HOME › Forums › General Discussion Topics about the Cayman Islands › Getting There › Customs Entry Allowance – Food, Beef, Alcohol, etc…
With the international baggage limit of 70 pounds per bag, we decided to bring one large suitcase filled with groceries. Watching for local sales, I was able to accumulate T-Bones, Baby Back Ribs, boneless chicken, bacon and sausage for a couple of weeks before our trip. It amounted to about six nights worth of entrees. I used a soft sided cooler that fit nicely into the large suitcase for the meat. I fit all of the meat into that cooler and froze the entire thing solid in my deep freeze. The morning of our flight I put the cooler inside the suitcase and packed the rest of the groceries around it. The was all still frozen solid when we arrived at the Reef many hours later.
We also packed cold cereals, pasta and rice packaged side dishes, a few seasonings and condiments. Also a couple of pouches of cookie mixes, peanut butter, cooking oil, granola bars, dried apricots, roasted peanuts, a plastic bottle with liquid laundry soap, fabric softner sheets, and a couple of bottles of our favorite booze in plastic traveler bottles.
Cayman customs told me over the phone to keep all of the meat in it’s original grocery packages and to bring reciepts for everything, since they charge a duty that ranges from 15-20 percent on groceries. No problems or restrictions on beef. NO FRESH FRUITS OR VEGETABLES. I was really pleased when my suitcase full of groceries was inspected, the customs official looked over my items, glanced at my pile of reciepts that totaled about $90 US, and waved me through without charging the duty. HOW NICE. That was our first of my great experiences with the people of the Caymans.
On the way to the Reef we stopped for fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy, paper products, and canned goods. The grocery stores are wonderful and fully stocked with everything, but I know I saved $$$ with my grocery suitcase. We still spent a couple of hundred $$ U.S. on at the grocery store just round out our supplies and re-stocking during our ten day trip.
By the way, the extra luggage space from the consumed groceries is perfect for souveniers on the flight home. We would do it the same way next time.
Anyway, how are you so lucky to get to take 70 pounds per suitcase! Northwest restricts us to 50 pounds per and they are very strict about it. Since we bring so much heavy dive gear with us, we don’t bother with much food anymore.
Another factor is that I always stay on 7 Mile Beach so I’m a little closer to grocery stores and restaurants than those staying out on the East End. I don’t blame you for what you did. Worked for you! Sounds like you saved a lot of money and the soft sided cooler is a great idea!
Great advice! Thanks!
We generally make sure to take coffee, and a couple bags of cereal [we don’t go out in the a.m. for breakfast often as we are on the Northside], dish machine detergent and any snacks we love and may be afraid we can’t find there. I have never taken frozen goods before – just stopped at Hurleys on the way out and picked them up.
Good tips though, something to think about for next year!
Delta allows 70 pounds for two checked bags per ticket on international flights. Their domestic limit is 50 pounds. Taking full dive gear for two takes us right to the limit.
I have to keep reminding myself……bring half the clothes and twice the money.
Can we bring Hebrew National Hot Dogs (for a quick lunch, etc)?
I’ve been reading about BEEF, but what about other meats?
FAQs & this was what was posted:
Can we bring meat in to the Cayman Islands?
Yes you can, though you may be charged duty if the amount is more than US$35, or if the quantity exceeds what H.M. Customs considers a reasonable amount for your personal consumption while in Cayman.
Meat and other cold cuts coming out of the US must have the USDA stamp of approval, preferably stored in the original supermarket packaging and it has to be inspected by a representative of the Department of Agriculture who is usually found in the Customs area of the Airport terminal. top
What about groceries?
You are allowed to bring groceries into the Islands. However, we have very well stocked supermarkets, a local farmers’ market in Grand Cayman and numerous mini marts and Gas station service marts where you can purchase groceries.
I think we’ll bring a little bit just so we can budget for other things.
The first year we brought the kids with us – I packed mac and cheese, crystal light/kool aid stuff, even mini cereal boxes. Sure they have all that at grocery store, but if you’ve already got it in your pantry and can fit it in your suitcase – I say go for it.
That being said – I do not bring as many grocery items anymore, but still bring some things. I figure if I were at home I would be buying groceries anyway.
Have a great trip!
Whenever you fly internationally, your proof of citizenship (like a passport) will be checked before you are allowed to leave the US, but the actual customs and immigration takes place once you arrive in the foreign country by their officials.
As you fly into the Cayman Islands, the flight attendants will distribute Cayman Customs forms that need to be filled out, and in reverse, on the flight between Cayman and Miami, the flight attendants will be distributing the US Customs forms needed for entering the U.S.
Also, some airlines used to hand out fruit on morning flights out of Cayman but those beagles at the Miami airport would sniff you down and a Custom’s officer would grill you about your piece of fruit and take it off of you!!! (Always thought it weird considering the fruit originated in the US).
In any event, just make sure you read what you are allowed to bring into a country before you enter it so that you don’t have any problems and be sure to declare everything.
The Custom’s forms for both countries are dead easy and you’ll do just fine.