Customs & Excise

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Brief History

The Customs & Excise Department is the oldest Government Department in St. Lucia, having been commissioned about 100 years ago as Her Majesty's Customs & Excise, when St. Lucia Customs operated under the British Customs Act, until 1967 when St. Lucia was granted full self government.  This allowed for the enactment of the Customs Act of 1967, which governed Customs operations until 1990, when it was replaced by the Customs Act No. 23 of 1990.  The Customs & Excise Department is responsible for the collection of revenue and enforcement of laws relating to imports, exports and local taxes.


Role of the Customs & Excise Department

The Customs & Excise Department is part of the Ministry of Finance and is primarily a revenue collecting arm of the Government.  It is responsible for collecting approximately 55% of all government's revenue.  Historically, Customs has the responsibility for policing a wide range of Government's policies from various agencies including trade, agriculture and health to mention a few.  With the current trends in international commerce and the demands of the World Trade Organization on Customs organizations, Customs has found itself under increasing pressure to diversify its role from that solely of a tax collector into a more dynamic and facilitative arm of trade liberalization.  To this end our operations are being streamlined to facilitate and encourage the speedy and legitimate movement of people and goods into and out of our borders.

In recent times we have developed a risk based approach to the examination of passengers and goods.  We have employed new IT systems to facilitate the speedy processing of both passengers and goods entering and exiting our ports.

The Customs & excise department is also tasked with the security of our country as it relates to the importation and exportation of prohibited and restricted articles.  In that regard the department operates an enforcement unit that is trained to intercept any illicit trafficking of such goods.  

Customs organizations are constantly reengineering their role to keep pace with the policies of Government and that of the international trading environment and its responsibility for border management. 

The Department is headed by a Comptroller and consists of four (4) main Sections which are:

  • Enforcement Division
  • Trade Services Division
  • Support Services Division
  • Revenue Compliance Division



Herman St. Helen
758 468 4800


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