Dominican Republic: Import (general)

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Important: Be sure to check both general and product-based categories for relevant information. Product-based categories include parts and accessories unless otherwise specified. See disclaimer below and use independent care before relying on this information.

General import regulations and requirements

SIGA: The Dominican Republic has begun implementing the automated customs system SIGA (Sistema Integrado de Gestión Aduanera). With the implementation of this system, the bill of lading information must include shipper's, consignee's and notify party's tax ID, alternate ID, or passport number for individuals. Non-compliance with this requirement may result in penalties.

VUCE: VUCE, developed in 2017, is a tool for the electronic processing of prior authorizations and permits, such as phytosanitary certificates, required for imports and exports.

A false declaration of value on documentation will result in fines.

Include an extra set of shipping documents to facilitate handling of foreign exchange. See below under heading "Foreign exchange controls and letters of credit".

Dutiable goods also are subject to various taxes and surcharges, the rates of which depend on the type of product.

(Last updated on 2023-11-30)

Customs clearance procedures and requirements

For detailed Customs information contact:

Customs clearance generally takes about three days once complete documentation is submitted. On-line customs clearance is available (which takes only a few hours). For information see the Dominican Republic Customs website: (Dirección General de Aduanas, or DGA).

Importers can file import declaration through the Automated System for Customs Management (SIGA).

(Last updated on 2023-11-29)

Samples, low value and non-commercial importations

If samples are of commercial value and are not mutilated, a cash bond (or a bond signed by a bank domiciled in the Dominican Rep.) must be deposited with Customs to cover the applicable duty.

Samples accompanying travelers require a list showing quantities and values of all samples. The samples will not be released without a license from the:

Samples may be admitted duty-free under the following conditions:

De Minimis Threshold:

Note on De minimis value: If the value is below the de minimis threshold, imports may be exempted from customs duties and/or taxes and VAT. De minimis values and rules differ by country. For de minimis information by country, please see:

(Last updated on 2023-12-14)

Import customs tariff

The Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) is used for customs classification. Tariff rates range from 0 to 40% (WTO standards for all commodities) with the exception of rice, sugar, chicken parts, pork, corn, onions, milk powder and garlic.

The Dominican Republic assesses an ITBIS (Impuesto de Transferencia a los Bienes Industrializados y Servicios [Industrialized Goods and Services Tax]), equivalent to VAT (value added tax), of 18% on most goods and services.

A reduced VAT rate of 16% is assessed on certain food products such as dairy products, coffee, animal and vegetable edible fats, sugar, cocoa and chocolate.

VAT is applied on CIF value plus all taxes and duty.

Generally exempted from VAT: Agricultural products; vegetables; certain types of food; rice; tomato sauce; fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruits and vegetables (originating from farming and ranching sector); bread; milk (incl. dried, evaporated, condensed, powdered and pasteurized milk); flour in general; processed cereals; ground coffee; natural water; livestock; fuel; educational materials; medical drugs; and others.

Additional tax:

For worldwide tariff information please see:

(Last updated on 2022-06-13)

Customs valuation basis

Most products are subject to ad valorem duties based on CIF value. Declared values may be subject to verification; the government may use reference values.

According to the WTO Valuation Agreement there are six acceptable methods of determining customs value. Typically the first method is used (unless the buyer and seller are related parties). When the value cannot be obtained this way, or is rejected by Customs, one of the other methods is to be used, in descending order:

See additional information on the WTO website under WTO Customs Valuation.

(Last updated on 2017-02-07)

General import license/permit requirements

Import licenses are not required for most products.

Exceptions: pharmaceutical products (pharmaceutical drugs, cosmetics and skin care products); agro-chemicals; fertilizers; dangerous substances; and quota goods.

Tariff rate quotas exist for rice, sugar, garlic, poultry meat, beans, onions, milk and milk powder.

(Last updated on 2014-03-01)

Prohibited or highly restricted imports

Prohibited imports include: diseased or unhealthy plants, plant products, seeds, animals, or animal products; used clothing and electrical appliances; motor vehicles over five years old; and all products which may be harmful to human, animal, or plant health.

This country prohibits imports of hazardous waste as per the Basel Convention. For additional information see: Basel Convention (select country for details).

(Last updated on 2023-07-06)

Foreign exchange controls and letters of credit

Foreign currency exchange is administered by the:

It administers foreign exchange control through authorized commercial banks and foreign exchange dealers.

The exporter or his agent should forward an extra set of shipping documents to the bank in the Dominican Republic to facilitate the handling of necessary foreign exchange. Without these added documents, the bank may not grant the exchange. Three (3) copies each of the following document should be included:

Confirm the number of copies and documents required from the Dominican importer.

The unit of currency is the DOP = Dominican Peso [RD$] (subdivided into: 100 Centavo [not in circulation])

(Last updated on 2019-04-16)

Commercial invoice

A commercial invoice is required for all commercial shipments.

Provide at least one (1) original and four (4) signed copies, in Spanish or English with Spanish translation, to be forwarded to consignee or consignee's agent. Include the following information:

In the value declared, include all inland freight, packing, and any handling charges to the time the shipment is loaded on board the vessel.

The following statement must be included on the document: "We certify under oath that the prices stated in this invoice are true and correct."

For airfreight shipments, documents in most cases should accompany cargo. Review definition of air waybill (AWB).

For non-commercial shipments, prepare a pro-forma invoice.

(Last updated on 2017-02-07)

Packing list

A packing list is recommended to facilitate customs clearance.

In general, even when it is not required by regulation, it is recommended that a packing list be used with all shipments containing more than one shipping unit of packaged cargo. Most countries require a packing list be provided together with the commercial invoice. The required information must be consistent with all information shown on the commercial invoice.

At least three (3) copies of the packing list should be included as part of the shipping documents sent to the consignee or the agent thereof. The exact contents of each package should be clearly identified. This should include each item's gross weight and net weight and each package's marks and numbers.

(Last updated on 2024-06-28)

Transport document

A properly prepared transport document is required for transportation purposes and as a source document for customs clearance. Typically, one (1) original and four (4) copies of an ocean bill of lading (B/L) are sufficient; however, copies of B/L required may vary. Consult with importer for exact number necessary.

B/L may be in either English or Spanish. Transport document should clearly detail any freight charge or other accessorial charge collected by the carrier.

A copy of the applicable insurance certificate or insurance policy or must accompany the transport document for a shipment made on CIF or CIP terms.

Effective 01 Aug 2016, freight and weight must appear on the bill of lading. Brand, number, content, quantity and type of packages must also be included. The information will be verified through the SIGA Customs system (Sistema Integrado de Gestión Aduanera).

For air cargo, an air waybill (AWB) replaces the bill of lading used for ocean freight. For air waybills, nine (9) copies on a standard IATA form are required.

(Last updated on 2023-10-23)

Certificate of Origin (general)

C/O is typically required for live animals as well as shipments for which preferential treatment is sought.

If required by buyer/consignee or applicable letter of credit (L/C) terms, prepare C/O in three (3) copies using the general certificate of origin (CO, C/O) form available from a stationery store.

Using the CAFTA Certificate of Origin form is recommended when preferential treatment is being claimed under CAFTA-DR.

Check technical information on Rules of Origin issued by the World Trade Organization (WTO), Centre William Rappard, Rue de Lausanne 154, CH-1211 Geneva 21, Switzerland; phone: +41 22 739 5111; fax:+41 22 731 4206; email:

(Last updated on 2021-10-19)

Official cargo insurance requirements

All import shipments (except for U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) shipments) must be insured by a company authorized by the government of the Dominican Republic.

(Last updated on 2014-03-03)

Wood packing materials

The International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15) have been adopted by this country. All Wood Packing Material (WPM) must be made from debarked wood, which needs be treated and certified according to ISPM-15. The wood is to be stamped with the internationally standard ISPM-15 mark.

Review Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade, issued by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), Plant Protection Service, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, I-00100 Rome, Italy; fax: +39 6 570 56347; email:

Contact: Departamento de Sanidad Vegetal (Dept. of Plant Health), Ministerio de Agricultura (Ministry of Agriculture), Jardines del Norte, km. 6.5, Aut. Duarte, Santo Domingo; phone: +1 809 547 3888 (ext. 4100) and +1 849 629 7042; email:

General Information regarding WPM:

For a listing of countries that have adopted ISPM-15 requirements see:

For IPPC contact information by country see: International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), and select "Countries".

(Last updated on 2021-07-07)

Shipment packaging and marking requirements

In general, follow standard shipping practices.

(Last updated on 2019-04-16)

Product packaging/labeling requirements

Product-specific packaging and labeling requirements may apply to food products.

Labeling of products should comply with requirements set forth by INDOCAL (Instituto Dominicano para la Calidad); phone: +1 809 686 2205; fax: +1 809 688 3843; email:

There are specific requirements for the labeling of certain products. Labeling for food products must comply with NORDOM 53; labeling for pharmaceutical products must comply with NORDOM 407.

Certain products require labels in Spanish. These include: food and beverage products, agricultural chemicals, medical equipment, cosmetics, tobacco products, as well as any products which may be a risk to human health (General Health Law 42-01).

Importers must apply a sticker in Spanish with the following information:

Additional product packaging and/or labeling requirements may apply to particular types of products. Refer to the product-based information for the product you are considering to import or export. An exporter should also verify with its prospective importer in the destination country as to requirements for a specific product to be shipped.

(Last updated on 2021-10-19)


Product standards are regulated by the Dirección General de Normas y Sistemas de Calidad (DIGENOR), (General Office of Norms and Quality Management Systems); phone: +1 809 686 2205; fax: +1 809 688 3843; email:

Also see ISO Standards Correspondent Membership.

(Last updated on 2022-07-16)

Temporary imports

Imported goods may enter duty-free for 90 days for exhibition, demonstration or temporary work purposes, provided a bond for duties is posted and goods are tracked and re-exported.

(Last updated on 2014-04-04)

Important: Exercise independent care before relying on information contained herein. Although we strive to ensure all information is correct and current, GISTnet assumes no liability for detrimental reliance on this information. Trade requirements may change with little or no prior notification, de-facto requirements in certain countries vary from official regulations, and particular shipments and/or importers may have special destination customs arrangements. We encourage you to check with the importer or its customs agent in the destination country for specific importation requirements for specific products and circumstances. We ask your help with feedback ( concerning information which may be outdated or incomplete.