Category: St Lucia
St Lucians who wish to qualify for retuning resident status must meet the following conditions:
- A citizen of St Lucia, eighteen years & above, returning to St Lucia to settle after a minimum of ten (10) years residence abroad.
- A citizen of St Lucia by descent, who is eighteen years and above who will be settling in St Lucia after a minimum of ten years residence abroad; or
- An alien spouse of St Lucian citizen by birth or descent, coming to St Lucia to settle, after a minimum of ten years residence abroad.
Persons who qualify for returning residents status are allowed the following benefits:
- Bring in a container of personal goods duty free, typically home contents.
- Import or purchase of a vehicle duty free; given that duty on most vehicles is over 100%, this represents a significant saving. Typically one would order a fairly expensive vehicle, as this is a one-off opportunity. Note that the purchased vehicle cannot be sold for 4 years.
Returning residents have six months from the time of registering to take advantage of the above benefits:
Concessions on Household and Personal Effects
Household and personal effects, whether new or used, adequate to furnish one’s family residence, will be allowed free of Customs Duties and Consumption Tax. The basic effects and the typical quantities are contained in the list below by room category.
Guidelines for Returning St Lucia Nationals are included below:
- Concessions on Household and Personal Effects
- Importation of Motor Vehicles
- Clearing Your Motor Vehicle
- Limitations of the Policy
- Clearing Your Household and Personal Effects
Importation of Motor Vehicles
One (1) vehicle per person or family, will be allowed in free of taxes and duties provided:
- That the vehicle does not exceed the cost, insurance & freight (CIF) value of US$15,000 and the returning national arrives accompanied by the vehicle, or
- The vehicle arrives within 3 months before or after the arrival of the returning national, or
- is purchased in Saint Lucia by the returning national within 3 months of the individual’s return to Saint Lucia.
Where the CIF value of a motor vehicle exceeds US$15,000, the excess customs duty shall be paid by the importer.
The returning national shall not sell, exchange or in any way dispose of the vehicle within 3 years of the date of importation.
Where a vehicle is disposed of within 3 years of importation as a result of an accident, the returning national may apply the balance of the duty-free period pro rated by the Comptroller of Customs, to the purchase of a replacement vehicle.
Tools of trade, instruments and pieces of equipment normally used in the pursuit of the declared profession or trade of the returning national, will be admitted free of taxes and duties.
Tools of trade do not include plant, machinery and heavy-duty vehicles.
The types and quantities of tools of trade shall be determined by the Comptroller of Customs.
Clearing Your Motor Vehicle
You will be required to provide evidence of ownership of the vehicle (Certificate of Title).
When the vehicle arrives, it is advisable that you employ the services of a Customs Broker to assist you in clearing it from the docks. The broker will inform you of the procedure and will do all the necessary paperwork for an agreed fee.
In arriving at a Customs value for the vehicle, the freight or shipping charge for the transportation of the vehicle to Saint Lucia will be considered.
Before clearing the vehicle one must obtain the necessary documents from the Customs Department, then pay your vehicle insurance and if possible, have it inspected on the docks by one of the approved inspections garages namely Freddy’s Garage, B&D Construction Garage, Spencer’s Garage and Mike’s-Fix-It Garage.
Limitations of the Policy
A service charge of 4% is charged on all new and used items.
A returning national who has returned to St Lucia during his 10 year absence and stayed for a continuous period of more than 6 months on the island on more than 2 occasions does not qualify for exemptions.
A returning national who during the 3 years following his return to Saint Lucia, returns abroad and resides there for a continuous period of more than 3 months loses the privileges of the policy and is liable to pay all taxes waived for him/her.
Personal and household effects should be brought in to Saint Lucia not more than 3 months after the national’s return.
An individual cannot benefit from the exemptions more than once.
Clearing Your Household and Personal Effects
To establish your eligibility to the concessions as a returning national, it is important that you submit to the Customs Department:
- your passport; and or
- other evidence to substantiate your residence abroad for at least 10 years
In order to avoid the payment of Customs duties on your household and personal effects, please ensure that you do not import any goods which are in excess of the quantities allowed.
When the Effects arrive in Saint Lucia, it is possible that they will be in a container. it is advisable that in packing them you make an inventory of all the items to present to the Customs at the time of clearance. if possible submit values for the items whether used or new. if you desire to have the container removed from the docks to your premises for examination, you must deposit with the Customs Department an amount equivalent to the normal duties on the goods.
The deposit is not required if the goods are removed from the container and placed in the Port Authority sheds pending Customs examination to determine your eligibility to the duty-free concessions.
For examination of the container at your private premises during or after normal workings, you are required to pay the following fee to the Comptroller of Customs:
Container not exceeding 20 feet – EC$155.00
Container exceeding 20 feet – EC$225.00
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