Moving to Dominican Republic

Country Guide

Country Guide: Dominican Republic

Due to the current coronavirus/COVID-19 situation and restrictions in various countries, the below information may not be accurate. This pandemic is a fluid situation. Check with authorities for local laws and restrictions concerning movements.

Updated: August 19, 2016

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Passport
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) / air waybill (AWB)
  • Detailed inventory in English or Spanish
  • Marriage / divorce certificate, if applicable
  • Resident visa (if the owner of the goods 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)

Specific Information

  • New and used appliances are subject to taxes and duties.
  • The owner of the goods’ presence is only required at Customs clearance upon the owner of the goods’ request or if the owner of the goods 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 5 days.
  • 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
  • Original bill of lading
  • 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 (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 owner of the goods may face criminal prosecution and penalties or deportation)
  • Household goods and new furniture (commercial invoice is required and the items are subject to payment of duties)
  • New electrical appliances (subject to duties)
  • Firearms (military permit for personal firearms must be obtained in-person after the arrival of the owner of the goods but prior to shipment arrival; the owner of the goods 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.

Cultural and Other Information

CIA World Factbook Entry for Dominican Republic

Wikipedia Entry for Dominican Republic