Receiving goods from family or friends

A family member, friend, or acquaintance has shipped goods to me, what happens now? What happens if these goods cannot be imported with exemption from GET and/or excise duties?

The mail services or the courier company receiving the goods will ensure that a declaration is submitted to Customs with payment of GET. The GET amounts to:

  • 6% in case of importing goods to Saba and Saint Eustatius;
  • 8% in case of importing goods to Bonaire.

“GET will be levied on the customs value of the goods. Generally, the customs value is the price of the goods (purchase value), increased by freight and insurance costs, up to the first location of arrival on the island into which the goods are imported. If excise goods are imported, the excise amount will also be included in the customs value.

Consult the BES Customs and Excise Duties Act (chapter 3) and the BES Tax Act (Article 6.18) if you want to learn everything about determining the customs value and the components that must be included in the customs value for the GET levies.”

If you import goods subject to excise duties, you may owe both GET and excise duties. You can find an overview of the excise duty rates in the traveller luggage section.

The courier company or mail services will subsequently charge the GET and any excise duties to you.