Cargo from Puerto Rico to the US Virgin Islands

All shipments from Puerto Rico to the USVI require a commercial invoice for the goods being shipped.  This invoice must list the value of the goods as well as their country of origin (for ALL commercial goods such as lumber, food products, and electronics).   A store receipt will suffice for household goods.  We will also need contact information – name, address, and telephone number – for the consignee. 

Vehicles (cars, trucks, boats, and motorcycles) have additional paperwork requirements.  Please click HERE for detailed instructions. 

FAQ's

Do I need a booking?

No.  Shipments of general merchandise can simply be dropped off with us during regular receiving hours.  For shipments of larger items (containers, heavy equipment, boats, etc.) we do recommend that you call the office the week of shipment to make a reservation, as we do often fill up.

Do I need a cargo broker?

In most cases, no.  Provided you can access the new VIBIR system, it is reasonably quick and easy to clear your goods yourself.  The only exception to this is for high-value foreign shipments that require a formal entry, in which case you will need to have a broker do this for you. 

How soon can I expect to pick up my cargo?

All cargo will be offloaded from the vessel and physically available for clearance and pick up the day of vessel arrival each week – Monday in St. Thomas, and Tuesday in St. Croix.

Do I have to pay any money to Customs or Excise Tax?

That depends on the nature and value of the shipment.  U.S. origin goods are exempt from CBP duties, but may require payment of excise tax.  Foreign goods will require duties.  A link to specific information can be found here:     http://export.gov/logistics/eg_main_018138.asp

I’d rather just have someone do all of this for me.  Can you recommend a broker and trucker?

Yes.  We work with all the major brokers and trucking firms on both islands.  Give us a call and we’ll be happy to recommend someone who would work best for your shipment.


Interisland Cargo within the US Virgin Islands

Cargo shipped from St. Thomas to St. Croix (and vice versa) does not require any clearances or duties, as both islands are part of the same CBP territory.  For general merchandise and household goods, simply bring your items to our dock office during normal receiving hours, and we will ship them for you.  If you are shipping a car or other vehicle, please bring a photocopy of the registration with you as that is required for documentation.  There is no longer any need to perform a lien search or VIN check for vehicles shipped within the USVI.  Additional details about vehicle shipping can be found HERE

If you are shipping vehicles, containers, heavy equipment, boats or other large items, please call us at (340) 244-6640 to make an advance reservation, or send an email to info@normahfreight.com

FAQ's

Do I need to clear my cargo when it arrives?

No.  St. Thomas and St. Croix are both part of the same CBP territory, so no clearance or payment of taxes or duties will be required.

Can you ship food?  Plants?  Live animals?

Yes, we can handle all of these.  Please note however that, due to the current schedule, ALL animals travelling from STX to STT must have a valid health certificate as the vessel stops in Tortola enroute to STT. 


Cargo from the US Virgin Islands to Puerto Rico

Shipments from the USVI into Puerto Rico have additional requirements, and MUST have an advance booking.  The weekly cutoff for bookings is Tuesday at noon.  (This is true for both merchandise originating in the USVI and goods being returned to suppliers in San Juan).  Bookings can be made by phone, email, or fax.  Please be prepared to provide full contact information for both the shipper and consignee. 

Vehicles (cars, trucks, boats, and motorcycles) have additional paperwork requirements.  Please click HERE for detailed instructions. 
 
Detailed instructions:

  • Call the main office in San Juan at (787) 723-4114 or (787) 724-1655 to make your booking.  Alternately, email the shipment details to desiree@normahfreight.com, or fax to (787) 724-4354. All shippers must be prepared to provide a detailed description of the merchandise, as well as the name, address and tax identification # for the consignee in Puerto Rico.  THE MANIFEST DEADLINE IS 12:00 NOON ON TUESDAY.  THIS IS DUE TO CBP SUBMISSION DEADLINES AND NOT NEGOTIABLE.  CARGO NOT ENTERED ON TUESDAY’S MANIFEST CANNOT BE SHIPPED UNTIL THE FOLLOWING WEEK.
  • Once the vessel arrives in San Juan, CBP has the right to inspect any and all shipments at their discretion.  If your shipment is held for inspection, a CBP officer will come to our facility at Pier 10 and manually open and inspect your shipment.  Typically this will happen on Friday morning, but could take until the following week if no officers are available.  Therefore, we advise all shippers to call our office prior to coming down to Pier 10 in order to avoid unnecessary waiting and delays.
  • Once your shipment has been inspected by CBP and entered into their system, it can then be cleared.  All shipments must be approved for release by both Hacienda AND Customs before we can dispatch the cargo to you. Some shipments may require payment of excise tax prior to Hacienda release – we will notify you if this is the case.  If you are doing the Customs clearance in person, PLEASE ensure you receive a stamped copy of the Bill of Lading as we will need this as proof of clearance.
  • Once your shipment has been released by both Customs and Hacienda, return back to Pier 10.  If there are any freight charges owed, you will need to settle up with us at this time.  At this point the cargo is ready to be dispatched.

FAQ's

Do I need a cargo broker?

In most cases, no.  (Although, if you call a broker, they will almost certainly tell you yes.)  Private individuals or small companies sending household goods, personal items, or small amounts of commercial goods for return or repair should be able to self-clear their shipment.  You will need a valid government ID (such as a driver’s license) and car transportation, as both Customs and Hacienda are not located within walking distance of our facility at Pier 10.

How soon can I expect to pick up my cargo?

All cargo will be offloaded from the vessel and physically available for pickup beginning Friday morning each week.  It is theoretically possible, in some cases, for cargo to be cleared and ready for dispatch by that afternoon.  However, for most shipments, CBP will not process shipments into their system until the following business day, which is Monday.  We therefore advise all customers to call our office prior to coming down to the dock.

Do I have to pay any money in import duties?

That depends on the nature and value of the shipment.  Commercial goods usually require duties, whereas household goods in transit do not.  Call our office if you have specific questions.

Can someone else clear my shipment for me?

No.  Due to Homeland Security regulations, only the approved consignee (whose name appears on our manifest) may appear at Hacienda to clear their shipment.  The only exception to this is for consignees who chose to use authorized brokers, in which case the broker can handle the clearance for you.  If you are shipping a vehicle back to Puerto Rico, please ensure that the legal owner of the vehicle is listed as the consignee and is available to handle the clearance.  Once the shipment is cleared, however, it is fine to have someone else physically pick up your cargo here at the dock.

How long do I have to do the clearance once the cargo arrives?

All cargo that does not begin the clearance process ten business days after arrival here in San Juan will be considered abandoned and sent to a bonded warehouse.  You will then need to call the warehouse agent to retrieve your cargo.