The Caribbean is emerging as a promising market for Japanese used cars. Every year over seventy thousand used cars are imported into the region with many shipments selling out immediately.

The largest importer, with over thirty three thousand cars per year, is Jamaica. This makes Jamaica the thirteenth largest importer of used Japanese cars around the world.

Japanese cars are the primary source of imported used cars in the Caribbean, the main reasons for this are Japanese vehicles are readily available at affordable prices as well as their good fuel economy and durability.

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Importing A Used Japanese Car Into The Caribbean

On average the shipping time to get a vehicle from Japan to the Caribbean is 8-9 weeks. Each Caribbean country has its’ own requirements when importing a vehicle, these include taxes, vehicle age and various fees.

While it is possible to import a used car into Caribbean yourself, because of the rules and regulations for importing used car, it is recommended to look to use dealers who specialise in this process for clients.

Caribbean Japanese Import Regulations

Most of the Caribbean countries do not have any age restrictions when importing a used car, however there are a few exceptions including:

·         Dominica – cars must not be more than 5 years old

·         Dominican Republic – cars must not be more than 5 years old

·         Jamaica – cars must not be more than 3 years old

·         Trinidad & Tobago – cars must not be more than 4 years old

·         St Kitts & Nevis – cars must not be more than 8 years old

Other useful pieces of information for some of the more prominent Caribbean countries are:

Antigua and Barbuda

Arrival port is St Johns. Import duty and taxes include:

·         VAT15%

·         Customs Duty utmost of 60% depending on the CIF of the vehicle

·         Environmental Levy $6000


Arrival port is Freeport, Brand Bahama, Nassau. Import duty and taxes include:

·         Car value of $10,000 or less 45% duty

·         Car value of $10,000 to $20,000 50% duty

·         Car value of over $20,000 60% duty

·         VAT 7.5%

·         Environmental Levy USD20.00

·         Procedure fee is 1% of FOB


Arrival port is Bridgetown. Import duty and taxes include:

·         Common External Tariff for used vehicle, for motor vehicles 45%.

·         Excise Tax based on engine capacity

·         VAT 17.5%

·         Environmental Levy being 1% of the CIF value

Cayman Islands

Arrival port is Georgetown. Import Duty and taxes are dependent on the value of the vehicle imported and range between 29.5% to 42%.

·         Importers have a once only Environmental Disposal Fee based on the CIF value of the car.

·         Also have to pay port charges based on the weight of the vehicle.


Arrival port is Roseau. Import duty and taxes include:

·         Import duty 40%

·         Customs Service Charge (CSC) 3%

·         Environmental Surcharges $3,000 per on vehicles over 5 years old and 1% on vehicles between 1-5 years old

·         Excise Tax 28%

·         Value Added Tax (VAT) 15%


Arrival Port is St George’s. Import Duty and taxes include:

·         Environmental Levy, vehicles 1-4 years 2%, 5 years and older 30%

·         Customer Service Charge (CSC) 5%

·         Common External Tariff (CET) 5-40% based on the cost of insurance and freight value on the import

·         VAT 15%


Arrival port Port-Au-Prince. Import duty and taxes include:

·         Verification fee 5% of CIF for inspection, plus 20% for vehicles worth over $2,000

·         VAT 10%

·         Excise Tax 10% for vehicles of 2200 cubic centimetres. 90% of CIF if gasoline or 40% if diesel.

·         A 5% tax is applied to vehicles valued at less than HTG 35,000

·         A 20% tax is applied on vehicles valued over HTG 75,000 

·         A 5% tax is applied to trucks that weigh less than two tons and minibuses with a capacity not exceeding 24 passengers.

·         A 10% tax is levied on imported used vehicles.


Arrival port is Kingston. Import duty and taxes include:

·         Import duty 10-40% based on the vehicle

·         General Consumption Tax (GCT) 17.5%

·         Common External Tariff (CET) 20%

·         Environmental Levy (ENVL) calculated at 0.5% of CIF


The arrival port is San Juan. Import duty and taxes include:

·         Duty tax which varies between 0-37.5% with the average being 5.63%

·         Sales Tax 12.5% of CIF

St Vincent

The arrival port is Kingstown. Import duty and taxes include:

·         Import duty 35% of customs value

·         Excise Tax 45% of customs value

·         CSC 4% of customs value

·         Surcharge $3500 average

·         VAT 15%

Trinidad & Tobago

Arrival Port is Port of Spain. Import duty and taxes include:

·         Import duty 25-45% based on the CC rating of the vehicle

·         VAT 15%

Turks and Caicos

The arrival port is Providenciales. Import duty and taxes include:

·         Import duty is between 25-45% based on the CC rating of the vehicle

·         Customs processing fee is 7.5% of FOB

St Kitts & Nevis

Arrival port is Basseterre in St Kitts and Long Point in Nevis. Import Duty and Taxes include:

·         Import Duty 45%

·         VAT 17%

·         Customs Charges 12%

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Japanese Imports And Band Expanders

In Japan the FM bandwidth frequencies in radios range from 76 to 90 MHz which is different to the international range of 88 to 108 MHz. In the Caribbean in order to listen to all your favourite radio stations on your new Japanese imported car it is necessary to fit a FM Band Expander.

Domino Electronics are makers of high quality FM Band Expanders exporting to countries around the world. Contact Domino for all your band expander needs.

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