For those who have not had the experience of living on an island, you may have a multitude of questions as to how one can live here. The least expensive way to move your entire household is by ship. At around $3.38 per cubic foot, the items must be delivered by yourself or a moving company in crates to shippers located in port cities. Most national moving companies have agents in the U.S. Virgin Islands to facilitate your move. Shipping from Florida to St. Croix will take three days to a week. You must hire a trucker to move your goods into your house.
Do-it-yourself movers can also use the major airlines to airfreight their household goods. While there’s no set price, the average cost runs around $1 a pound. Boxes or crates cannot exceed 70 inches in height or 126 inches in width. Your local airport can tell you what airlines fly here and advise you of local truckers who can move your boxes to the airport.
Some freight handlers make a specialty of consolidating less-than-trailer-load shipments into full trailers for a single destination. A freight forwarder where you live can advise you on how to get your car, trailerable boat, or almost anything else on wheels, into these ships. A freight forwarder’s services are required except when using a national moving company or a consolidator.
If you’ve decided to import your old faithful vehicle from the U.S. mainland, you must arrange to have it shipped on one of the carriers that call in the islands. When it rolls off the ship, collect the bill of lading from the shipper and, with it in hand, trek off to the Internal Revenue bureau to pay the 16 cents per pound road tax. This fee is assessed only when you bring your automobile into the territory and are based on NADA (Kelly) Blue Book value. You must pay in cash, certified check or money order.
Once that’s done, go to the Police Department’s Motor vehicle Department for a permit to move your car. Next, clear U.S. Customs at an office near your shipper. If the car is made totally in the U.S., that means its serial number starts with a 1 or 4, it may come into the Virgin Islands duty free. You’ll pay a 6% duty on new cars made outside the U.S. or with foreign-made parts. The duty is 3.5%. U.S. Customs takes your personal check, cash, certified check or money order. Then it’s back to the Motor Vehicle Bureau to get your vehicle inspected and registered. Bring your road tax receipt and the title or bill of sale to get your new American Paradise license plates.
If your pet’s making the move, you must obtain a health certificate from your local vet stating the animal has not been exposed to any communicable diseases and is not sick. The certificate must state that the animal is not coming from an area under quarantine for rabies. Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days prior and not more than one year before he arrives. It is not necessary to have your puppy under 6 months old vaccinated. The vet should indicate this on the health certificate. Check with your vet regarding status of your pet’s parvo-virus shots.