons
- Foreign rum
- Bags, clothing and other material made from camouflage materials
- Radioactive or other hazardous materials
- Counterfeit money and goods
- Pornographic material
While the items on this list are not completely prohibited from entering the country through customs, there may be a tax or duty placed on them upon arrival, or other restrictions.
The following items are dutiable and/or restricted:
- Firearms are subject to high duty and require a special Import Permit
- All items falling under Barbados Miscellaneous Control Act (e.g. motor vehicles, new furniture, etc.) require Import Licenses
- Meat requires a health certificate and must be inspected by the Port Health Authority
- Fruit and vegetables, cuttings, seeds and all unprocessed plant products must be declared to customs and presented for inspection before clearance. Also, fresh fruits from certain countries are prohibited in order to prevent the spread of plant diseases.
- Plants must be inspected by a plant quarantine office before being allowed into Barbados
- Jewelry, clocks and watches are subject to duty and tax
Basic rates of duty range from five percent to 40 percent of CIF Bridgetown Value, and Value Added Tax is 15 percent.
MOTOR VEHICLE REGULATIONS
If you're relocating to Barbados, you may want to have a car with you in your new country. If you already own a car and are considering having it shipped to Barbados, you should pay close attention to the rules and regulations regarding motor vehicle shipments.
If you will be shipping your car to Barbados, the following guidelines and regulations will apply:
- Subject to duty and motor vehicle tax and requires an Import Permit from the Ministry of External Affairs, Christchurch, Barbados
- Vehicles must not be older than four years from date of manufacture or have odometers reading under 50,000 kilometers
- Documents required:
- Owner's log book
- Insurance policy
- Commercial invoice
- Import License
PETS AND ANIMAL REGULATIONS
It always helps to have a companion by your side when you're beginning your life in a new country-- bringing your pet along with you is a great way to enjoy the comforts of home as you embark on your journey.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the regulations regarding traveling with pets to Barbados, as well as what kind of documents you'll need to clear customs:
- Pets must be quarantined in a Category I country (United Kingdom) for a period of six months before being allowed to enter Barbados from the United States
- Current health certificate and import permit must be issued by the Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development, Veterinary Division prior to importation of your pet
- Customs duties are levied on all animals entering Barbados
International moves are unique due to the amount of preparation and planning required to relocate from one country to another. In addition to securing the services of an international moving company, packing your belongings and planning your moving budget, you must also consider the customs regulations in your destination country. These regulations often vary from country to country and are subject to change.
To help you prepare for your move, we've provided you with a few helpful links to learn more about the complicated international moving process: