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Duty-Free Shopping

Now' a Paradise Island vacation can be a shopper's paradise.
In January' 1992, the Bahamian government took away the import duty on twelve categories of luxury goods including liquor, china, crystal, collectibles, fragrances, watches, photographic equipment, and leather goods . Names like Fendi, Waterford, Wedgewood, Baccarat, Hummel, Lladro, Gucci, Ted Lapidus, Chanel, Rolex and many, many more are all here at very affordable prices.
How does duty-free shopping work?
It's simple. Merchandise that is sold duty free has had no import tax added to the price. Dealers pass the savings on to customers. Depending on your home country, you can take back goods worth up to a certain amount without paying any further tax or duty on them when you return.
For citizens of the U.S., the limit is $600 worth of goods, plus two litres of liquor per person. You'll need to be in the islands for at least 48 hours and you can only do this once in 30 days. A 10% tax is charged on any amount over $600 but less than $1,000. Any items made in The Bahamas are not counted toward the duty-free limit.
For families living in the same household and traveling together, the individual amounts can be pooled. A husband, wife, and two children, for example, may carry home $2,400 worth of goods. (The kids don't count toward the liquor total, though. )
Americans can send gifts home, as long as the value doesn't exceed $30 per day to the same person. The words "Unsolicited gift" must be on the customs form when the package is shipped.
Canadian citizens are allowed to take back up to $500 worth of merchandise and 40 ounces of liquor per person, after they've been traveling outside Canada for at least seven days. Their unsolicited gift limit is $40.

You don't have to go elsewhere in the Caribbean to search for shopping values. Our prices are as low or lower than you'll find in other Caribbean destinations and our selection unmatched anywhere. Since we're so close, duty-free shopping makes coming to Paradise Island an even better bargain than before, Became we are close and easy to get to, there's no need to waste time or money traveling farther.
Prices on some duty-free merchandise can be as much as half what they are in the United States. Typically, you'll save 25% to 35% on brand name items. Don’t forget that there is no sales tax in The Bahamas, either.

Consider this. If your heart's been set on getting a Lalique Bacchantes vase, the money you’d save by purchasing it from one of our duty-free shops could more than cover the cost of your trip here, plus a few days of fun and sun thrown in for good measure.
Comparison shopping by brand name is rather straight forward, and you'll find the shops work to keep their prices competitive. But when it comes to jewelry or similar items, resist the temptation to buy something you like right away. It pays to look before deciding. Who knows, you might find something you like better.
If you're not too familiar with a particular kind of merchandise and are concerned about its authenticity, The Bahamas Duty-Free Promotion Board, working with the Bahamian government, has made "safe shopping" easy. Just look for the symbol of the pink flamingo.
Not all stores have the symbol displayed in their windows, and membership in the Promotion Board is not automatic-. Certain standards must be met. First off, merchants are required to guarantee the authenticity of their products to you in writing. S o if the necklace you like is advertised as being 24K gold, you can rest assured that it is.
What's more, prices at member merchants are checked periodically and randomly by the Board, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism, to ensure that they are either equal to or better than those elsewhere in the Caribbean. If not, that store will lose the right to display the pink flamingo.
Product warranties can be an area of concern when buying duty-free merchandise. Don't assume that there will be one, or that it will be in effect back home. Ask for details and get them in writing. And find out if you can return the goods for a complete refund if you are not completely satisfied.
Keep in mind that duty-free shopping is limited to what you have in your possession when you leave our islands. However, your shopping doesn't have to be restricted to merchandise that you can carts home.
Some stores have a drop-ship program, whereby they will send your purchases back for you. Either the freight, the duty, or both could be paid by the merchant. The number of items may be limited and there could be a minimum dollar amount required to qualify, but it's worth asking about.
Of course, paying for merchandise is never a problem either. Since most of our merchants accept either US or Bahamian currency, there's no need to exchange money anytime during your trip. All major American credit cards, including Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and Discover, as well as travelers checks are readily accepted. And don't worry if you find yourself running short of spending money. Many Bahamian bank locations have automatic teller machines that are connected with US bank systems that enable you to use your bank card or a credit card for cash withdrawal.


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