Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Platinum
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    12,268
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Customs Horror Story

    This thread could have been started in several different sections, however, I chose this one because this seems to be the one where most questions are asked about importing major items from the US or elsewhere.

    The following is taken from the June, 2002, issue of the publication of the Seven Seas Crusing Association (SSCA), an organization of about 5000 members, many of whom are or will be cruising the Caribbean.

    "Do any SSCA members have words of wisdom concerning dealing with Dominican Republic Customs? FedEx is trying to retrieve my $2,000 inflatable dinghy from Customs to ship it back to West Marine for me. They stated that they could do this, but it has now been a month with Customs refusing to release it. It is being shipped back to West Marine in Florida because I refused to pay the $1,250 Custom fee they wanted to charge me when I tried to pick it up in Santiago, DR."

    For the benefit of those who might not fully understand, the author of this item in the SSCA Bulletin and his wife are visiting the Caribbean on their sailboat. Since there are very few marinas in the Dominican Republic or elsewhere in the Caribbean, cruising sailors live on their boat at anchor and travel back and forth between shore and the boat by dinghy. The inflatable type is prefered because it is easier to manage and store on the boat.
    Apparently the writer needed to replace his dinghy so chose to order one from West Marine. Having pesonally lived on a sailboat in the Caribbean I know how essential it is to have a dinghy.

    People thinking about importing furniture, cars, horses or what have you should consider this sailor's experience.

  2. #2
    Regular
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    401
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Why Sanitago in the first place?

    I find it interesting that one would ship a dingy to a landlocked city such as Santiago and not Puerto Plata or Sto. Domingo. Perhaps the obscurity of the object was just too much for customs to resist giving it up without a "handling" fee/tax?

  3. #3
    Stephen
    Guest

    Default FEDEX FLIES INTO SANTIAGO

    I LIVE IN PUERTO PLATA AND USE FEDEX QUITE OFTEN. FEDEX FLIES INTO THE SANTIAGO AIRPORT AND THE ITEMS ARE RECEIVED IN CUSTOMS THERE. THE FEDEX DISTRIBUTION OFFICE IS ALSO IN SANTIAGO AND THEY MAKE THEIR DELIVERIES TO THE NORTH COAST CITIES FROM THERE. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO RECEIVE FEDEX FROM THE PUERTO PLATA AIRPORT.

  4. #4
    Bronze
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    649
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Why should the dinghy not be taxed duty? Because it will not remain in the country, it should not be dutiable, but how does customs know you don't intend to sell it in the DR or keep it in the DR?

    I remember that there is a procedure whereby in cases like this, one needs to place what amounts to a deposit that is returned when you leave the country with the item, and you must leave the country with the item within 2 years. I know that such a procedure exists in most countries. Someone more familiar with this needs to chime in. This is a common occurrance with companies visiting for participation in shows and expositions, whereby they need to temporarily import business materials for use at the shows.

  5. #5
    Platinum
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    12,268
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It is the rule in every country that I have cruised to by sailboat that items brought in for use on a vessel in transit were not subject to duty. By presenting our passport and the documents clearing us into country by the port officer, we were able to avoid payment of duty.

  6. #6
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    18,110
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It seems to me that there was a lack of planning or foresight on this item....Every poster has been quite right on this.
    Feel sorry for the guy, but, unless you arre on the scene, it is doubtful that such a large item could get thru without some form of duties...
    Preparatio avoids problems.

    HB, looking for a Sunfish...used and cheap..
    Moderator DR1.com

  7. #7
    Silver
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    3,438
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    You might want to consider paying the amount they want and selling it here. It's better than never getting it back and loosing it all (A remote possibility) and who knows, you might be able to sell it at a good price and recuperate part of the $$ spent at customs.

  8. #8
    Regular
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    42
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    This incident is not an isolated incident. Many boaters have had the same problem which the carierers have not been able to alleviate.

    A ship in transit does not normally have to pay tax/duty for essential items. This is an internationally recognized practice.

    I have been to the customs office in Santiago airport with a cruising boater to collect a computer navigation and a cable tester. When challenged on the "boat in transit" spiel they claimed that they could not do anything it was "grabado en la computadora". You can go to the main office in Santo Domingo to make a claim.

    In this case the boater paid the fees and the carrier who admitted their mistake refunded the carraige costs.

    This practice causes bad feelings with boaters. Luperon and Samana need these visitors who spend more money in each town than the average hotel tourist. Presidente, Rum, vegetables, rice, bread, Restaurantes and more Presidente and Rum etc.

    These people communcate on HAM radio, single sideband and VHF radio with other boaters from Florida to Venezuela and if they have a good experience here they encourage people to visit the D.R. If they have a bad experience...............

  9. #9
    Regular
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    359
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Customs for Santiago recently moved to the new airport south of the city. It wouldn't surprise me if the object in question was "lost" in the move.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •