This is a work in progress, and things will change as I remember them. If you have any corrections, please tweet @ryanshripat. These instructions are based on my own experience and you take full responsibility for your actions. I admit no liability for anything untoward that may happen as a result of you following these instructions. For more information about me, visit my homepage.
- Get a TTConnect ID. Check their website for details.
- Enroll on the e-tax site
- On etax.ird.gov.tt, login with TTConnectID and navigate to Letters > Advice of BIR & Acct# and request one.
- Get a Credit Card from the bank with a USD side with a limit of at least half the value of the vehicle you want to purchase. If you want to purchase an $8,000 USD car, make sure you have a CC Limit of at least $4,000 USD. Otherwise be prepared to do a wire transfer, something I can't advise you on. I've heard of instances where SBT accepted 4 payments to complete the purchase, so you can enquire.
UPDATE: "As a result of the ongoing challenge with foreign exchange availability, effective immediately and until further notice, you can only use up to a maximum of US$15,000 or up to your credit limit if your limit is less than US$15,000, per statement cycle. This change does not affect transactions on the TT$ side of your account." See Credit Card Notice on RBL's website (h/t Omari Felix)
- Get a customs broker. Message me and I'll send a contact.
- Setup a PayPal account and attach the credit card to it.
- Create a login on sbtjapan.com (you can't see all the cars unless you're logged in). Select a car. A sales agent will contact you very soon. Let them know you want to pay using PayPal with two or more payments.
- Let the Customs Broker know when you're ready.
- Once you've paid, certain documents will become available for you to download from the SBT site or emailed:
- Caricom Invoice
- Once the car is put on a boat, the Bill of Lading
- Once the car is on a boat, they'll courier your original docs to you (they used DHL for me) as well as the spare key. You can start tracking the boat online!
- With original documents in hand, contact the Customs Broker, and they'll give you some forms to fill out, including the Import License (my memory could be bad here).
- The Customs Broker will meet you at the port in about 5 weeks, with a Cover Note (temporary insurance). You'll drive without a License Plate to VMCOTT to do the tyre inspection, and you'll then carry all the documents with you to Licensing Office at Caroni.
- In about 2 weeks, you'll be able to collect the Certified Copy with your License Plate Number on it. Go make the plates, and get proper insurance. DO NOT DRIVE WITHOUT INSURANCE OR A COVER NOTE.
From my terrible memory, with full attribution to Cheyenne Ramesar on the local Aqua Club Facebook Group
|Tyre Inspection at TTBS, VMCOTT||$97.83|
|Bill of Lading (via broker?)||~$250|
|Government fee (?)||$40|
|Customs Broker fee (?)||$2,000 - $2,500|
Shoutout to Shiva Ramdeen