orange bulletCustoms Clearances & Inland Revenue

Fr8 has a wealth of experience covering many years in the area of customs clearances, freight forwarding and shipping. Our aim is to always provide Customs Clearances within 24 hours, with the proviso that the entry is a simple one of 5 lines of classification or less, and that any delays within Customs or any other regulatory body are, of course outside of our control.

We will always provide the customer with feedback regarding delays so that, even if the information at that time is not positive, you will know what is going on with your valuable cargo. This level of service leads to positive customer feedback and that is what we love to hear, day after day.

bullet wideAbout Vanuatu Customs

The goal of the Vanuatu Customs Department is:-

"To ensure Customs Systems and procedures are in place to collect correct amount of Customs and Excise duties, VAT on import and other Customs revenue and ensure clients are compliant with Customs and Excise laws."

Customs Revenue accounts for around 40% of the department’s annual revenue collection. The Customs Revenue section is responsible for:

  • Collecting customs duties and Vat on international trade of imported goods
  • Collecting Excise tax on locally produced and imported excisable goods
  • Administration of the bonded warehousing and downtown duty free scheme
  • Enforcement of the Customs Act, Excise Act and the Valuation Act
  • Ensuring compliance to the above legislation and procedures by stakeholders

Vanuatu Customs procedures are in place to collect the correct amount of Customs duties, Excise tax and VAT on import and other Customs revenue. The Collection and compliance issues are administered through two major areas of revenue responsibilities, namely Cargo Clearance and Audit and Compliance.

Clearing Vanuatu Customs - Cargo Clearances

One of the major functions of Customs Revenue is the facilitation of Vanuatu Customs clearances on cargo and collection of revenue on import duties, VAT and Excise tax at the country’s borders and port of entries such as the International airports, wharfs and post offices.

Customs Revenue officers are located in Vanuatu’s major port of entries of Port Vila wharf, Port Vila international airport, Santo wharf and Santo international airport. The office in the Port Vila post office is manned by customs border officers who also perform the task of revenue collection. The duties performed at these office locations are:

  • Cargo clearance processing.
  • Documentary checks on import and export documents, value and tariff classification of imports and exports.
  • Physical examination on imports and exports.
  • Receipting of customs duties & taxes on imported goods.
  • Reporting to the manager Customs Revenue on monthly performances, achievements and issues.

All goods either imported into or exported from Vanuatu are cleared at the approved port of entries which are Port Vila on Efate, Lenakel on Tanna, Luganville on Santo and Sola on Vanualava.

Cargo clearances in Port Vila and Luganville are done electronically through Asycuda but are manually done in Lenakel and Sola due to no electronic system network being available.

Sea freights and Airfreights are cleared at the following offices;


  • Port Vila customs wharf office
  • Port Vila customs airport office
  • Port Vila Vanuatu post customs office
  • Luganville customs wharf office
  • Lenakel Custom’s office
  • Sola customs office

Typical documents required by customs for clearance of goods are:

  • Commercial invoices
  • Freight statements
  • Other charges statements
  • Packing lists
  • Bill of Ladings
  • Airway Bills

Calculation Of Customs Duties And Taxes

The Vanuatu Customs administration’s tax base is CIF (which stands for Cost of goods, Insurance cost covering the goods and Freight cost of transporting the goods).?? The total CIF value in foreign currency must be converted into Vatu currency and multiplied by the duty rate applicable on the goods to find the amount of customs duty payable.

The duty amount is then added to the value of goods in vatu to arrive at the VAT tax base. The total amount of the duty and value of the goods is then multiplied by 12.5% to find the amount of VAT payable. The duty and VAT amounts are then added together to find the total payable on the goods.??

Exchange Rates??

Official Customs Exchange Rates are updated on the first Monday of each month. The exchange rate applies only to the clearance of goods from Customs control.??

Clearing Goods From Customs Control??

The role of raising and lodging customs declarations for the clearance of goods is vested on the Customs Agents, such as Fr8 Logistics, who are licensed by Customs. ??

Customs Duty Rates??

The Customs Duty rates on imports ranges from zero to 50%. The high duty rates are mostly on luxury goods while the rates on basic necessity items such as food and clothing ranges from 5% to 15%. More information on the Customs duty rates can be obtained direct from Fr8 Logistics. ??

When To Clear Goods From Customs?

Goods must be cleared from customs control within a 2 months period from the date of arrival of the goods. After 2 months, the goods may be seized by Customs and forfeited to the government of Vanuatu.??

How And When Customs Conduct Checks??

Physical and documentary examinations are conducted by customs officials when circumstances of imports and exports pose certain level of risks to the government revenue and border security. ??Physical and documentary examinations are done at the point of cargo clearance on Red and Yellow lane selected customs declarations while compliance auditing is done at post clearance. That is after goods are cleared and released from customs control.    ?  

On The Spot Fines & Surcharge Penalties

??Any importer committing offences under the subsections of the Customs Act will be penalised on the spot by Customs.? Penalties can range from 10,000 Vatu to 40,000 Vatu or more.

So, don't risk it - contact your Fr8 Logistics representative today!

bullet wideHave questions concerning customs clearances? EMail Us