Montserrat is a Caribbean island, which is part of the chain known as the Lesser Antilles, in the British West Indies. It is a British Overseas Territory. The economy of the country was not a stabil one due to the vulcanic activity on the island. Before 1995, th country had a very developed export economy based on agriculture, clothing, electronic parts and plants.
The island is surounded by water, that is why the counry's big income is influenced by nautical industry. The country exports big quantities of fresh fish, frozen fish, lobsters, caviar, squid as well as coral calcium for international drugstores.
In addition to this, the country is rich in different natural resources. In such a way, the country is one of the big exporters of construction materials and engineering. The local manufacturers export the following construction products: ceramic materials, building stones, wood and wood building items, cement and cement products, roofing materials, plumbing supplies and many others. In adition to this, the government of Montserrat exports different types of construction vehicles, such as: excavators, tractors, tunnel machines, drills, hammers and many others.
The top export destinations of Montserrat are the United States, France, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago as well as Australia.
Prospects for the economy depend largely on developments in relation to the volcanic activity and on public sector construction activity. Half of the island remains uninhabitable. Due to the volcano, the country suffers from lack of food products and potable water. In this case, the country imports big quantities of agricultural products, such as: fruits, vegetables, coffee and tea, milling products as well as meat and meat products.
The location of Montserrat it near beautiful rivers, which provides a valuable means of transportation but also needed water for the agricultural industry. In such a way, the country imports small boats, such as canoes and kayaks, rigid inflatable boats, water towers and water mills.
The country suffers from the lack of oil and petrol. That is why Montserrat imports refined petroleum as well as scrap iron and coated flat-rolled iron.
The country has not the possibility to produce cars, trucks and SUVs. That is why, Montserrat imports these items from international partners.
The top import origins are the United States, the United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, Poland and Italy.
Customs & Excise Department
Address: P.O. Box 431 / Government Headquarters, Brades, Montserrat
Phone: + 1 (664) 491-3816
Fax: + 1 (664) 491-6909
The Customs Department play a critical role in the economic and social well-being and development of Montserrat. It is responsible for the collection of over one-third of internally-generated revenue and is the first line of defence against the threat of drugs and other social ills.
- Fish (including livers and roes thereof) or crustaceans, molluscs or other aquatic invertebrates, dead and unfit or unsuitable for human consumption by reason of either their species or their condition (Chapter 5); flours, meals or pellets of fish or of crustaceans, molluscs or other aquatic invertebrates, unfit for human consumption (heading 23.01) – Rate of duty 5- 40 % per kg;
- Milk and milk products - Rate of duty 15 %;
- Products of animal origin (meat and meat products, animal skin, etc) - Rate of duty 5 %;
- Vegetables (bulbs, tubers, tuberous roots, corms, crowns and rhizomes, dormant, etc.) - Rate of duty is free;
- Fruits (bananas, coconuts, citrus plants) - Rate of duty 15 %;
- Nuts - Rate of duty 45 %;
- Oil seeds, soya bins, copra - Rate of duty 15 %;
- Sugar cane - Rate of duty 35 %.
- Commercial Invoice
Two copies of the freight invoices in English are required. No specific form is required, but all invoices must contain the names of the exporter and consignee, number and types of packages, marks and numbers on the packages, net and gross weights, CIF value, terms of sale, and a thorough description of the merchandise. Note that the importer will usually need a signed duplicate invoice to speed the release of the imported goods from customs.
- Certificate of Origin
Every importer or exporter has to prove the origin of the products buy preparing a Certificate of Origin. Two certified copies are required.
- Packing List
A packing list is not legally required, but such lists are usually considered essential in accelerating the time required for customs clearance.
- Bill of Lading (Air Waybill)
There are no regulations specifying content of a bill of lading. Importers should include clear marks of identification and the name and address of the consignee of the goods. Shipping marks on the goods must correspond exactly to numbers on bills of lading/invoices.
- Pro-forma Invoice
Persons wishing to import goods are required to attach six copies of this invoice to the application for an import license and/or the intent to import. A pro-forma invoice may also be required when presenting an application to Montserrat authorities to ship bonded goods through the country.
Labels on most foods must show:
- product name (generic and trade);
- type of product;
- dates of manufacture;
- expiry dates;
- methods of preservation;
- ingredients in descending order of composition;
- weights or quantities;
- manufacturer's name;
- importer's name, address and phone number;
- places where the product can be returned or exchanged.