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Marshal Islands Customs Information

The RMI Customs division falls under the Ministry of Finance and is based in Majuro and is part of the Division of Customs Treasury Revenue and Taxation. Customs Officers are present at the International Airport at Majuro as well as at the main port of Delap in Majuro Atoll and Ebeye in the Kwajalein Atoll.

While duties and taxes apply to imported goods, humanitarian organisations such as UN, INGOs and religious groups can import goods tax free once they are registered. Organisations wishing to maintain a permanent presence are required to be registered with the Attorney General’s office in the Department of Justice. Once registered, duty and tax exemption status is granted. Non registered organisations responding to an emergency can apply for tax and duty exemption on a consignment by consignment basis through the National Disaster Management Office.

Duties and Tax Exemption

Emergency Response

The National Disaster Management Office in Majuro is the focal point of any emergency response action in RMI. All goods designated for use for humanitarian purposes during time of emergency can apply for tax and import duty exemptions through the NDMO.

When there is a declaration of an emergency, organisations as part a response wishing to import goods into RMI are required to go through the NDMO to obtain a tax exemption letter for goods being imported. There is no requirement for an organisation who was responding to an emergency to be registered unless they intend to establish a permanent presence in country.

The process to obtain a tax and duty exemption requires the organisation to provide standard customs import documentation along with a letter of request from the organisation to the Director of the NDMO.

The following table states which of the following agreements and conventions apply to the country and if there are any other existing ones.

Agreements / Conventions Description

Ratified by Country?

(Yes / No)

WCO (World Customs Organization) member

No

Annex J-5 Revised Kyoto Convention

No 

OCHA Model Agreement

No 

Tampere Convention (on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations)

No

Regional Agreements (on emergency/disaster response, but also customs unions, regional integration)

US Compact of Association

Exemption Regular Regime (Non-Emergency Response)

As per Import Duties Act 1989 there are several goods which are tax exempt under the current import duties regulations. These include. Goods for humanitarian use, fuels imported for use in electricity generation, energy efficient equipment including air conditioners, goods in Transit to other international destinations.

1. Foodstuffs

5%

2. Gasoline

0.25 cents per gallon

3. Jet A-1

0.08 cents per gallon

4. Diesel

0.08 cents per gallon

5. Motor Vehicles (whose values can be determined in the Kelly’s Blue Book or of accompanying invoice, whichever is higher, provided that in no case shall the duty assessed be less than $1,500.00.

15%

6. Motor Vehicles (whose value cannot be determined in the Kelly’s Blue Book

New Motor Vehicles - $2,500.00 Used Motor Vehicles - $1,500.00

7. Public Transport

5%

8. Tobacco, and cigarettes

$1.00 per pack of 20 rolls

9. Cigars

151%

10. Other tobacco (Copenhagen)

$2.75 per 34.2 grams or 1.2 oz

11. Beer

$0.35 cents per can or 12 oz. unit

12. Wine

$2.75 per gallon

13. Spirits

$15.00 per gallon

14. Mixed drink

26%

15. Soft drinks - carbonated beverages

Non-carbonated and artificially flavoured beverages

0.01666 per 1 oz.

10%

Duty and taxes on goods imported fall under the Division of Customs Treasury, Revenue and Taxation of the Ministry of Finance. The Tax exemption act of 1989 outlines requirement and regulations applying to goods import.

Organizational Requirements to obtain Duty Free Status

United Nations Agencies

 Register with Department of Justice. Requires organisational charter  and documentation supporting organisations programs

Non Governmental Organizations

 Register with Department of Justice. Requires organisational charter  and documentation supporting organisations programs

Exemption Certificate Application Procedure

Duties and Taxes Exemption Application Procedure

Generalities (include a list of necessary documentation)

 Standard shipping documentation is required along with a Letter of Exemption Request from the organisation importing the goods.

Process to be followed (step by step or flowchart)

  1. 1.       Before good arrival obtain

BIL/Airwaybill/Commercial Invoice /Packing list/Phytosanitary certificate if applicable

  1. 2.       Obtain letter of exemption request to NDMO in Majuro attention Timmy Langrine
  2. 3.       Submit all Documentation to NDMO for Exemption consideration
  3. 4.       NDMO advised Customs of Approved exemption which is endorsed
  4. 5.       Take endorsed letter of exemption with other documentation for shipping agent for goods clearance.

Exemption Certificate Document Requirements

Duties and Taxes Exemption Certificate Document Requirements (by commodity)

 

Food

NFI (Shelter, WASH, Education)

Medicines

Vehicle & Spare Parts

Staff & Office Supplies

Telecoms Equipment

Invoice

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

Yes

1x Original 2 copies

Yes

1x Original 2 copies

Yes

1x Original 2 copies

Yes

1x Original 2 copies

Yes

1x Original 2 copies

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

Yes Letter of request for exemption from organisation. 1x original

Yes Letter of request for exemption from organisation. 1x original

Yes Letter of request for exemption from organisation. 1x original

Yes Letter of request for exemption from organisation. 1x original

Yes Letter of request for exemption from organisation. 1x original

Yes Letter of request for exemption from organisation. 1x original

Packing Lists

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Other Documents

  

Depending on type of medicine being imported

May need special permission depending on  whether vehicle is donated

 

Depending on equipment. VHF/HF will require registration with NTA. Satellite phones not prohibited

Additional Notes

It is advisable to have several copies of all documentation. Requirements are likely to change without notice. Used clothing may require phytosanitary certificate

Customs Clearance

 General Information

Customs Information

Document Requirements

All documentation as listed above required by NDMO. Once received the NDMO will advise Customs of tax and duty exemption status. This is undertaken on a shipment by shipment basis based on the waybill.

Embargoes

None known

Prohibited Items

Recreational drugs, Firearms (require import license)

General Restrictions

There are no general restrictions

Customs Clearance Document Requirements

Customs Clearance Document Requirements (by commodity)

 

Food

NFI (Shelter, WASH, Education)

Medicines

Vehicles & Spare Parts

Staff & Office Supplies

Telecoms Equipment

D&T Exemption Certificate

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

Invoice

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

Yes original 1 x original 2 copies

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

Letter of exemption

Letter of exemption

Letter of exemption

Letter of exemption

Letter of exemption

Letter of exemption

Packing Lists

Yes

1 copy

Yes

1 copy

Yes

1 copy

Yes

1 copy

Yes

1 copy

Yes

1 copy

Phytosanitary Certificate

Depenidng on type of food

No

unknown

No

No

No

Transit Regime

All goods transiting the RMI are tax and duty free. Commercial goods that are imported for the purposes of re-export are taxable.  However only 75% of the taxable amount will be refunded upon export. Exempt humanitarian undertaking the same will not attract tax so longs as they were tax free on import and can be reexported.

Goods that have been changed after import and are export do not attract a refund. Good exported must be identical to the imported goods.

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