(By Contributor Jason Mueller) Do you often think about what it would be like to pack up and start a new life in a tropical paradise where your surroundings are spectacular and the people you meet are smiling and happy? St. Lucia is a beautiful island where you can see palm trees and sparkling blue water all day long, where waterfalls are plentiful, and the rainforests are lush and filled with amazing wildlife and stunning scenery year-round. You will also find opportunities to check out local arts festivals and other fun events when you arrive.
If you are planning to visit St. Lucia as a tourist, you can stay up to six weeks with a passport. With a single-entry visa, the duration can extend up to three months and with a multiple entry visa, you can stay for one year. If you plan to purchase real estate in St. Lucia, you can apply for residency and after five years, you can apply to be a permanent resident. In general, those who relocate to St. Lucia are investors or retirees who want to live a life of relaxation where property rates are lower than other Caribbean locations and the people are friendly.
When you start making plans to move to St. Lucia, you’re going to need to hire a professional international moving company to bring your household goods and your motor vehicle to the island. You need to make sure the company you hire will be able to handle a move to St. Lucia by asking them some important questions upfront.
- Are the experienced with shipping to St. Lucia?
- Are they familiar with import laws and regulations for bringing goods to St. Lucia?
- Are they licensed and insured for shipping overseas?
Your belongings will need to pass through a Customs inspection, and to do so you are going to need to provide some important paperwork. This includes:
- Driver’s License
- Proof of Insurance
- Sales Invoice
- Bill of Lading
Customs declaration forms will be required for all household goods and other property that you plan to import. Most typical personal goods are legal to import, but there are some that you cannot bring into St. Lucia. Prohibited items include:
- Counterfeit Money
- Condoms Manufactured in South Korea
- Shaving Brushes from Japan
- Playing Cards
- Flick Knives and Other Knives with Flying Blades
- Pornographic Material
- Narcotic Drugs
- Guns and Ammo
- Opium Pipes
- Tear Gas
- Night Vision Binoculars
- Endangered Plants or Animals
- Walkie-Talkies and Other Radio Transmission Equipment
- Chain Saws
Duties must be paid on personal items imported and those duties are based off the price paid for the item. You will be able to declare your good ahead of time electronically and will be able to pay duties through your import broker. If you are importing a vehicle, be prepared to pay 50% to 60% on import duties.
Relocating to St. Lucia is a wonderful step to a new life abroad and you’ll be able to enjoy many exciting adventures in your new home. While some things may cost a little more, and it can be expensive to import your personal property, you’ll be happy you to call St. Lucia home as the sun, the beach and the spectacular atmosphere are always free and offer so much to do from one day to the next.