Bahamas Boating & Fishing FAQ’s

(Thingums You Need to Know)

What services carry the new Value Added Tax?

Visitors and locals now pay 7.5% Value-Added Tax on most products and services. However, at special VAT-free authorized stores in major tourist areas, visiting overseas citizens can buy VAT-free souvenirs, clothing and luxury items over $25. On visitors accommodations, the old 10% Room Tax has been replaced by 7.5% VAT. It does not apply to gratuities. Also, visitors connecting flights and transport through the Bahamas is VAT-free if travel starts or ends overseas so long as any stopover here is less than 48 hours.

What documents do I need when my boat comes to The Bahamas?

You need:
1) Vessel Registration documents.
2) The Bahamas Customs Clearance Form. (See link to PDF form on www.bahamas.com/boating).
3) One Bahamas Immigration Card for each person of any age.
4) Proof of Citizenship Passport.

What is the cost to clear Bahamas Customs & Immigration?

Entry fees are: Boats up to 35 ft pay $150. Boats over 35 ft pay $300. This fee covers cruising & fishing permit, all customs attendance fees, and the Arrival Passenger Tax for three passengers. Each additional passenger over the age of 6 pays $20 tax. This fee allows a 2nd re-entry within 90-days.

How long can I keep my boat in The Bahamas: what is the fee?

Owners of foreign registered boats (including the U.S.) may keep their vessels in The Bahamas for one year without paying duty and may extend this one-year stay to two years by paying a fee of $500. For further extensions, apply to Bahamas Customs.

Can I bring my pet and if yes, what is required?

Yes. An Import Permit of $10.75 (with VAT) is required for each animal. Dogs and cats must be six months of age and older, have current proof of vaccination and a health certificate. Apply to the Director of Agriculture, Gladstone Rd, P.O. Box N-3704, Nassau, Bahamas. Tel: (242) 325-7413. Fax: (242) 325-3960. For dog (or cat) permit form, see: goo.gl/HWHpwC.  A fax service fee of $5 may apply. Email: departmentofagriculture@bahamas.gov.bs.

Can I bring firearms to The Bahamas on my boat?

Only three firearms (shotguns, rifles and handguns only) of not more than .308 caliber and only 250 rounds of ammo per firearm are allowed. All must be declared with Bahamas Customs. You must provide serial number, make and exact ammo count. You cannot remove the firearm from your boat. Weapons must be under lock and key at all times. Any infraction of this law will be dealt with severely.

Is there a fee to import parts to repair my vessel?

For use on vessel with a valid cruising permit, spare parts and replacement boat parts vital to the propulsion and systems of the boat may be brought in duty free. Parts imported as cargo are charged a 1% Customs Processing Fee (minimum of $10 to a maximum of $500).

Do I need a Fishing Permit and, if yes, how can I obtain one?

Yes. It is included in your entry fee. Please note that the Bahamas in 2016/17 may introduce new regulations for fishing on flats for bonefish, tarpon and permit where an extra angler license may be required. New laws may apply to DIY anglers on skiffs fishing on flats from 1ft to 6ft deep. Please check http://www.bahamas.gov.bs/wps/portal/public/marine for news.

How much fish am I allowed to keep on board?

The catch limits (fillets or whole fish) on board the vessel at any time are: 18 Pelagic fish (Dolphins, Wahoo, Kingfish or Tuna), not more than 60 lbs. or 20 Demersal fish (Grouper, Snapper, Yellowtail, etc.), 10 Crawfish (Lobsters), and 6 Conchs. Billfish must be returned unless caught under a Sports Fishing Event Permit. No turtles are allowed.

How much fish can I take home when I leave The Bahamas?

Vessels leaving the country can take home the same limits as in point 8 above. Leaving by air, each person’s personal luggage can contain (fillets or whole fish): 6 Pelagic fish (Dolphin, Wahoo, Kingfish, or Tuna), 20 lbs of Demersal fish (Grouper, Snapper, Jacks, Porgy, Triggerfish, etc.), 10 lbs of Crawfish (Lobster), and 10 lbs of Conch.

Am I allowed to use a spear gun?

The use of spear gun is not allowed in The Bahamas. Only Hawaiian sling or pole spear can be used and must be applied for at time of permit. No hooka, scuba, compressor gear can be used for fishing but for sightseeing they are permitted.

When is Crawfish (Lobster) season?

Annual closed season is April 1 - July 31. Minimum size limits are: 3-1/4 inches carapace or 5 1/2" inches tail length.

To fish from a shore or a dock, do I need a fishing permit?

No, because you will not be fishing from a foreign-owned vessel.

To rent a boat in The Bahamas, do I need a Fishing Permit?

You will only need a fishing permit if the boat you rent is not Bahamian-owned. Even when fishing from such a boat, a non-Bahamian or permanent resident must observe the per vessel fishing catch limits.

Association of Bahamas Marinas

Email : bahamasmarinas@gmail.com
Tel : (242) 423-3700 (Nassau, Bahamas)