Duty Paid

I learned an expensive lesson about Bahamian customs and “duty” yesterday.  Previously, all I knew about duty was that it had something to do with advertising liquor and jewelry in airports.  Now I know that it is a form of taxation.  The Bahamas don’t have an income tax, so I guess this duty business is like a national sales tax.  The effect is that it makes things imported to the Bahamas ridiculously expensive.  I now risk making political statements about things I don’t understand, so I’ll stop.  I only note that when my watermaker needed parts shipped in from the US, the economic geniuses here determined that those parts should cost an additional 45% more than I already paid.  Thanks guys.

Update: 2011-02-01

I have since learned that I shouldn't have had to pay the duty.  Apparently with a valid Cruising Permit boat repair and replacement parts can be imported duty-free.  The local FedEx office in Marsh Harbour did not seem to know this.  I think what I should have done is instructed the sender put "boat parts" on the invoice and include a copy of my Cruising Permit.