Commerce: Importation

The Aruba Customs Department (“DAA”) is responsible for overseeing all merchandise that enters our country by air or sea. It also has a social responsibility to impose import duties and special taxes, as well as to prohibit the sale of prohibited goods.


Import duties for imported products

The import duties are calculated as follows: “cost + insurance + freight”, according to Aruba’s customs. According to the import duties, the value is 12 percent. Import duties for basic/life-sustaining products range between 0% to 12%.

Luxury goods are classified as having a higher import duty rate. Aruba is allowed to receive tax-free raw materials that must be processed in the local industry.

Special taxes apply to alcohol and alcoholic beverages, tobacco and tobacco products, oil and oil products and minerals.

Contact Customs Department of Aruba (DAA)

L.G. Smith Boulevard #134

Telephone: +297  523 8888
Email: [email protected]

Importation requirements

1. Food: meat/poultry

Government regulations require that businesses that receive, store and sell imported goods register with the Chamber of Commerce. Meat and poultry can only be imported from slaughterhouses that have been approved by the USDA and the EU. Import certificates must be submitted in advance to the Veterinary Service. The following documents will be revised by the Veterinary Service:

  • Official health certificate of the country of origin.
  • Invoice, consignment note.
  • An appraisal fee of 5% of the customs value of the meat.
  • As a result, if all documents are in order, the Veterinary Service will issue an import license.

First-time shipments of canned meats must be inspected by the Veterinary Service. Following that, as long as the subsequent shipments are from the same supplier, the inspection requirement no longer applies. The Veterinary Service may seize and destroy processed meat products that have passed their expiration dates. Other meats that are spoiled or unhealthy are turned over to authorities and destroyed in the presence of the importers.

For more information, please contact the Veterinary Services.

The following products require an import license from the Department of Economic Affairs, Commerce and Industry:

  1. Rice
  2. Tea
  3. Coffee (powdered coffee)
  4. Baby food/milk powder
  5. Dried milk
  6. Edible oil (salad oil)
  7. Canned milk
  8. Sugar
  9. Potatoes
  10. Legumes (beans and peas), whether or not in air-tight packaging
  11. Meat, dried, salted or smoked, prepared or preserved in cans or other air-tight packaging
  12. Fish, frozen, prepared or preserved in cans or other airtight packaging
  13. Vegetables, frozen, prepared, or preserved in cans or other airtight packaging
  14. Medicinal products
  15. Chicken, frozen and/or chilled, whole or in pieces
  16. Beef, frozen and/or chilled, in pieces or parts
  17. Corn flour

The only restriction that exists for imported food products pertains to chicken eggs. The purpose hereof is to protect the market for local egg production.

The Department of Economic Affairs, on the other hand, grants an exemption for the importation of eggs, because local production is insufficient to meet demand. Those interested in importing eggs must submit a written application in order to obtain an exemption to import a limited number of eggs.

Health officials require that first-time shipments of perishables (such as seafood, produce and other perishables) be accompanied by a sanitary certificate from the country of origin, but this requirement is waived if subsequent shipments are from the same supplier.

2. Health inspection

All foods destined for human consumption (including imports) must be nutritious and fit for human consumption. Foods imported into Aruba must always come from (a) sanitary and safe source(s). Imported goods are required to be properly labeled. The product’s name, ingredients list, quantity, expiration date, storage instructions, importer information, place of origin and batch number must all be included. For the first-time shipment of perishable (potentially hazardous foods), a health certificate is required.

Perishable foods must always be kept out of the temperature danger zone. The temperature danger zone is between 5ºC (40ºF) and 60ºC (160ºF). Frozen foods must always be kept frozen at -18ºC (0ºF) or below when imported.

The method of transportation and storage of the product(s) must be communicated for items such as fish that is imported in a NON-FROZEN state. Fresh foods are unprocessed, in their natural state, and may not have been frozen or subjected to any form of thermal processing or other forms of preservation.

3. Pesticides and other contaminants

All pesticides must be registered with the Pharmaceutical Affairs Division. of the Directorate of Public Health. Pesticides and other contaminants in food products, however, are not regulated in Aruba.

4. Other regulations and requirements

Products are not required to be tested in a laboratory.

Product samples sent by express mail or parcel post are only subject to import duties. The addressee is responsible for the import duties in respect of sample and mail-order shipments.

To avoid the shipment being returned at the expense of the exporter, exporters should ensure that the addressee is informed of the pending shipment and agrees to accept it. Health officials keep an eye on ports of entry and the retail/wholesale trade for any products that could endanger human or animal health. There are no import certification documents needed.

5. Registration of trademarks and service brands

According to the Aruba Trademark Ordinance, the person who first used a trademark in Aruba has the exclusive right to use it. Only products or services for which the trademark is being used or has been used within the last three years are eligible for the exclusive use right. The trademark owner who submits the first application for trademark registration is also considered the trademark’s first user and has exclusive user rights, but only with regard to the classes for which the trademark is registered. To register a trademark in Aruba, the applicant must submit a three-part application to the Bureau of Intellectual Property. The trademark or service brand must be effective in distinguishing the goods or services from those of others.

Registration grants exclusive rights of use, but it does not always imply first use under current law. If the applicant is based outside of Aruba, he or must choose a trademark agent’s office in Aruba as his or her domicile.

6. Patent agent

A patent agent is a person who has passed the Bureau of Intellectual Property of Aruba’s examination for patent agents and is permanently residing in Aruba and is allowed to act as an intermediary in patent affairs, including the registration of patents with the Bureau on behalf of a patent owner who is not domiciled in Aruba, according to Articles 20 and 24 of the Aruba Patent Ordinance.

7. Plants and animals

If you are importing plants, you will need to submit the importation certificate, as well as any associated invoices, health certificates, consignment note and other documents to the Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, or Santa Rosa. If all documents are in order, Santa Rosa will review them and grant the import license.

Before importing and/or exporting live animals, the Veterinary Service ([email protected]) should be notified and the possibilities thoroughly checked. The Veterinary Service will determine what is possible and which requirements must be met based on the circumstances.

8. Medicines and supplements

The importer, agent or wholesaler must obtain an import license and register with the Inspectorate of Public Health of Aruba. The Inspectorate of Public Health of Aruba must inspect the medicine/supplement. The following document will be examined: Bill of Lading, original factory invoice with importer’s name, registration number and country of origin.

9. Telecommunication devices

An import license is not required for the importation of telecommunication devices, such as:

  • household phones, not including wireless household phones;
  • modems, except for wireless modems and fax machines.

Telecommunication devices, such as cordless phones, baby monitors, wireless intercoms and wireless microphones, often use the same frequency band as local telecommunication companies, resulting in interference with the telecommunication system. As a result, importing telecommunication devices that support the same frequency as the telecommunication companies in Aruba is prohibited.

The frequencies currently used in Aruba are:

  • 690-800 MHz,
  • 800-900 MHz,
  • 900-1000 MHz,
  • 1700-1800 MHz,
  • 1800-1900 MHz,
  • 1900-2100 MHz,
  • 2100-2200 MHz,
Cordless phones ta wanta 2.4 GHz y 5.8 GHz frecuencia ta permiti.

Tene na cuenta cu algun aparatonan di telecomunicacion por wordo importa solamente cu licencia cu ta bin di Departamento di Asunto di Telecomunicacion.

Frecuencia uza door di Dect 6.0.
  • 1880-1900 Mhz Europa
  • 1920 -1930 Mhz Merca/ Canada
  • 1900- 1920 Mhz China
  • 1893-1906 Mhz Japan
  • 1910-1930 Mhz Latino America

Cordless phones supporting 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz frequencies are permitted.

Please consider that certain telecommunication devices can only be imported with a license issued by the Directorate of Telecommunication Affairs.
The frequency used by Dect 6.0.:

  • 1880-1900 MHz Europa
  • 1920 -1930 MHz US/ Canada
  • 1900- 1920 MHz China
  • 1893-1906 MHz Japan
  • 1910-1930 MHz Latin America

Electronic devices that use the DECT 6.0 frequencies mentioned above cause interference with Aruba’s telecommunication system.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags and frequency blockers are prohibited in Aruba.
It is recommended that any device be approved by the Directorate of Telecommunication Affairs. This approval is free; however, written approvals will cost you AWG 300.00.

10. Weapons

To be able to import airsoft/paintball guns, you must first obtain a weapon license and a stamp of the Aruba Police Force.

Importing firearms and ammunition is illegal unless you have been granted permission.

Importation procedures

The importer or receiving agent, who must be registered with the Chamber of Commerce in order to do business in Aruba, is responsible for customs clearance. Importation documents, such as invoices and bills of lading, may be written in English. The customs declaration form, which is normally handled by the importer’s receiving agent, must, however, be in Dutch at all times (the official language in Aruba).

The shipments are forwarded to the importer after they arrive at the port and have been approved (unopened).Customs officers inspect the shipments on the premises and present additional documentation. Duty is paid to the Department of Customs directly.

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