Getting Through Customs in the Cayman Islands

Learning Cayman Islands customs regulations helps you make the most of your trip

Photo credit: © Lawrence Weslowski Jr |

Cayman Islands Customs

The Cayman Islands are known for their delightful shopping – there's a special souvenir for any and every taste. Knowing the customs regulations for the Cayman Islands and your home country will guarantee a hassle-free travel experience. As a Cayman visitor, be aware of the following customs tips and rules before entering the region:

  • Those 18-years-of-age or older may bring up to one liter of alcohol and one carton of cigarettes to the Cayman Islands.

  • 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.

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

United States citizens: To avoid paying a duty on the foreign-made high-ticket items you already own and take with you to the Cayman Islands, register them with customs before you leave the U.S. 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 future trips. Otherwise, bring with you a sales receipt or insurance form to show that you owned the item before you left the United States.

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

  • Keep receipts for all items you buy in the Cayman Islands.

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

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

The following additional reentry rules apply to United States citizens:

  • If you are a U.S. resident who has visited the Cayman Islands, you may bring home, for personal use, up to $800(USD) worth of goods duty-free, as long as you haven’t used any portion of the $800(USD) allowance during the 30 days preceding your trip. You may combine your $800(USD) exemption with family members. If you visit one of the islands for fewer than 48 hours, the duty-free allowance is $200(USD), which cannot be pooled with other family members' exemptions.

  • You may bring back to the U.S. up to one liter of alcohol (if you are 21 or older) or perfume containing alcohol, up to 200 cigarettes, and up to 100 non-Cuban cigars. If you stay in the Caymans less than 48 hours, you may bring home up to 150 ml of alcohol, 50 cigarettes, and 10 non-Cuban cigars.

  • The following items may be brought home duty-free: original works of art such as paintings, drawings, and sculptures, along with antiques, which are officially defined as objects more than 100 years old.

  • You may send packages home duty-free, with a limit of one parcel per addressee per day, with the exception of alcohol or tobacco products, or perfume worth more than $5 (USD).

  • You can mail up to $200(USD) worth of goods home to the U.S. for personal use; be sure to write "PERSONAL USE" on the parcel and attach a list of its contents and their retail value.

  • If you send home a parcel containing personal belongings that have been used, write "AMERICAN GOODS RETURNED" on the package to avoid a duty fee.

  • You may send up to $100(USD) worth of goods as a gift to someone in the U.S. provided you write "UNSOLICITED GIFT" on the package.

NOTE: Mailed items do not affect your duty-free allowance upon your return.

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
Tel: 877-227-5511
United Kingdom HM Customs & Excise
Tel: 0845-010-9000
Canada Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Tel: 800-461-9999
Australia Australian Customs Service
Tel: 1300-363-263
New Zealand New Zealand Customs Service
Tel: 04-473-6099


Keep the above information in mind to ensure a hassle-free departure – the perfect end to the perfect Cayman vacation.


Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.