Shipping goods to Governors Harbour Eleuthera

Customs Officer with plenty of work

People often ask me about shipping goods to Governors Harbour – this is how we do it in Eleuthera !

With the rental homes we have at Governors Estate I often have to bring items in so the first step is usually for me buying the goods on-line.

Next they are delivered to our fantastic freight forwarder Tony Poletti at who consolidates all the various packages and packs them ready for shipping. Incidentally he also does a purchasing service as well – at remarkably good prices…

Tony Poletti Heartland Inc
Tony Poletti packing a box for delivery to Eleuthera

Then he delivers the packages to Seacor or as it used to be called G & G Shipping in Fort Lauderdale. Here the goods are palletized – not something that happens by magic – Tony does it himself ! -then he handles all the paperwork for export. Of course this means that every item has to be covered by an invoice – all of which are checked by Seacor staff.  The lovely Nicole Butcher is the main person who deals with shipments coming to Eleuthera.

Of course there are times when we go to Florida to physically buy the goods ourselves in which case we meet up at Seacor with Tony Poletti.

Usually there are two boats a week that come from this shipping line to Governors Harbour – and there is also a weekly boat from Bimini Shipping as well.

Customs Officer with plenty of work
One of our Customs Officers in Governors Harbour Eleuthera – with plenty of work !

Once the boat arrives in Governors Harbour carrying the shipment the paperwork is passed to the customs broker. Personally we have used Paul Simmons Customs Brokers on Cupid’s Cay ever since we arrived here 10 years ago.  Paul, Linda and Nikki make a great team and they process the paperwork as quickly and efficiently as possible. There is also Elite Customs Brokers  situated right there on Cupid’s Cay – the Customs Building is sandwiched between Paul Simmons office and Elite’s office.

Paul Simmons office Eleuthera
Nikki at Paul Simmons Customs Brokers

Once they have prepared the paperwork it is taken in to the Bahamas Customs office where it is processed. This usually takes a couple of hours.

Linda at Paul Simmons office Eleuthera
Linda at Paul Simmons office Eleuthera

The funds raised by paying Customs Duty amounts to around 70% of the governments’ revenue and in a country where there is no income tax it is a very necessary evil ! Duty on goods is mainly set at 45% but of course there are goods with a lower and higher rate of duty. Plus of course you pay the relevant amount of duty on the cost of shipping as well. It is not cheap to bring goods into the Bahamas but if you don’t bring anything in then you don’t have to pay ! It is a part of life here that you have to accept with good grace, patience and humor ……

Paul Simmons Customs Brokers Eleuthera
Paul Simmons Customs Brokers Eleuthera

After the entry has been processed the duty has to be paid in full before the release is issued for the collection of goods.  When you have the release in your hot little hand you take it to the Customs Officers on the dock , arrange to have the pallet unloaded from the containers by either Ray or Darren and then it is checked and inspected by the officer on the dock. Once this is completed the goods are yours to take away and unpack…….

Customs inspection Eleuthera
Checking a shipment on the dock at Governors Harbour for clearance


7 thoughts on “Shipping goods to Governors Harbour Eleuthera”

  1. Hi Kathy,

    Missing Eleuthera desperately already after arriving back home yesterday! Reading your current and past postings is a welcome consolation until our next trip. Thanks!

  2. it was a pleasure to meet you at the Roary event last night. Thanks for introducing me to your helpful blog.
    Lynn larson, Tarpum Bay

    1. Bob and Kathy Colman

      You will need to contact Tony Poletti directly and set it all up with him. His number is 954 326 0717 Good luck. I don’t know what the duty is – again you should contact Bahamas Customs in Governors Harbour.

  3. Robert Williams

    Hello, I wanted to send a 2017 jeep renegade to the island next month. Can you assist me with the process? I have completed my click2clear application and awaiting confirmation.

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Kathy Colman

Writer, Interior Designer, Foodie, and Wife to Bob. Living in Eleuthera, Bahamas

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