Moving to the Dominican Republic

Country Guide: Dominican Republic

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Passport
  • Original Bill of Lading (OBL) / Air Waybill (AWB)
  • Detailed inventory in English or Spanish
  • Resident Visa (if the shipper is requesting a tax exemption)
  • Proof of residence abroad for at least 2 years (returning citizens)
  • Commercial Invoice (if new furniture and household goods are included in the shipment)
  • Diplomatic Franchise (Diplomats)
  • Marriage / Divorce Certificate, if applicable
  • Proof of time abroad (for at least 2 years) (returning citizens)

Specific Information

  • New and used appliances are subject to taxes and duties.
  • The shipper’s presence is only required at Customs clearance upon the shipper’s request or if the shipper has a Dominican residence and is requesting an exemption from taxes and duties on used electrical appliances and furniture.
  • All shipments are subject to demurrage charges; contact the destination agent for additional information and rates.
  • Customs clearance takes approximately 2-3 weeks.
  • Diplomats may import household goods and personal effects shipments duty free by request from the Embassy or Consulate at origin through the Dominican Foreign Relations Office.
  • Returning citizens having lived abroad for at least 2 years with no more than 180 days stay in the Dominican Republic during that time may qualify for a tax exemption.
  • Wood packaging materials must comply with ISPM-15 regulations

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Original Title / Registration
  • OBL
  • Purchase Invoice

Specific Information

  • Diplomats may import motor vehicles duty free.
  • Returning residents living abroad for more than 2 years with less than 180 days in the Dominican Republic stay during that time may apply for a partial exemption.
  • Vehicles must be less than 5 years old from the date of manufacture.
  • Non-motorized bicycles may be imported free of duties if part of the household effects shipment.
  • Motorized boats must pay approximately 20% of the purchased price.
  • Motorcycles are subject to duties.


Documents Required

  • Rabies Vaccination Record
  • Veterinary Health Certificate

Specific Information

  • Birds will be quarantined for a minimum of 10 days.
  • Pets may be imported duty free.
  • The Veterinary Health Certificate must be issued at origin within 15 days prior to import and indicate that the animal(s) has been free of disease for the 3 months preceding arrival.
  • Authorization from the Department of Agriculture and the National Zoo is required for importation.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Live plants (a Phytosanitary Certificate from origin prior to arrival and a permit from the Dominican Agriculture after arrival are required; plants should not be sent as part of the household goods shipment or risk confiscation/destruction upon arrival)
  • Alcohol and wine (only small quantities for personal consumption are permitted)
  • Food items (only small quantities for personal consumption are permitted)
  • Medicines, narcotics and drugs (a doctor’s prescription is required and are duty free; otherwise, the shipper may fact criminal prosecution and penalties or deportation)
  • Household goods and new furniture (a Commercial Invoice is required and the items are subject to payment of duties)
  • New electrical appliances (subject to duties)
  • Firearms (a military permit for personal firearms must be obtained in-person after the arrival of the shipper but prior to shipment arrival; the shipper may face criminal prosecution and penalties if unauthorized items are found in the shipment)
  • Appliances, spare parts and machines (are subject to duties)

Prohibited Items

  • Dangerous objects / weapons
  • Explosives
  • Pornographic and subversive materials
  • Illegal drugs

Consignment Instructions

Recommended: Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

IAM Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.

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