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Bonaire Customs–What is Allowed When You Arrive as a Visitor

Custom allowances for travel into Bonaire.

When visitors pack for their vacation to Bonaire, they usually also pack personal articles, such as clothing, toiletries, or a camera, phone, or other electronic devices.  While on Bonaire, you are using these articles, but when you depart back to your home country, you also take them back with you.  In this case, you have temporarily imported these articles to the Dutch Caribbean, and the articles are exempt from General Consumption Tax ABB (Algemene Bestedingsbelasting).

This exemption does not apply to excise articles, such as cigarettes or alcoholic beverages. For these items, you must comply with the quantities as noted below.

When do I have to pay ABB (import tax)?

Any articles which you will not take back with you when leaving Bonaire are subject to 8% ABB.  You are exempt from ABB as far as the value of the articles is USD $500.00 or less.  (See Exemptions for Travellers below.)

How do I clear customs for the imported items for my vacation?

Upon arrival in Bonaire, report to Customs that you have articles with you which are not solely for your personal use and for which you cannot claim an exemption from ABB.  It is mandatory that you report this information, and Customs will request the invoices of the articles and then will calculate the ABB which is due.  You will pay the tax at Customs and receive a receipt.

What is prohibited from carrying into Bonaire?

The import of medicines (not intended for your own use), narcotics, and weapons are prohibited.  Furthermore, articles made from protected animals, plants, and shells are also prohibited. If you enter Bonaire with articles that require a special permit from the government, then upon arrival, you must report this immediately to Customs.

Exemptions for Travelers

The exemption is applicable only for articles that are intended for your personal use and don’t apply to commercial goods or goods of an apparent commercial character.  This exemption applies to any articles acquired outside the island of entry and applies to all articles, except for alcohol and tobacco products.

  • Exemption of ABB up to a value of a maximum USD $500.00 per person.
  • For persons younger than 15 years, the exemption is limited to USD $150.00 per person.

The exemption applies for articles up to the amounts mentioned above. If an article cannot be split and has a higher value, it will not be exempt.

Alcoholic products, tobacco, and tobacco products.

In the chart below, you’ll find an overview of exemptions for tobacco, tobacco products, and alcoholic products.

ItemExemption of amounts equal or less than the quantity, weight, or liter mentionedTariffs for higher amounts, heavier weights, or more liters
Tobacco for smoking125 grams8%
Strong liquor or alcoholic beverages with an alcohol level higher than 22% volume, for example, whisky1 liter8%
Strong liquor or alcoholic beverages, sparkling wine, or liquor wine, with an alcohol level of 22% volume or less, for example, sherry or champagne1 liter8%
Non-sparkling wine2 liters8%
Beer8 liter8%

Please note:  The exemption for tobacco, tobacco products, and alcoholic beverages (no strong liquor) is applicable exclusively for persons 17 years and older.  The exemption for strong liquor is applicable exclusively to persons 18 years and older.

What if I need to bring in more than allowed?

In the event the items surpass the limits, the following tariffs are applicable for the excise articles as noted below.  When excise is payable, ABB will be levied on the value of the articles, as calculated by Customs, and on the excise.  Therefore, those carrying items above the imposed limit and which are subject to excise will pay ABB on the excise as well.

Excise ItemsTariff
Imported CigarettesUSD $8.69 per 100 pieces
CigarsUSD $9.78 per 100 pieces
CigarillosUSD $4.89 per 100 pieces
Tobacco for smokingUSD $30.00 per kilogram
DistilledUSD $12.85 per hl per volume % alcohol
WineUSD $128.50 per hl
BeerUSD $67.04 per hl


For additional information, visit the website of the Belastingdienst (Tax Office).

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