Customs and Excise

Application for Tax and Duty Waivers

There are various tax and duty concessions available to returning nationals, diplomats, corporations, charitable organisations , sporting bodies and religious organisations involved in importing household effects, goods and vehicles. However, the extent of relief and process for accessing the waivers vary from group to group.

How do I apply for Tax and Duty Waivers?

You must first hire a Custom Broker to fill out the Customs forms – C82 and/or C84. You can find a Customs Broker in the Trinidad and Tobago telephone directory.

You must then apply for duty relief by sending a letter to the Comptroller of Customs. The letter should list the items you wish to import and the reason you qualify for tax and duty waivers. The letter should be sent to:

The Comptroller of Customs
Customs and Excise Division
Custom House
Nicholas Court
Corner Abercromby Street and Independence Square
Port of Spain
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 625-3311–9
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays.

Returning Nationals

Returning nationals are eligible to import personal and household items and vehicles at reduced rates of duty. To qualify, you must:

  • Be a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, a former citizen of Trinidad and Tobago or the spouse of a citizen or former citizen.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have been resident overseas for at least five consecutive years, as evident by valid original passport or employment records.
  • Be returning to Trinidad and Tobago to reside permanently.

Returning residents who wish to import their vehicles must submit the following to the Comptroller of Customs, along with their letter and customs forms:

  • Proof of ownership (bill of sale, registration certificate, Certificate of Title, insurance certificate or official certificate from country of origin) of the vehicle.
  • Customs Declaration form (C82) (broker fills this out based on information you provide).
  • C84 form (filled out by your Broker based on the information you provide).
  • Bill of Lading, provided by the shipping company.
  • Declaration before a Commissioner of Affidavits or Justice of the Peace expressing an intention to reside in Trinidad and Tobago, confirming that the vehicle may not be sold or transferred within two years of the importation, and that the vehicle is for personal use. Please note that commissioners of affidavits may be contacted by searching the Commissioner of Affidavits section of the yellow pages of your Trinidad and Tobago telephone directory.

Note that exemptions are allowed on only one vehicle per person. If a family is returning to Trinidad and Tobago with more than one vehicle, each car must be registered to a different family member in order to access the tax and duty waivers on them all. The vehicle must be imported within six months prior to or after you return to Trinidad and Tobago.

The amount of duty that can be waived varies according to the length of ownership of the vehicle:

  • If the registered owner has owned the vehicle for more than six months but less than a year, the exemption is 25% of the payable duty.
  • If the registered owner has owned the vehicle for more than one year but less than two years, the exemption is 50% of the payable duty.
  • If the registered owner has owned the vehicle for more than two years, the exemption is 90% of the payable duty.

No waivers are granted from the payment of VAT (15% calculated on the total value of the cost, insurance and freight of the vehicle).

In the case of household effects intended for personal use (and not sale or exchange), the returning national must have used and owned them for at least one year and must import them within two months prior to or after returning to Trinidad and Tobago. Once these and all the criteria listed above are satisfied, no duty or VAT is charged on goods where the total value (including cost, insurance and freight) does not exceed TT$100,000.00. In the event that the total value of the goods exceeds TT$100,000.00, the full duties and taxes are charged on the amount in excess of TT$100,000.00.

Diplomats

Diplomats are eligible to have all taxes and duties waived on all imported items, provided that the items leave the country when they do. Should the items remain, all duties and taxes from which they were initially exempt must be paid in full, except in cases where the items remain in the possession of the high commission or embassy. Please note that in addition to the processes and documents outlined above, it is also necessary for diplomats to produce to the Customs and Excise Division proof of their diplomatic status as evident in documents provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (usually a letter received on arrival in the country or shortly thereafter).

Charitable organisations, sporting bodies, corporations and other customers

Tax and duty can be waived on goods imported for a charitable purpose, or for use in a not-for-profit enterprise. You must send a letter to the Comptroller of Customs that indicates the type of activity that your organisation is engaged in, that the efforts of the organisation are non-profit, and how the duty relief would benefit the wider public. In addition to this letter, the following documents must be submitted:

  • Copy of letter authorizing charitable organisation status (for charitable organisations). Please follow the link below for information on obtaining charitable organisation status.
  • Evidence of the value of the items (invoice, etc).
  • Letters from sponsors attesting to the charitable nature of the items.
  • Copy of approved licence to import. Please follow the link below for information on obtaining and import licence.

Registering for Charitable Organisation Status

What fees do I need to pay?

There are no fees associated with this application process.

Where can I find more information?

For further information, please contact:

Customs and Excise Division
Custom House
Nicholas Court
Cor Abercromby Street and Independence Square
Port of Spain
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 625-3311–9
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays.

Browse...
MENU