Skip to content


  • by
top view of markers on blue paper

So at least once a year the talk of customs and freight and duties comes up and it is that time again. Here are some things you should know:

  1. Before you order any product get an estimate of your freight and the cost of your item and use the duty calculator below to get an “estimate” of what you will be paying “Customs”
  2. Remember customs uses the CIF price to calculate duties. Not just the cost of the item. But the cost of the item, the INSURANCE and the FREIGHT. That is what CIF means (Cost, Insurance and Freight).
  3. If your item is below EC$150 (CIF) you do not pay any duties. So again it is not just the cost of the item below $150 the FREIGHT has to be added.
  4. Duties are collected from the clients on behalf of customs. The courier companies cannot (by law) add anything to the duties. If a package comes in on your name example JAMES BROWN and you do not get a copy of your customs duty receipt you can request it directly from customs to see if that is in fact what you paid in “duties”
  5. If your broker makes a mistake in the duty classification you can get it adjusted by customs and also get a refund if need be. However, customs has the final say on this and not the broker or the courier or the shipping company.
  6. If you have a concern with the amount of duties you have to pay you can check customs on that and verify. Customs can then contact your broker or courier.
  7. You and also customs have up to 5 years to make a claim. So if you think you paid the wrong duties or customs thinks you paid the wrong duties they can come back to you within 5 years or you can also go to them within 5 years.
  8. Falsifying an invoice or altering an invoice to pay less duties can cause you fines by customs of up to EC$100,000.00 (one hundred thousand dollars) For example. You bring in a shoe that costs US$200 and you produce an invoice that was manipulated by you or the supplier for US$100.00. Customs can fine you up to $100,000.00 by law.
  9. Customs accepts Discounts. So if you get a 10% 25% 50% 90% off and that is a trade discount offered by the supplier this is accepted by customs and you will pay according to the discounted price.
    However customs does NOT accept COUPONS, POINTS or GIFT CARDS. THESE are considered currency. Meaning I can pay for a gift card for your birthday. So that does not qualify. Points and coupons are considered the same and are not accepted.
  10. The price of your item has nothing to do with the freight you should pay. For example you can buy a car in Japan or the USA for US$100.00 and your freight will be US$2500.00 or more. Someone could buy another car for $10,000.00 and pay the same $2500.00 because it is the same size and weight. However the person who pays $100 for the car will have a lower CIF value and that person will pay less duties.
    All of the info above is not made by WeForward the Freight Master or any shipping or courier company. These rules have been there for years and years. All trade companies pay these duties daily and these are also used throughout Caricom.
    Barbados had even put in a rule directly with AMAZON that you pay your duties before your goods are even shipped. So we must check everything before we order to see if we are in fact saving.
    We will continue to share useful information with you to help you to save and be a smart shopper with We Forward the Freight Masters.
    Ask about our EC$10 FLAT RATE for envelopes and we continue to give you the best price guaranteed using the cubic measurement.
  11. TRY THE CUSTOMS DUTY CALCULATOR on the LINK . Share with friends.
  12. Next week we will give you more information on the duties paid within the OECS, CARICOM and extra-regional and what the differences are why you will see some items like juices so high on a shelf. We will help you understand why.
  13. Thanks for choosing We Forward the Freight Masters. Like our page and follow our website for more information on being a SMART SHOPPER