HOME › Forums › General Discussion Topics about the Cayman Islands › Getting There › Bringing Alcohol into the Cayman Islands
We are coming down for a week and are bringing wine/champagne packed and boxed. Do I declare this at customs. First time. M.
Yes, just make a note of how many bottles you have on your customs form you will fill out on the plane …. Each person 18 or over is allowed 4 bottles of wine duty free, you will have to pay duty for anything over that amount …
Is it cheaper to bring alcohol (rum/whiskey/vodka) or buy it there? How much can you bring before you pay taxes?
One Bad Jack
First of all, to answer the question of how much alcohol you can bring in duty free:
When traveling to the Cayman Islands from the United States, each person 18 years or over is allowed to bring in
Alcohol is very expensive in the Cayman Islands, since they have to pay a hefty import tax themselves to bring it into the island, so I personally think that it’s a great idea to bring in your allowed amount. Now sooner or later, that liquor you brought in will be gone, and that’s when you’ll pull out your Cayman Activity Guide discount coupons! There is one worth a 10% discount off of wine and spirits at all Big Daddy’s liquor stores, and I believe that there will soon be a coupon for a discount on rum at the Tortuga Rum stores on the island.
Now, another issue that can be confusing to some is buying “duty free” alcohol, whether in the US or in the Cayman Islands:
Most airports have duty free liquor stores located in the secured area of their airports, close to the departure gates for flights leaving the country. There is such a liquor store located in the departure lounge at the Cayman Islands airport as well, but that is only accessible to visitors as they leave. Many people think that they can stop in there after they arrive on the island and save some money, but they are not allowed in there.
The only exception to this is that you might see liquor shops around the island, especially in Georgetown near the harbor, that advertise themselves as “duty free”. If I’m not mistaken, I think that those shops will only sell liquor duty free to the cruise ship passengers who can produce a ship’s boarding pass, and even then it will be delivered to the ship. In other words, it’s treated the same way for them as for the land visitors who are allowed to purchase “duty free” as they prepare to leave the island (for them, at the airport).
So, if you decide to bring some liquor into the Caymans with you, then the decision is where and when to buy it, and how to bring it in. Many airports in the US have duty-free alcohol shops within their secured areas, close to the departure gates for flights leaving the country. When you purchase “duty-free” alcohol there, you might save some money, since the shop is able to sell it to you “duty-free”, but just remember that that has nothing at all to do with how much you can bring into the Cayman Islands “duty-free”. No matter where you bought the alcohol that you are bringing in, and whether or not you bought it “duty free”, you still have to adhere to the duty free allowance when entering the Cayman Islands.
Obviously, if you choose to buy your liquor at your local liquor store at home, you need to pack it carefully in your packed luggage (since liquids of that volume cannot be brought through security), and if you choose to purchase it from your departure airport’s duty free shop, then you would be carrying it on the plane with you. We’ve always packed ours in our luggage, with no problems, but I know many prefer to carry it on.
Again, I think it’s worthwhile to bring what you can in, and then use the CAG discounts once on the island!
Hopefully, I have this all correct…..please correct me if I’m wrong about anything that I said, but I think I have it right.
I’m sitting here in the Atlanta airport, logged on to the net with exactly this question in my mind. We are on our way to the Brac this morning, and want to bring some alcohol with us. I won’t buy beer though – I’m eager to try the Caybrew, especially in light of its award status.
I was returning from Jamaica once, and was waiting at baggage claim in JFK for my bags. The handlers had put down a case of overproof rum (190 proof…) too hard on the carousel and broke 2 bottles. (I was thinking “All that way and they break them HERE?”) They leaked EVERYWHERE. All I can say is the smell was so strong I almost caught a buzz just standing there!!!