Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

The Ministry of Finance encompasses the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. The Bureau has a mandate to implement the collection of revenue and to secure Palau’s borders from illicit trade and other criminal activities, whilst facilitating legitimate trade and protecting its unique environment.

Customs activities at the points of entry are professional and thorough with a central customs database for recording and processing the importation of all goods into Palau. All processing for customs clearance must go through this database to be assessed and recorded. The Bureau has offices and inspectors at both the Palau International airport and Malakal Port – the two international points of entry.

Bear in mind that for tax exemption requests, the Ministry of State is the government entity that facilitates and evaluates any request for exemption for the import of humanitarian goods.   

 

Duties and Tax Exemption

 For contact information regarding government custom authorities, please see: 4.1 Palau Government Contact List

Emergency Response

Procedures during emergency and non-emergency times do not differ. There is no national legislation or regulation, neither for streamlining the exemption process at such times, or providing a blanket exemption to organisations who may be permanently registered and present in country.

 

Agreements / Conventions Description

Ratified by Country?

(Yes / No)

WCO (World Customs Organization) member

No

Annex J-5 Revised Kyoto Convention

Yes 10 .12.1999, Amendment 10.3. 2015 

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)

Palau Compact of Free Association with US (this however does not apply to disaster assistance)

 

Exemptions to Regular Regime (Non-Emergency Response)

The procedures for tax exemption during non-emergency times are reviewed on a case-by-case basis through the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and through the Ministry of State.

For government legislation items 5 & 6 of the Palau customs regulation, see Annex 5.1.

Specific goods funded by foreign aid programs, and imports for the purposes of humanitarian assistance will, upon the request of the Ministry of State (to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection) be granted an exemption. No standing agreement or legislation exists relating to the automatic blanket exemption of goods for use by humanitarian organisation either permanently registered in country or temporarily responding.  It is exclusively up to the importer/consignee to apply for an exemption. There is also no legislation or regulation for streamlining the process. However, tax and duty exemption will be provided and considered as a priority during times of disaster.

For more information see: http://www.palaucustoms.org/service_01_1_detail.aspx?sn=3fcc1157-16cc-432c-97c4-319c7cdbd168

 

Organisational Requirements to obtain Duty-Free Status

United Nations Agencies

Organisations and agencies are not able to obtain blanket duty-free status. Organisations considering a permanent presence in Palau will need to be registered and provide organisational constitutions, charters and details of their mission to undertake the registration process. Duty-free exemption however remains on a case-by-case basis.

Diplomatic personnel and goods belonging to diplomatic personnel and representatives are tax exempt, but are required to follow the same process for exemption.

Non-Governmental Organisations

NGOs are required to follow the above process and can only apply for exemption on a case-by-case basis.

 

Exemption Certificate Application Procedure 

 

Duties and Taxes Exemption Application Procedure

Generalities

The tax exemption process requires standard transport and shipping documentation for each consignment requiring an exemption.

Consignment Documentation Required:

  1. Copy Air Waybill/ Bill of Lading
  2. Copy Commercial Invoice (Indication of value of goods.)
  3. Itemised Packing List
  4. Letter of Donation detailing consignee if being donated to NEMO or Govt Department.
  5. Letter of Request to Ministry of State for duty and tax exemption detailing purpose of use i.e. humanitarian disaster relief or foreign aid program

Process to be followed

Time Frame

The normal process of applying for tax exemption can be anything from a few days to 1-2 weeks. During times of emergency exemptions can be processed in a matter of hours (as indicated by Ministry of State Official and Director of Customs).

A)    Pre-Shipment Approval: Goods donated to Palau Govt Entities and Agencies

For all goods being donated to Government entities and agencies it is essential that prior to shipment, approval from the departments as the consignee, has been granted. This includes NEMO, Departmnt of Health and all other departments.

It is advisable (though not stipulated), that there must be documented approval of the packing list and the agreement to receive the goods consigned.

B)    Obtain Dispatch Documents from Point of Origin

  • Original Bill of Lading/ Airway Bill
  • Commercial Invoice/ Invoice for value of goods in consignment
  • Itemised packing list
  • Letter of Donation (if applicable)

C)    Send Original Documents

Courier copies or original documentation - specific to consignment to the in-country contact.

Shipping Agent if relevant

National Office or organisation

If NEMO or Govt Department are consignees, they must be notified prior to dispatch.

D)    Arrival of Documents

Obtain Request for Tax exemption letter from Govt Dept or Organisation to complete, i.e.  from consignee.

E)    Submit to NEMO

Take all original documentation to NEMO to facilitate exemption request to Ministry of State.
N.B. A consignee can request directly to the Ministry if State for an exemption decision; however in a State of Emergency it is advisable to coordinate activities through NEMO.

F)     Ministry of State Approval

The Ministry of State makes a ruling as to the validity of the exemption requests and writes a letter to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection agreeing to an exemption.
G)    Take Approval Documentation to Bureau of Customs. Take all approval documentation to Customs Office at Malakal. The customs director will approve the exemption, and documents can be taken to the agent or point of entry customs officials for release.


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

1 x copy

1 x copy

1 x copy

1 x copy

1 x copy

1 x copy

AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

Yes: 1 x copy

Yes: 1 x copy

Yes: 1 x copy

Yes: 1 x copy

Yes: 1 x copy

Yes: 1 x copy

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

Yes: Letter of Donation 1 x Copy

Yes:

Letter of Donation

1 x Copy

Yes: Letter of Donation 1 x Copy

Yes: Letter of Donation 1 x Copy

Yes: Letter of Donation 1 x Copy

Yes:

Letter of Donation

1 x Copy

Packing Lists

Yes: 1 x copy

Yes: 1 x copy

Yes: 1 x copy

Yes: 1 x copy

Yes: 1 x copy

Yes: 1 x copy

Other Documents

Letter of Duty and Taxes Exemption,

Original

Letter of Duty and Taxes Exemption, Original

Letter of Duty and Taxes Exemption, Original

Letter of Duty and Taxes Exemption, Original

Letter of Duty and Taxes Exemption,  Original

Letter of Duty and Taxes Exemption, Original

Additional Notes

Medical Items - There are no specific requirements for import of medical items other than outlined above.

Vehicles - There is no specific documentation requirement for the import of vehicles for use in humanitarian or disaster programs.

Communications Equipment - There are no specific requirements for the importation of satellite phones/VHF or HF radios

It is suggested that multiple copies of documents be made available to ensure the clearance process is unhindered).

 

Customs Clearance

General Information 

Customs Information

Document Requirements

As outlined above

Embargoes

None

Prohibited Items

Firearms, illegal drugs

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

1 x original

1 x original

1 x original

1 x original

1 x original

1 x original

Invoice

Yes: 1 x original

Yes: 1 x original

Yes: 1 x original

Yes: 1 x original

Yes: 1 x original

Yes: 1 x original

AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

Yes: 3 x Original

Yes: 3 x Original

Yes: 3 x Original

Yes: 3 x Original

Yes: 3 x Original

Yes: 3 x Original

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

Yes: Letter of Donation 1 x Original

1 x copy

Yes:

Letter of Donation 1x Original

1 x copy

Yes: Letter of Donation 1 x Original

1 x copy

Yes: Letter of Donation 1 x Original

1 x copy

Yes: Letter of Donation 1 x Original

1 x copy

Yes:

Letter of Donation 1 x Original

1 x copy

Packing Lists

Yes: 1 x copy

Yes: 1 x copy

Yes: 1 x copy

Yes: 1 x copy

Yes: 1 x copy

Yes: 1 x copy

Phytosanitary Certificate

No

No

No

No

No

No

Other Documents

      

Additional Notes

UN/NGOS

There is no difference in the documentation required to undertake the customs clearance.

Used clothing

For the import of used clothing items, no phyto-sanitary certificate is required to facilitate the import. However, such goods will be inspected by quarantine. Should there be identifiable contamination the container will be decontaminated at cost to the consignee.

 

Transit Regime

All goods coming into Palau must come either through Malakal Port or through the Palau International Airport. Neither the port nor airport have bonded facilities to accommodate transit goods. Sealed containers (sea freight) that are proposed for transit purposes could, with prior approval of the port operators and customs, be considered on a case-by-case basis during exceptional circumstances. Applications would need to be made to the Director of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection at Malakal.

 

  • No labels