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Hurricane Dorian – Emergency Relief Measures

EMERGENCY RELIEF MEASURES1 are in effect temporarily to remove taxes on the importation of relief supplies for use in areas of The Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian.  The measures are intended by The Bahamas Government to expedite the getting of needed supplies to residents affected by the storm urgently to relieve hardship now being experienced in the aftermath.

A simplified Bahamas Customs process has been established consisting of three simple steps leading to smooth release of hurricane relief supplies.

Who is eligible under the emergency relief measures?
Individuals and businesses are eligible to import goods duty-free and VAT-free if the imported goods are –

  • on an approved list of items;
  • destined for an approved island; and
  • will be used for charitable purposes to support restoration activities directly related to Hurricane Dorian or by individuals who have directly suffered hardship or loss as a result of Hurricane Dorian.

What goods are on the approved list?
Approved goods are –

  • Bottled water*
  • Clothing*
  • Food for personal consumption*
  • Personal hygiene products*
  • Medicine and medical supplies
  • Building materials
  • Tents
  • Cots
  • Bedding materials
  • Mosquito nettings
  • Electrical and plumbing fixtures and materials
  • Household furniture, furnishings and appliances
  • Electric generators
  • Such other items as may, in the Financial Secretary’s opinion, be hurricane relief supplies

*These items are only tax-free for 30 days.

All other items are tax free for 90-days.

Special approval of the Ministry of Finance is needed for tax breaks on any imported donations not included on the approved list.

Which are the approved islands?
Islands approved for the final destination of relief goods are –

  • Abaco Island
  • The Abaco Cays
  • Grand Bahama Island
  • Sweetings Cay
  • Deep Water Cay
  • Water Cay

Waiver of Departure Tax, Customs Processing Fees and Environment levy Fees.

For a period of 90-days, there is a waiver of departure tax, customs processing fees and any environmental levy fees for non-commerical flights bringing in relief goods to the approved islands.

Whats the process?

Three simple steps –

  1. Complete an Exigency Order Application Form;
  2. Complete Relevant Customs Declaration Form; and
  3. Present Documents to Customs at Port of Entry for on-site clearance and approval.

Where to get the forms and more information?

To download the forms or get further information, go to: https://inlandrevenue.finance.gov.bs/other/hurricane-dorian-exigency-order/
1Hurricane Dorian Exigency Order, 02 September 2019

© Delaney Partners, September 2019

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