Getting Through Customs in Barbados

Take heed of these helpful tips to get you through customs in Barbados

Photo credit: © Richard Semik |

Barbados Customs

Knowing the customs regulations for the Caribbean and your home country will help eliminate hassles bringing gifts and souvenirs back from Barbados.

As a visitor to Barbados, be aware of the following customs tips and rules before visiting the island:

  • All prescription drugs must be accompanied by an official prescription.

  • You may bring up to two liters of alcohol and two cartons of cigarettes to Barbados. You may bring a "reasonable" amount of duty-free goods for personal use; anything deemed in excess of "reasonable" may incur an import tax.

  • Firearms and recreational drugs are not permitted.


To avoid paying duty on the foreign-made high-ticket items you already own and will take on your Barbados trip, register them with customs before you leave the country. Consider filing a certificate of registration for items such as laptops, cameras, watches, and other digital devices identified with serial numbers or other permanent markings; you can keep the certificate for other trips. Otherwise, bring with you a sales receipt or insurance form to show that you owned the item before you left your home country. 

As an island shopper, and before returning home, remember these guidelines:

  • Upon departing your island getaway, make sure your purchases are easily accessible in case your home country's customs officials request an inspection.

  • You should keep receipts for all items you buy in Barbados.

  • If you have any questions or complaints about your customs experience, write to the port director at your point of reentry.

The following additional re-entry rules apply to United States citizens returning from Barbados, as a member of the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) :

  • If you are 21 or older, you may bring home up to two liters of alcohol, duty-free, as long as one of the liters was produced in a CBI country.

  • If you visit a CBI country for more than 48 hours, you may bring home $800(USD) worth of goods duty-free, as long as you have not used the $800(USD) allowance or any part of it in the 30 days preceding your trip. If you visit both a CBI country and a U.S. possession (the U.S. Virgin Islands, for example), you may bring home to the United States up to $1,600(USD) worth of goods duty-free, but no more than $800(USD) of the total worth can be from the CBI country.

  • You may bring home, duty-free, antiques and original works of art.

  • You are allowed to bring home up to 200 cigarettes and 100 non-Cuban cigars.

  • You are permitted to mail up to $200(USD) worth of goods for personal use; label the package "PERSONAL USE" and attach a list of its contents and their retail value. If the package contains used personal belongings, mark it "AMERICAN GOODS RETURNED" to avoid paying duties.

  • You may send gift packages, excepting alcohol, tobacco, or perfume, worth more than $500(USD) from a CBI country such as Barbados to the United States duty-free, with a limit of one parcel per addressee per day.

  • You may send up to $100(USD) worth of goods as a gift; mark the package "UNSOLICITED GIFT."

  • Mailed items do not affect your duty-free allowance on your return from Barbados.

Since customs regulations are subject to change from time to time, it is best to check with your country's specific entry requirements before you leave, and keep your knowledge current using the following contact information:

Country Contact
United States
U.S. Customs Service
1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20229
United Kingdom
HM Customs & Excise
Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Australian Customs Service
New Zealand
New Zealand Customs Service

With these guidelines in mind it's sure to be a smooth trip to Barbados.


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