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Dominican Republic

Capital: Santo Domingo
Population: 10,088,598 (2012)
Area: 18.680 square miles
Top 5 Largest Cities: 1. Santo Domingo 2. Santiago 3. La Romana 4. San Pedro de Macoris 5. Higuey
Lanuage: Spanish Language
Climate: Tropical and Wet
Motto: “Dios, Patria, Libertad” / “God, Fatherland, Liberty”

Thinking of moving overseas to the Dominican Republic? Let Nationwide Van Lines show you how easy it can be. Our highly trained staff from the American Moving & Storage Association will show you how we can make this as smooth as you moving here in the United States. We will provide you Door-to-Door services to keep you with the least amount of work perform. We want you to enjoy your new country just as much as we want you to enjoy your move.

Required Documents

You must be physically present at Customs in the Dominican Republic to declare your household goods shipment and to clear your goods with the Department of Exoneration. Customs will be in the need of your transportation document, insurance certificate, certificate of origin and your packing list. All documents presented to Customs must be in Spanish except your Bill of Lading. There is a need of a Consular Invoice at hand when encountering Customs. You can appear at the Consular Section of the Embassy to obtain the 5 page document.

Import Declaration – A document stating the household goods being shipped.

Insurance Document - Proof showing that your household goods are insured.

Customs Value Declaration – A document used to calculate duties and taxes that states the value of the entire household shipment.

The following personal documents are required by Customs:

  • Your Passport with proper Dominican Consulate notary
  • Work Permit
  • Bill of Lading
  • Your Diplomatic Franchise if a Diplomat
  • Residence Visa or Dominican Residence Card if seeking tax exemption
  • Customs Bond
  • Proof of living at least 2 years or more if a returning citizen
  • Your Inventory List of items in English or Spanish
  • Commercial Invoice if any of your HHGS are within your shipment
  • An Affidavit or Bank Guarantee
  • Birth Certificate for any children also traveling
  • Marriage Certificate, if married and Divorce Certificate if divorced
  • Proof of either a rental or leasing contract with water and electric service

Additional detailed document requirements

  • Customs clearance usually takes 2 to 3 weeks.
  • New and used appliances may have duties and taxes applied.
  • All shipments will be charged a Demurrage Charge.
  • You must have lived abroad for no less than 2 years with no more than 180 days stay in the Dominican Republic during the time seeking tax exemption.
  • If a Diplomat, your HHGS and personal effects shipment will be duty-free if by request from the Embassy or Consulate at the origin through the Dominican Foreign Relations Office.
  • You are required to be physical present during Custom clearance if you request to or a Dominican resident seeking to be exempted from taxes and duties on your used electrical appliances and furniture.
  • All wood packing materials must follow the ISPM – 15 guidelines.

The Examination of Household Goods and Entry Documents

Once your household goods have arrived in the Dominican Republic along with your documents, both are subjected to examination by Customs. A CBP officer will examine your household goods to determine the value, correct markings, proper invoicing, existence of prohibited items, damages, deterioration and illegal narcotics. It’s important to assure all items are properly described and accounted for to avoid any delays or seizure of items. Once your items are approved for release, they are safeguarded by the proper officers.

Duty and Taxes

There are very few taxes one would have the responsibility of when shipping household goods to the Dominican Republic. For any import into the Dominican Republic, there is an Exchange Surcharge of 5%. The Import Tax spans from 5% up to 80%. If any of your items are considered a luxury import, i.e., non-essential, the Luxury Tax can amount from 15% to 60%. Any household goods containing any computers and/or any scale of machinery will have an additional tax and duty fee. If you are Dominican and lived outside the Dominican Republic over a year, owned your goods for over 2 years and also foreigners with a Dominican Republic resident visa can import household goods without paying duties. If the value of your household shipment is USD $200.00 or less, it will be duty-free.

Duty-Free Items

The Customs of Spain will allow certain items to be imported duty-free. You must be 16 years or older to apply. The following are duty-free items:

  • 200 cigarettes of 1 box of cigars
  • 2 bottles of opened perfumed for personal use only
  • 2 liters of unopened alcoholic drinks

Labeling and Markings

All labeling must be done in Spanish.

Required information:

  • The name and address of the importer.
  • The country of Origin.
  • Clearly numbered in reflection of the inventory list.
  • The quantity.

Prohibited Items

Majority of household goods can be shipped to the Dominican Republic. As long as your furniture and goods are not deemed as competing against any domestic production, your items will successfully be accepted. Here is a list of items that are not allowed to import into the Dominican Republic.

  • Explosives
  • Ammunition
  • Agricultural and horticultural products and related drugs
  • Weapons
  • Animal products
  • Obscene articles, publications, videos and/or software’s
  • Controlled drugs and narcotics
  • Used electro household goods
  • Products made in Iran

Restricted Items

Some items are permitted, but still requires either special authorization and/or duties to be paid. Here is a list below of Restricted Items.

  • Items less than 6 months old
  • Alcohol (small quantities and must have the quantity and size of the bottles, the value of each bottle and the alcoholic strength)
  • Wine (small quantities only)
  • Guns and ammunition (must include a permit from the Dominican military before imported)
  • Computers and Machinery
  • Electric cigarette has to have an International Special Commodities contract along with the shipment
  • Food items (small quantities only)
  • Prescription Drugs (must include physician’s prescription)
  • Plants (must include a Phytosanitary certificate from the Dominican Agriculture after arrival)<
  • Jewelry will be charged Customs special paperwork processing ($46.00 USD), custodial guard service to transport paperwork and goods ($9.00 USD), Customs inspector ($18.00 USD), Customs verifier ($3.00 USD), broker ($65.00 USD) and Customs additional charge for services after 17:00 ($6.00 USD)
  • New Items and Furniture (must have the purchase invoice and receipt and are subject to duty fees)
  • New Appliances, electronics, spare part and machines are subject to duties
  • Works of art, antiques, jewelry, precious metals and coins (if included in the household goods and personal effects, it’s duty free)
  • Medicine for personal use only must be accompanied with a permit stamped by the Dominican Republic Health Department to clear Customs
  • Drugs for personal use only must be accompanied with a permit stamped by the Dominican Republic Health Department to clear Customs
  • Narcotics for personal use only must be accompanied with a permit stamped by the Dominican Republic Health Department to clear Customs

Receiving your household goods

The liability for duties are paid once Customs has cleared your shipment for release. There are no options of prepaid duties or taxes prior to exportation from a foreign country. Once your shipment is filed with CBP, the party and only the party listed as the receiver can pick up the shipment. If household goods are warehoused, the party of liability can be changed to another party, most whom purchased the goods. The Customs broker cannot pay duties, but can accept a check written out to the Customs and Border Protection to forward. Once items are received, all articles are deemed owned by the receiver and no longer in ownership of the CBP.

For more information regarding moving to Spain, please visit:

Dominican Republic Customs

Av. México #45
Santo Domingo
República Dominicana
Apartado Postal 1478
Telephone: +18096875131

Contact information for Embassy of Dominican Republic to United States:

All information featured above is for viewing purposes only. To obtain up-to-date information about overseas shipment, please notify your nearest Consulate.