Marshall Islands - 1.3 Marshall Islands (RMI) Customs Information

The RMI Customs division falls under the Ministry of Finance, it is based in Majuro and, it is part of the Division of Customs, Treasury, Revenue and Taxation. Customs Officers rotate between the airports, ports and other entities handling import/export operations such as post offices and commercial entities, for example PII (representative of DHL in RMI) and Stevedore Company (MSTCO) offices.  

Duties and Tax Exemption 

Emergency Response: 

NDMO is the focal point for any emergency response activities. All goods designated for use for humanitarian purposes during time of emergency are subject to tax and import duty exemption, which can be validated through NDMO. 

When there is a declaration of an emergency, organisations wishing to import relief supplies 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 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 an official letter of request for tax exemption from the organisation to the Director of the NDMO.  

The following table provides an overview of customs-related agreements and conventions in RMI: 

Agreements / Conventions Description 

Ratified by Country? 


WCO (World Customs Organization) member 


Annex J-5 Revised Kyoto Convention 

No (application submitted) 

OCHA Model Agreement 


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


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

US Compact of Association 

Oceania Customs Organization (OCO) Secretariat 

Exemption Regular Regime (Non-Emergency Response) 

While duties and taxes apply to imported goods, humanitarian organizations such as UN, INGOs and religious groups can import goods tax free. Organizations 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.  

As per the Import Duties Act 1989, there are several goods which are tax exempt under the current import duties regulations. These include energy efficient equipment, solar-powered equipment, renewable energy equipment imported for the purpose of power generation, fishing equipment, as well as goods in transit to other international destinations.  

For all other imports, there is a uniform tax rate of eight per cent (8%) rate except for the following goods where a special rate is applied: 

Category of Goods 

Tax rate 

1. Foodstuffs 


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. 


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

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

7. Public Transport 


8. Tobacco, and cigarettes 

US$1.00 per pack of 20 rolls 

9. Cigars 


10. Other tobacco (Copenhagen) 

US$2.75 per 34.2 grams or 1.2 oz 

11. Beer 

US$0.35 cents per can or 12 oz. unit 

12. Wine 

US$2.75 per gallon 

13. Spirits 

US$15.00 per gallon 

14. Mixed drink 


15. Soft drinks - carbonated beverages 

Non-carbonated and artificially flavoured beverages 

0.01666 per 1 oz. 


As per the Animal and Plant Inspection Act from 1966, all animals and plants or parts thereof, including seeds, fruits, vegetables, cuttings, etc., entering or transported within RMI are subject to inspection by agricultural quarantine inspectors and may be refused entry into or movement within the Republic if they are known to be, or are suspected of being, infected or infested with disease or pests.  

Exemption Certificate Application Procedure (Emergency Response) 

Non-registered organizations, without permanent presence in RMI, responding to an emergency can apply for tax and duty exemption on a consignment basis through the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) who will then facilitate a tax exemption letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. See details below. 

Duties and Taxes Exemption Application Procedure 


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

Process to be followed  

  1. Before goods arrive: 

  • Obtain: Bill of Lading/Air waybill, Commercial Invoice, Packing list, Phytosanitary certificate (if applicable) 

  • Prepare a letter of request for tax exemption addressed to NDMO in Majuro 

  1. Submit all Documentation to NDMO for consideration 

  1. NDMO confirmation about tax exemption being endorsed 

  1. Present the endorsed letter of exemption with other documentation to the shipping agent for goods clearance 

Exemption Certificate Document Requirements 

Duties and Taxes Exemption Certificate Document Requirements (by commodity) 



NFI (Shelter, WASH, Education) 


Vehicle & Spare Parts 

Staff & Office Supplies 

Telecommunications Equipment 

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 



AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents 

Yes: 1 x original + 2 copies 

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates 

Endorsed Letter of request for tax exemption: 1x original 

Packing Lists 


Additional Notes It is advisable to have several copies of all documentation.  

Customs Clearance 

 General Information 

Customs Information 

Document Requirements  

All documentation as listed above will be required by NDMO. Once received, the NDMO will advise on customs process and duty exemption status. This is undertaken on a shipment-by-shipment basis based on the waybill. 


None known 

Prohibited Items 

Recreational drugs, Firearms (require import license) 

General Restrictions 

There are no general restrictions other than listed above under “Exemption Regular Regime (Non-Emergency Response)” section 

Customs Clearance Document Requirements 

Customs Clearance Document Requirements (by commodity) 



NFI (Shelter, WASH, Education) 


Vehicles & Spare Parts 

Staff & Office Supplies 

Telecoms Equipment 

Phytosanitary Certificate 

Depending on type of food 






D&T Exemption Certificate 

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 

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates 

Letter of exemption 

Packing Lists 

Yes: 1 copy 

Transit Regime 

Goods that are in transit from a place outside the Republic to another place outside the Republic are subject to the control of Customs and are not subject to import duty. 

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