Customs Bil BVI

AskCustoms Bil BVI
Nick Cunha asked 11 years ago

I posted this question before registering , so I don’t know if you received it or not.

As a newcomer to the Islands, I was informed by my employer that all personal items shipped in within the first six months are exempt from import duty. Can you advise me if this is correct and if so which pertinent section of the Customs Bill can I show my shipping agent so that I will not have to pay.

Many thanks

Brendon Carey replied 11 years ago

Hi Newbie

This is true when immigrating here you do get some allowance on bringing in personal items. This is the exact working from the customs nomenclature:

10. (1) Personal effects, baggage and household goods whether
accompanied or not, as property of passengers entering the Territory:
(a) professional equipment and tools of trade for use
by hand the personal property of the passenger and
not being consumer goods;
(b) personal effects and baggage of returning residents
who have been outside the Territory for not more
than seventy-two hours;
(c) personal effects and baggage of returning residents
who have been abroad for more than seventy-two
hours and purchases and gifts to the value of fifty
dollars for each adult and ten dollars for each
person under the age of eighteen years;
(d) personal effects and baggage compatible with the
intended length of stay of tourists and other
visitors not intending to stay for more than six
Funeral furniture.
Her Majesty’s
baggage etc.
(e) personal and used household effects to the value of
one thousand dollars per adult and two hundred
and fifty dollars per person intending to stay for
more than six months and immigrants:
(2) A motorised form of transport shall not be considered as
household effect and that in the case of unaccompanied baggage, personal and
household effects, the goods shall be imported not more than three months
before or after the arrival of the passenger or a longer period as the
Commissioner may in special circumstances allow.

Should you need a clearance (T-12) please visit Tortola Express at Beef island or should you have any further questions please ask us at

Cheers and welcome to the BVI!

Stephen Leslie France replied 11 years ago


Import on items that are kept on a temporary basis is not subject to duty charge. This is in the Customs Bill – It might be that your employer has an arrangement with regard to the 6 months, but this may also be something we need to add to our guide book!

We have a complete list of all duty charges in the section:

Debi replied 11 years ago

So if I was making a permanent move, I would not be able to ship all of my household goods if the total was more than $1,000 per section 10.(1)(e)?

Stephen Leslie France replied 11 years ago

Hi Debi,

I expect so – Brendon would know as he has been here a while.