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returning residents

Dominicans returning home for permanent residence are allowed to import free of duty and value added tax only, all household

and personal effects including one (1) motor vehicles new or used. Excise Tax, Environmental Surcharge and Customs Service

Charge must be paid on motor vehicles.


Only one of each of the following items will enjoy this concession per household namely:-

Television, video cassette recorder, stereo set, refrigerator, cooker/stove range, washing machine, microwave oven, dryer,




This policy is intended to encourage and facilitate Dominicans living abroad to return home for:

  • Investment

  • Working and sharing experience and expertise gained abroad

  • Old age retirement


A Dominican will qualify if he/she:

  • Has attained the age of eighteen (18) years; and

  • Is returning permanently to Dominica; and

  • Has residence status outside of Dominica continuously for the last seven (7) years; and

  • Will keep household personal effects for only his or her use; and

  • Will NOT sell, lend, hire out or otherwise dispose of them after duty free concession is granted; and

  • Has not benefitted from these concessions before.

Only one member of a family returning home will be eligible. A family returning home many consist of a husband, wife and children below the age of

eighteen (18).

The returning resident will be required to attend a brief interview at the Customs and Excise Division and may be referred to the Ministry of Finance by the

Comptroller of Customs. In order to establish eligibility as a returning resident all of the following documents will be required:-

  • Dominican passport dated back to at least seven (7) years prior to date of relocation to Dominica

  • Documentary evidence to substantiate residential status outside of Dominica for more than seven (7) years (e.g. entries in foreign passport, alien resident card

    or work permit accompanied by job letter)

  • Documentary evidence to substantiate the applicant’s intention to reestablish permanent residence in Dominica. This could include for example proof of

    retirement, proof of ownership of dwelling house or land in Dominica or poof of planned investment in Dominica.

3.Time Frame for the Importation of belongings

  • There is a grace period of three (3) months to import household and personal effects prior to the date of arrival in Dominica or six (6) months from the date of

    the interview.

  • Household and personal effects or a vehicle can be shipped in advance of arrival but they should arrive no more than three (3) months before permanent

    return/relocation to Dominica. They will be in the custody of the Dominica Air and Sea Ports Authority. Storage dues will be charged.

  • If all belongings are not shipped the remainder can be imported duty free no later than six (6) months for the date of arrival in Dominica.

    An extension may be granted by the Financial Secretary if a request for extension is made within six (6) months of return to Dominica

4.Guidelines for vehicles

A vehicle can either be imported or purchased locally. The imported vehicle can be new or used provided that it is imported from the country where the returnee

resided immediately before returning to Dominica. The vehicle must be purchased prior to the arrival of the ‘returnee’ to Dominica.

Persons will be required to provide proof of possession of the vehicle outside of Dominica. The following documents pertaining to the vehicle could be provided:-

  • Bill of sale

  • Certificate of title

  • Foreign registration papers

  • Police certificate of registration

  • Insurance policy

  • Export document

If a vehicle is inherited, the same rules apply. However, the following is also required:-

  • Bill of sale

  • The original certificate of title

  • A death certificate of the testator (deceased)

  • Documentation from the executor

  • Export documents

If a vehicle is purchased locally, it must be done through a licensed dealer within six (6) months of the arrival of the returnee.

The Environmental Surcharge of $3000.00 will be applicable if the vehicle is five (5) years old, and 1% if the vehicle is less than five (5) years old. Customs

Service Charge of 3% and Excise Tax of 28% are also applicable.

The following conditions shall apply under the provisions of Section 60 of the Customs (Control and Management) Act; Chap 60:01 of the Laws of Dominica:

  • An agreement shall be made between the returnee and the Comptroller o customs.

  • The vehicle shall not be sold, given away, exchanged or otherwise disposed of within a period of five (5) years without the payment of applicable duty;

  • The vehicle may be sold after five years without the payment of Customs duties with the approval of the Minister for Finance after consultation with the

    Comptroller of Customs;

  • The Comptroller of Customs must be informed of the custody of the vehicle if the ‘returnee’ leaves Dominica for a period of less than six (6) months;

  • Where the ‘returnee’ leaves Dominica for a continuous period of over six (6) months, except for special circumstances as determined by the Financial

    Secretary, all applicable duties will be immediately paid in full.

  • If any term of the agreement is violated, the Comptroller reserves the right to seize the said vehicle as being liable to forfeiture pending payment of the duties in

    full. The Comptroller can also sell the vehicle by a public auction after a period of two (2) months after the date of the seizure.

Duty Free concessions to Students

Students who have studied abroad for more than one year will qualify for concessions in respect of books computer and other used personal effects.

Students are not entitled to motor vehicles duty free.

To confirm duration of the course of study or time spent abroad, documentary evidence should be provided.

Contact Information

Dominica Customs & Excise Division

Woodbridge bay

Tel : 266-3717

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