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.
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.