If you are looking to grow your ecommerce business into St. Lucia, you’ve come to the right place. In our guide, created by Zonos' cross-border experts, you will find up-to-date duty and tax rates, landed cost breakdown examples, and detailed information on restrictions, trade agreements, required import documentation, and more.
|Ease of doing business2 / 5||- Saint Lucia’s foreign relations emphasize reciprocal economic cooperation and trade and investment. The country administers its foreign policy through its membership in regional organizations, including CARICOM.|
|- Business-to-consumer (B2C) packages are seldom delivered to the consumer's door, which can hurt your business' customer experience.|
|Landed cost fairness2 / 5||- St. Lucia has a high VAT rate, extra fees, and no de minimis, making it more difficult and expensive to import.|
|- The fees and lack of de minimis is unfavorable for landed cost.|
|Flexibility of legal regulations2 / 5||- Customs is strict about paperwork.|
|- Inaccurate documents can result in holds and fines.|
|Availability and accessibility of shipping4 / 5||- All major carriers ship to St. Lucia, including DHL Express, FedEx, UPS, and USPS.|
|- However, St. Lucia is relatively small and remote.|
|Accessibility and variety of payment methods4 / 5||- St. Lucia accepts most forms of ecommerce payment, such as, international credit cards/bank cards.|
|Market opportunity1 / 5||- St. Lucia has an extremely small population, which does not give sellers the potential for high ecommerce success.|
|- The internet penetration in St. Lucia relative to its population also limits the number of potential customers.|
The Zonos grade for this country is based on the scores earned in the above categories.
|GDP||$2.10 billion USD (2021)|
|GDP per capita||$9,419.27 USD (2021)|
|Internet penetration||56.8% of the population use the internet.|
|Ecommerce users||Popular ecommerce platforms in St. Lucia are eBay, Shopify, and Magento|
|Leading product categories||Crude petroleum, refined petroleum, cars, poultry meat, and petroleum gas|
|Preferred online payment method(s)||International credit cards/bank cards, cash upon delivery, PayPal, and other electronic money transfer services|
|Languages||English and Saint Lucian Creole French|
|Currency||East Caribbean Dollar/ XCD/ $|
Landed cost is the total price of getting a purchase to the customer's door, which includes product price, shipping, duties, taxes, and fees such as currency conversion, carrier, broker, customs, or government fees.
CIF: CIF (cost, insurance, freight) is a method for calculating import taxes where the tax is calculated on the cost of the order, plus the cost of freight, insurance, and seller's commission.
|Value-added tax (VAT)||Average duty rate||Customs fees||Duty and tax de minimis|
| - Avergae VAT rate: 12.5%
De minimis value
Duty and tax will be charged only on imports into St. Lucia where the total CIF value of the import exceeds St. Lucia’s minimum value threshold (de minimis). St. Lucia does not have a de minimis, which means duty and tax fees are charged on all imports. The only time goods are exempt from duty and tax is when they receive preferential treatment through trade agreements.
Value-added tax (VAT)
St. Lucia has a wide variation of value-added tax (VAT), which ranges from 0-70%, with an average VAT rate of 12.5% on the CIF value of the order imported.
General consumption tax (GCT) has a fairly wide range at which rate it is charged. Anywhere from 0-35% can be charged on the imported goods based on the CIF value of the order. On top of the GCT, there is a customs service charge of 5%. An environmental levy and/or an excise duty can also be charged if those fees are applicable to the imported goods.
The highest import tariffs by their Most-Favored Nation (MFN), CIF value for St. Lucia are as follows:
Below is a sample landed cost breakdown for St. Lucia calculated using Zonos Quoter. Since there is no de minimis, duty and tax will always apply.
Landed cost for a shipment to St. Lucia:
St. Lucia has at least 10 trade agreements that offer a zero or highly discounted duty rate for goods made in a participating country. The most prominent of these trade agreements are the CARICOM free trade agreements.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
The CARICOM is the Caribbean community, comprised of 15 countries that have formed free trade agreements to facilitate economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equally shared, and to coordinate foreign policy.
What countries are included in CARICOM?
St. Lucia gives duty-free access to imports from other CARICOM countries, given that the goods satisfy the rules of origin. Some exceptions are granted duty-free treatment under the safeguard provisions of the CARICOM Treaty, but preferential imported goods still incur the customs service charge.
Additional CARICOM agreements
St. Lucia is a member of the World Trade Organization
St. Lucia is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Therefore, St. Lucia must abide by the most-favored-nation (MFN) clause, which requires a country to provide any concessions, privileges, or immunities granted to one nation in a trade agreement to all other WTO member countries. For example, if a country reduces duties by 10% for one country, the MFN clause states that all WTO members will have their duties cut by 10% into that country.
Talk to your carrier about customs refunds.
Depending on the courier, additional shipping fees may include tracking, insurance, fuel surcharge, remote delivery charge, chain of signature fee, overweight or oversized fee, special handling fee, or dangerous goods fee.
Shipments may require a CARICOM invoice. This is a special invoice used by some Caribbean countries and will be obtained by the consignee by the carrier through the customs website. When required, the shipment cannot clear Customs without this document. A shipment subject to CARICOM is considered a formal entry, and additional fees may apply.
Many various government agencies may be involved in regulating imports.
Restricted items are different from prohibited items. Prohibited items are not allowed to be imported into a country at all. Restricted items are not allowed to be imported into a country unless the importer has approval or a special license that allows them. Controlled goods have military or national security significance.
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When did St. Lucia become a member of the WTO (World Trade Organization)?
St. Lucia has been a WTO member since January 1st, 1995.