Grenada customs put me over a barrel

By December 18, 2018Caribbean, Grenada
Water bottles

As I have written in the past, I left my boat in dry dock on the south coast of Grenada at Grenada Marina. Everything was fine and dandy, until I flew back to the boat. You see every time I am back in The States I go shopping for things I can’t find in the islands. Usually I fly back to Puerto Rico with all my stuff, but this time I had to go to Grenada which is a different country.

Turns out Grenada had a 2.5% import duty on all parts, tools, and supplies for yacht that are not registered in Grenada. This is actually a great thing because it means boaters do not have to pay the full tax for something that will not stay in Grenada. The problem is I took an entire box of new water bottles that I give to guest when they come aboard. The customs officer decided these could be sold on the island and charged me 40% for all my water bottles, cozies, and pens. They went so far as to count each ten cent pen. In the end I had to pay $115 US to get my own water bottles on the boat. If I had known that it would have been cheaper for me to ship the huge box to St Thomas and gotten them there. DARN IT!

Talking about customs, I meet a couple down there that just moved onto their new boat and shipped all their belongings to Grenada. The problem is that the brokers they hired did not push the customs to get their stuff cleared through, so they had to wait for over two weeks as they lived with on pan, a handful of cloths, and other bare essentials. After helping them out and seeing the customs operation in action (or inaction, haha) I would suggest either plan a whole day there (maybe two) and do it all yourself (you may have to be a bit pushy to get the right people to do the right things) or find one of the brokers that is there working with the customs officials on other things and hire them. I would even say to make sure they have a company golf shirt on, because these are the guys doing it full time and will get your stuff through.

One final thought for you, Grenada charges an extra $15 US if you clear in or out on the weekend. This is not enough for me to change my plans over, but it is something to be aware of. Also note that they expect you to leave within an hour of clearing out, so make sure you do not say anything other than we are heading back to the boat to leave. The reality is there are no patrol boats checking if you leave in an hour, three hours, or the next day.

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