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trade has increasingly played an important role in the local economy. Being
an island nation, many goods are imported for consumption in the local
market. It has been estimated that up to 60% of all goods consumed are
in fact imports. The main trading partner is the United States, following
by the European Union, Mexico and Venezuela.
The recent Lome agreement especially has strenthened economic and trading ties with The European Union. ~ See commentary regarding favorable duties schedule granted for exports bound for the European Union.
On the other hand, the Dominican Republic has been a key exporter or producer of cocoa, coffee, ferro-nickel, gold, silver, sugar and textile goods. The tremendous growth of duty free manufacturing has contributed to an upward spike in exportation of clothing, footwear and other finished products.
While goods coming into or leaving the duty free zones are exempt from many types of duties or tariffs, imported goods bound for the local market face the following schedule:
Import Tax from 5% up to 35%, depending on the product or item considered (finished goods tend to have a higher tariff schedule than raw materials or construction materials)
Consumption or Excise Tax from 5% to 80% on goods considered to be luxury items, based upon value or prior purchase price.
Some items which are considered to be favorable to the health and well~being of either individual citizens or certain industries, are afforded special treatment. Examples would include medicines, certain agricultural items, herbicides and pestisides and some raw materials. See Presidential decree number 339-90 and 366-91 for additional information on the included items.
The Dominican government certainly wishes to encourage the development of exports and any industry that may create additional new employment in the country. For more information on the Free Zones, readers are encouraged to review our separate section on this topic. Generally speaking however, non~free-zone goods may benefit from the following special programs:
Generalised System of Preference (US) ~ The Generalised System of Preference gives duty free access to the US market for a number of goods manufacturered or finished in the Dominican Republic. There are currently 3000 items on this list.
Caribbean Basin Initiative (US) ~ Offers similar language to the generalised system of preference with regards to duty free export to the US market for a number of goods and products. Items not eligible under the CBI include canned tuna, certain clothing items and textiles, certain watches and refined or crude petroleum. In addition, certain leather goods are also non eligible for the special duty free treatment in the US. It should be noted that clothing, footwear and textiles are some of the top exports to the US from the Dominican Republic, even though they are non-eligible items under the CBI. Interested parties are encouraged to review the requirements and duties as they may pertain to Free Zone Manufacturing for the clothing or footwear industries especially.
The Lome IV Convention ~ Special trade agreements exist with the European Union that permit a number of manufactured and other items to enter the EU from the Dominican Republic with either no or very much reduced duties imposed.
This Information has been prepared and
compiled by Mr. John Schroder as a service to his clients. Mr. Schroder
maintains an office in Santo Domingo and in Panama. His firm provides
assistance with company incorporations
in the Dominican Republic, Offshore incorporations in other tax haven jurisdictions,
Residency in the Dominican Republic and Panama, Assistance with Banking
and Investments, Real Estate matters and company representation. To contact
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