Below is a summary of the process for exporting to the Dominican Republic. (Note that the UK also has its own regulations on exporting goods – see the Gov.UK website for more information.
- The producer or distributor delivers the merchandise along with the original receipt to the transport agent in order for the Bill of Landing or the Air Waybill (AWB) to be issued. The commercial invoice should include all the details with regards to the exporter, the importer and the goods that are being traded.
- The main requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to complete the transaction are the following:
- The importer or exporter should buy a ‘token’ that needs to be registered in the Legal Department of the Dominican Customs Administration. This token will allow the importer to do the anticipate customs declaration online. This device costs RD$3,600 (£60 approx.) and its yearly renewal cost RD$1,080 (£18 approx.). Once the importer has this device, he/she has access to the Dominican IT customs platform (SIGA).
- Once this step is completed, the importer or its representative can declare the merchandise using form 003-2007 Customs Single Statement (‘DUA’ in Spanish) for the payment of RD$100 (£1.67 approx.).
- Along with the Customs Statement, the importer has to attach:
- The commercial invoice in Spanish;
- The Bill of Landing or the Air Waybill;
- The Certificate of Origin (this way the concessions established within the economic and free trade agreements between the United Kingdom and the Dominican Republic can take effect);
- Phytosanitary Certificate or No-objection Certificate when it comes to medicines, minerals, agricultural products or any other goods which could damage the environment;
- Certificate of Ownership in the case of motor vehicles.
- All these documents have to be scanned and attached to the Customs Declaration while the originals must be shown at the port of destination. Customs staff will check that all information in the attachments matches the details in the DUA.
- The Customs Declaration should be presented within ten days of the arrival of the merchandise or the importer may face a fine for late declaration in accordance with Article 52 of Bill 3489.
Other important regulations for the exports of goods to the Dominican Republic are included in:
- Bill 3489 of 1953 for the Customs Regime
- Bill 226 of 2006, for the functional, financial and administrative autonomy of the Dominican Customs Administration; and
- The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) of 2008 signed between the countries of the European Union and the CARIFORUM
There are some restrictions for:
- unsafe materials – radioactive, toxic, flammable and explosives;
- limited goods – guns, cash and drugs;
- forbidden items – vehicles more than 5 years old from date of manufacture and heavy vehicles more than 15 years old from date of manufacture [Bill 04 of 2007], used household appliances, vehicles with right-hand drive, among others.
The Dominican Republic is a member of the World Customs Organization. As such, it applies the SAFE Regulation of 2005, which includes specific guidelines in order to optimise customs processes, reducing time and operative costs in ports and border crossing.