Arriving visitors may bring in duty-free any personal items for use while on vacation – laptop computers included.
In addition, visitors 18 years and older can bring in duty-free either one litre of alcohol, four litres of wine or one case of beer (not exceeding eight litres) and 200 cigarettes, or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco.
Returning residents are allowed CI$350 worth of goods duty free and this privilege does not apply to visitors. Remember that any gifts you are bringing into the Cayman Islands may also be subject to duty. Duty is never charged on books and camera equipment.
Importing or possession of any kind of illegal drugs including marijuana (ganja) and cocaine is strictly prohibited by law and violators will be arrested and prosecuted by local authorities. Also prohibited without a special permit are: firearms of any kind (including BB guns); spearguns (or pole spears or Hawaiian slings); live plants and plant cuttings; beef; raw fruits and vegetables because they may carry diseases or shelter harmful insect pests. You may contact the Collector of Customs – (345) 949-2473 – if you have questions about any item, prior to your arrival.
Each US citizen is allowed to return to the US with up to US$800 in purchases without paying duty, as long as they have been out of the country for at least 48 hours and have not claimed the exemption in the previous 30 days. A couple may claim US$1,600, a family of four US$3,200, and so on. A duty of 10% will be charged on the excess amount. US citizens may return with one carton of cigarettes duty-free and 80 cents per carton will be charged on any additional cartons. US citizens over age 21 are allowed 2 litres of alcohol duty-free as long as one of the litres is produced in the Caribbean. A duty of 15% will be charged on excess alcohol. Before leaving the US you may want to verify with local Customs authorities that this information is still valid.
When leaving Cayman, visitors from the US should be aware that products made from farmed green sea turtles such as are available at the Cayman Turtle Farm may not be taken back home. The importation of genuine sea turtle products is strictly prohibited by any countries which have signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (1978) including the US, Canada and UK. In addition, US Customs prohibits the trans-shipment of turtle products through the US. Any products discovered will be confiscated. You will not be allowed to bring back any plants or plant seeds, vegetables or fruits unless you have official permits from US Customs. Otherwise, these will be confiscated by Customs at US gateways.