Duty Free Shopping in The Bahamas

In today’s shopping world, everyone is competitive shopping or trying to shop the best deals or sales. The true bargain hunter wants the opportunity to snag their favorite items at rock bottom prices. Duty-free shopping is an opportunity to save hundreds of dollars on duty, or tax, free items. Most people don’t understand the details of duty-free shopping, we’ll introduce you to all things you need to know about duty-free shopping in the Bahamas, whether on your cruise ship or on the Freeport, Grand Bahamas Island.

Duty-free shopping allows shoppers to purchase goods in one country and bring them back into their country without paying tax on the purchased item. There is a limit to the duty, and this personal exemption depends on where the item is purchased, and whether the item contains tobacco or alcohol.

Typically a shopper’s personal exemption on duty is $800 (higher in some cases, depending on variables). This exemption also includes the local and national taxes. At the time of purchase shoppers may have to pay the local taxes, but can later apply for a refund when you arrive back in the states.

During your Bahamas vacation, you’ll notice several duty-free shopping areas that include the cruise ship, and on the island at the Port Lucaya Marketplace in Freeport, Bahamas. These shops have your favorite American brands, selling a variety of goods like clothing, perfume, beauty items, alcohol and much more. It’s a great opportunity to stock up and save on your favorite items.


There are a few rules and requirements it’s important to know about before buying bulk of your favorite goods.

  • DutyFree.com says, ‘If you’re a U.S. citizen returning home after staying at least 48 hours in a foreign land, you typically may bring $800 of duty-free merchandise into the country. If you exceed that limit, you’ll pay a 3% surcharge on the next $1,000 worth of purchases. Those with over $1,800 of merchandise must pay a tax of up to 25% on the amount that exceeds this limit.’
  • S. citizens visiting less than 48 hours receive a $200 exemption
  • Families can combine exemptions
  • Only one liter of alcohol or up to one carton of cigarettes are allowed duty-free

But are these duty-free items really a cheaper savings? Many American shoppers are finding that the best deals you’ll find are in the tobacco or alcohol categories. Electronic or luxury items have a likelihood of being a counterfeit scam, or can be found cheaper online.