International Moving to the Bahamas
Have you decided to move to the Bahamas? In this guide, SDC International Shipping will tell you all about how we will move you there from anywhere in the USA.
International Moving to the Bahamas
The Bahamas is a popular location for Americans who want to retire or buy a second home. While Grand Bahama Island is a popular choice, being only a short ferry or boat ride from Florida, and most of our clients are moving to New Providence Island, there are hundreds of islands you can live, and even more you might visit once you move there.
International Household Moving to the Bahamas
One of the greatest advantages of moving to the Bahamas is that it is really close to the United States. It is always easy to remember the exchange rate as the Bahamas dollar is pinned to the US dollar.
If you have made the choice to move there permanently, you have probably visited the country many times, and have already either purchased a home or condo, or at least have signed a rental contract.
This will be a great starting point. We hope that you have already spent some time thinking about what you want to move from your home in America to your new home in the Bahamas. You should also visit furniture and kitchen goods stores while you visit. This will give you a better idea of what is important for you to send and what you will be better off sending from the United States.
We recommend that everyone moving to the Bahamas uses our packing service. While the trip to the Bahamas is not particularly long, it likely involves the manual shifting and moving of your things several times, including through customs and delivery vans for some locations. Also, as many of our clients choose to move to smaller islands, there is a chance that your belongings will be transferred more times.
When our movers professionally pack your belongings, we will use the best packaging materials to insure that your things arrive in your new Bahamas home undamaged. We have special boxes for things like your dishes and glasses. If you are sending framed artwork or mirrors, they also will require special cartons that are provided with our packing services. Other services that are included with our packing service are the disassembly of bulky furniture items such as bedroom furniture and dining room sets. If there are any glass doors on dining room cabinets, they will be secured when necessary. Sometimes bubble wrap is added to protect them. Other means are used to protect your belongings such as furniture wrap, carton pads or moving blankets.
You will likely want to bring plenty of sports and hobby equipment. Don’t forget your golf or tennis equipment. Fishing equipment is a must for fishers, but must be absolutely clean. Many people send boats to the Bahamas, and if they fit into your container they can be placed in them. If your trailer is registered and/or titled in your state, they will need to be cleared before we can send them.
One of the great things about the Bahamas is that they use the exact same telephone system as in the USA. Don’t get confused about using your American phone plan, as you will be charged international rates in most plans, but most phones themselves will function properly in the Bahamas. If you plan on frequently coming to the USA look for a phone that can take two SIM cards.
When our movers load your belongings into our moving vans or your shipping container, they will create a list of the things in your shipment. This list will later be appended to your customs declaration. Make sure that the list is accurate.
International Car Shipping to the Bahamas
The Bahamas allows you to import motor vehicles, however it is important to point out that cars are not imported tax free into the Bahamas, even if you are a returning citizen. That said, the taxes are not prohibitive as they are in some countries. We recommend that you consider an SUV, as the roads outside of the cities are not always well kept. Two wheeled vehicles are generally not recommended.
Recommended vehicles, however, are boats. If you have a small boat, it can be placed within in your shipping container. If you have a bigger boat, depending on your origin, you might want to consider making the short trip yourself from Florida to the Bahamas.
If we send your boat or car, we will need to have the registration and the title to it early in order to clear them for export. After our lawyers clear the title, your original documents will be returned to you, as you will need them in the Bahamas.
Bahamas Customs and Regulations
You should be able to import most used goods to the Bahamas without paying customs tariffs. Updated information is available at the Bahamas Customs and Excise Department. Please note that there will be a very big difference between those who are moving there with a permanent residence visa and those who are sending things to a second home that they have purchased. However, the Bahamas does state that any reasonable amount of goods for personal use can be imported.
Please note that as an island nation, the Bahamas has some special customs that are levied known as an environmental levy. This is not always charged and is not uniform, and will be of negligible amount for most of our clients. Though it does not always happen, do not be surprised if you have some environmental levies on your bill. Also, be careful if you send anything alive, especially plants, these are not allowed into the Bahamas.
International Moving to the Bahamas Checklist
- It can often be confusing, as Americans can travel so easily to Bahamas, and can reside there for up to eight months a year without a visa. However, if you plan on permanently relocating there, you should arrange for citizenship or a permanent residency visa. To get this, you typically need to buy a home and move a minimal amount of money.
- The Bahamas have introduced universal health care, but this might not be sufficient for you. You may not qualify. There is a good chance that you will opt to have any serious medical procedures done in Florida and prefer to keep your American health insurance. In any case, you might want to acquire some rudimentary local health plan.
- If you are moving from a cold location, get ready to live on a tropical island. It doesn’t get too hot nor do the temperatures ever rarely become cold. Make sure that you are prepared for this with the proper clothing and gear.
International Shipping Options
Most of our clients who move to the Bahamas choose to send a private container. As there are many people who are moving into condos far smaller than the homes they are leaving, it is also quite common for us to send LCL, or less than full container load, shipments there as well. SDC International Shipping can offer door to door service starting from about 100 cubic feet of cargo.
Delivery is available to most locations in the Bahamas, but if you are moving to a remote island, it might take a little longer. Depending upon you origin in the USA, delivery to the Bahamas takes 1-3 weeks for door to door service.