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Import fee for materials brought to St John from mainland

(@jrk623)
Posts: 9
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Good evening, tried a quick search without any luck. Was wondering if there is an import fee for materials brought to St John from the mainland via container. My wife and I are set to close on a property and it needs renovating. I am a builder in CT and will be sending a mixed container down. 

Thanks iin advance. 

 
Posted : June 26, 2023 8:24 pm
(@Scubadoo)
Posts: 2434
Noble Member
 

Yes, there are import duties on new materials.  There is an exception for used personal property such as furniture.

 
Posted : June 26, 2023 10:08 pm
(@stjohnjulie)
Posts: 1052
Noble Member
 

Like mentioned there are customs and excises taxes due on new items.   Used household items (a year or older) can be exempt.  You will have to have invoices for all the new items with their description, purchase price, and country of origin on them.  I generally recommend working with a logistics company to help get you through the clearing process.   

 
Posted : June 27, 2023 3:32 am
(@jrk623)
Posts: 9
Active Member
Topic starter
 

@stjohnjulie thank you for the info. From you experience is it still worth it to ship building materials down in a container verses purchasing on St John or St Thomas?

 
Posted : June 27, 2023 5:53 am
(@stxisbest)
Posts: 210
Estimable Member
 

Posted by: @stjohnjulie

Like mentioned there are customs and excises taxes due on new items.   Used household items (a year or older) can be exempt.  You will have to have invoices for all the new items with their description, purchase price, and country of origin on them.  I generally recommend working with a logistics company to help get you through the clearing process.   

only businesses pay excise 

 

 
Posted : June 27, 2023 7:12 pm
(@stjohnjulie)
Posts: 1052
Noble Member
 

In my opinion, it can be worth it for a lot of items.   And not so much for others.  The weight restrictions of a container need to be considered as well. Flat racks are cheaper to ship and most building materials can go on that if they are wrapped properly.  If you have wholesale connections for bulk building materials you may want to check their prices with local places.   If you are buying retail I’d say it’s better to just buy local.  

 
Posted : June 28, 2023 2:20 am
(@topnote)
Posts: 18
Eminent Member
 

I’m in the same situation and have just shipped a container of building materials to Saint Thomas. Here are a few things I learned…

first it’s size (and not weight) that is really the determining factor for how much you pay to ship some thing over water.

My second piece of advice is to do some quick shopping on the island to compare prices. I just shipped a washer and dryer to the island and it cost around $500. I would say after shipping cost considerations that in this case, I didn’t save any money, but what I was able to do was choose the exact item and color that I wanted. Once you shop around you’ll see that not every brand is available. in fact, in my experience, there are few choices and some of them unfamiliar to those of us from the mainland.  I would also add that I was pleasantly surprised to find several things that were reasonably priced when you consider the expense of shipping.  I’ve heard over and over how expensive everything is but I have found some items to be reasonable.

Thirdly, don’t forget to include the cost of moving the items from the shipper to your job site. I moved about a container and a half (40 ft) for about $4500 last month…to give you a reference point.

Fourth, I would keep in mind that customs will charge you based on where the product comes from. When I compared shipping a car made in Japan to the cost of shipping a truck made in Canada I found to my surprise that the Canadian truck was $600 more than the Japanese car because of customs fees.

I also would highly recommend using stateside exporters to direct ship your items if they are purchased new. I actually bought my building supplies from Home Depot and Lowe’s in Hialeah Florida and had their export department deliver  those items directly to the shipper. In that way, I avoided the hassle of transport, and also avoided paying sales tax stateside…if you don’t do this, then you’ll pay sales tax on your purchase in the states and then again when it arrives at customs.

I should add that I had a great experience with Saint Thomas Cargo, and highly recommend them. They’re located stateside in Medley, which is right next to Hialeah Miami. I’m sending my second container now which just left stateside yesterday.  Between the shipping over water and the move from the Saint Thomas shipper to my house I was amazed that I experienced. Absolutely no damage to anything I shipped. My hats off to Carty movers who also did an excellent job.

There’s plenty more to share, but this response is already too long. If I can be of assistance, don’t hesitate to send me an email, I’m at topnote@aol.com  and good luck with your move!

 

 

 

 

 
Posted : June 29, 2023 6:19 pm
(@beachbumlife)
Posts: 17
Eminent Member
 

@topnote Good info! We just shipped our first 20’ container over this week. It was $7289! From Florida to STT. I was shocked, thinking it was going to be more like $5k. The second will go over in 2 months so now im thinking of using a different company other than tropical. Any insite on who else is good but cost less?

 
Posted : January 22, 2024 12:14 pm
(@stjohnjulie)
Posts: 1052
Noble Member
 

Crowley and Blue Ocean are usually cheaper.   But Tropical is usually less of a headache in my experience.   How much of your bill was for insurance?  

 
Posted : January 23, 2024 2:49 am
(@jaldeborgh)
Posts: 530
Honorable Member
 

I’ve used Blue Ocean for both vehicles and 20’ containers, a couple of times for each.  Never had an issue and they were easy to work with.  We moved a good deal of household stuff, carefully itemized everything and didn’t need to pay any duty.  That was back in 2020 and 2021 so things might have changed.  The vehicles were both Jeeps, which have a very high American made content, if we paid any duty it was minimal.

 
Posted : January 25, 2024 8:57 am
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