30% deposit on wedding gear

| 05/05/2014

(CNS): All couples visiting the Cayman Islands to get married need to pay either 22% duty or leave a 30% deposit on the value of their wedding outfits, customs officials have confirmed. The Department of Tourism has said it will be reaching out to local wedding planners to ensure that they are passing the information on to clients following revelationslast week that customs had seized a bride’s dress at the airport after the wedding party had failed to declare the gown. Destination weddings are an important part of the local tourism product but not everyone is aware of the rules regarding the often costly wedding gear. Customs were clear this week, however, when asked by CNS, stating that all couples coming to get married must declare the outfits and produce receipts so the value can be calculated.

Collector of Customs Samantha Bennett confirmed that if the outfits are leaving with the couples after the wedding and honeymoon then the gear, including dresses and suits, will attract a hefty deposit which is refunded when the newly-weds leave with the garments they brought. Returning residents who will be remaining in Cayman, however, are all required to pay 22% duty over the $350 allowance on the value of any wedding outfits they bring in for the special occasion in line with the usual duty declaration. 

Last week, a former resident of Cayman who returned to the islands with his family to get married brought not only his suit but his future bride’s dress as well but failed to tell customs about the outfits. Although his fiancé was still living on Cayman prior to the wedding, the couple were leaving the island together permanently after the celebrations. An argument at the airport resulted in the temporary seizure of the bride’s dress, which was released with the payment of a small deposit of around $60.

Bennett stated that in the recent incident involving a wedding dress the passenger opted to pay a deposit pending export versus paying the duty.

“This is the normal process the Customs Department encounters on a weekly basis, as Cayman is a wedding destination location. It is unfortunate and a surprise that the passenger chose to seek the media before notifying the Customs Management of their concerns. We at no time suggested a $500 deposit; this was suggested by the passenger initially,” she said. “I would also add that the passengers did not initially declare the wedding dress or suit for the groom. These items were found by an initial search by the customs officer,” she added confirming that members of the wedding party were all declared visitors.

However, the incident raised a number of questions as it was clear that many local wedding planners were unaware of the deposit requirement and the need for couples to have all of the receipts for their new wedding outfits, including dresses, shoes, suits, bridesmaid dresses and any other items over and above the $350 duty free limit.

A spokesperson for the DoT said it would now reach out to stakeholders working in the wedding industry and ensure they are all aware of the requirements as the wedding business is a very important part of the local tourism product.

“As a destination we pride ourselves on extending our Caymankindness which includes excellent customer service and high quality service delivery.  We have a comprehensive information programme for couples which provides a multitude of information to assist in the planning of weddings in the Cayman Islands,” the department said.

However, there is nothing on the DoT website or in the literature supplied that indicates there is a requirement for couples to pay deposits on new outfits. It does not state that couples need to bring all their receipts to allow customs officers to calculate the duty or in the case of most destination weddings to calculate the deposit required.

While concerns have been raised about the bad publicity generated by last week’s confiscated dress, the DoT remained unconcerned about the incident.

“From our understanding of the facts of the situation, we do not anticipate that this will further negatively impact the destination wedding business as this was a multifaceted and isolated incident. The Department of Tourism has been proactive in addressing concerns from key travel trade and media regarding this incident on a one-to-one basis and will continue to do so as necessary,” a spokesperson stated, adding that they would “reach out to our local wedding industry partners to ensure they are reminded of the laws that can apply specifically for couples.”

Failure to declare wedding outfits can result in those garments being seized and the customs department told CNS that everyone coming into Cayman is required to make a full declaration of all goods being imported into the island, and according to the law, failure to do so will result in the seizure of any goods and fines imposed – including wedding gowns.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    And this is why we would never choose Cayman as a place to get married….crazy!

  2. Agnes Wainwright says:

    Enough is ENOUGH!  Please, no more on Samantha Bennet and Customs.  The woman is doing her job and so are her subordinates.  I will say though, that Customs need to be trained properly.

    I declare all stuff that I purchase but I refuse to pay 22% more to Customs.  So I shop CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP, and good stuff as well.  I don't care for brand names as long as it is something I like and it fits.  BUT I will not go beyond the CI$350 we are allowed to bring in.  No way, Jose.

    Yes, I travel quite often and have learned to budget.



  3. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how many of the bloggers here actually  took time to open  The CustomsTariffs Law 2012, it is available online, read it and only then, post a comment.  Wedding dresses or anything else are  duty free according to this Law. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    The vast majority of respondents are missing the  picture here. Whether you side with Mrs. Bennett or the Bride & Groom's story becomes pretty much redundent. What those immediately involved should be focusing on is, – as a prospective destination for a wedding, when a planner informs you of the potential deposit to be paid on related clothing items as inclusive costs, are you likely to pursue that destination, – and the survey says. . . 

    • Anonymous says:

      Very good point. The Cayman Islands is expensive to visit to begin with. So throw this on the pile of expenses if you are considering Cayman as a destination wedding spot. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, those are two separate issues.

  5. Anonymous says:

    When did Customs start charging duty on Wedding dresses?

    Last year my son and his fiance chose Cayman for their wedding and since this article has surfaced I asked them if they had to declare and pay duty for the Wedding Dress when they arrived in Cayman and they didn't. The bridesmaids also brought their dresses with them and wasn't charged any duty either.

    Destination Weddings are a big money generator for Cayman and it is not like the couples don't have other beautifuldestinations to chose from.

    Please remember when a couple choses a Destination Wedding they spend alot of money on their wedding expenses  which include  a wedding planner, marriage license, officiant, venue, reception, florist, cake, transport and accomodations for overseas guests and the list goes on.

    This situation has gotten a lot of negative attention and I hope that all the Vendors, hotels and any business that may have dealing with couples chosing to get married in Cayman are asking the Chamber of Commerce and DOT to address and bring some closure to it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Change The Law! NO MORE DUTY!

    I mean seriously, just change the law. Why can't Cayman be more like St. Martin, Turks and Caicos, BVI… whatever… no import duty (AKA Tax)! Charge more fees on the financial sector that just offshores its money in Cayman and doesn't do anything for the community. Why take it out on the average citizens, and in this odd case tourists or people intending on leaving. CHANGE THE LAW! NO MORE DUTY! Let Cayman be really duty free.
    This should be a social movement/political agenda… no more duty!

  7. High Roller says:

    The only people who always pay their dutyat the airport are lawyers. Why? Because a lawyer caught evading duty is liable to be struck from the Roll. So the risk of losing your career over a minor saving on some new shoes just ain’t worth it. High ranking civil servants and others though are perfectly comfortable waltzing through customs carrying three or four bags each, all under the $350 exemption.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The fact the deposit is higher than the duty basically says "we don't really trust you, foreigner".  Why should the deposit not be 22%?

  9. anonymous says:

    Why is it here, and seems to be only in Cayman that they can get into a pile of shit, so you give them a shovel to get them out and cayman just digs itself another hole?

    Trying to do business here must be like trying to herd cats.

  10. Anonymous says:

    St. Martin/St. Maarten will latch on to this story. They don't have any duty or custom regulations at all. Can you imagine how easy it will be for them to sell their island as a wedding destination now compared to an island that has deposits required!?!?!
    From their tourism website:

    Custom formalities

    upon arrival…

    St. Martin/St. Maarten is a duty-free port and there are no particular customs procedures. Products for personal use (tobacco, cameras and video cameras, etc.) are permitted in small quantities without being subject to specific procedures or taxes.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The essence is, wedding dress or anything else, it was being imported by a non-resident for use by a resident. Therefore it was dutiable with no resident allowance. Had the bride-to-be brought it in herself, it would have been dutiable (less the allowance) just like anything else that residents bring in and pay duty on. There is no exception or exclusion for wedding dresses and most residents (and, indeed, former residents) would, and should, know the import rules. It is the same for all of us on almost everything we bring in. For them it was a "special event" and they incorrectly felt they should have "special treatment". However many people think Christmas is special so should things brought in by residents for Christmas be exempt? Of course not. The rules are not ours to individually decide.

    If you are not a resident, like the groom, then unless there is a Iiklihood or suspicion you are going to leave or sell your possessions here, then there is no duty payable or deposit required on what you bring in. SoCustoms were right and in the emotionally charged incident they compromised when probably they shouldn't have. This issue is not about the Cayman wedding industry (largely driven by non residents) but about consistently applying the rules fairly to residents. You don't get away with duty just because it's your wedding and everyone's in tears. If tears are all that's required Customs will need plenty of Kleenex as we all try to negotiate a zero tax rate.

    • Anonymous says:

      you miss the complete point, the listed situation that occurred was as you say, BUT, the essence is what Customs have come out and said "Customs were clear this week, however, when asked by CNS, stating that all couples coming to get married must declare the outfits and produce receipts so the value can be calculated.

      Collector of Customs Samantha Bennett confirmed that if the outfits are leaving with the couples after the wedding and honeymoon then the gear, including dresses and suits, will attract a hefty deposit which is refunded when the newly-weds leave with the garments they brought." So non-residents only in Cayman for the ceremony are being asked to bring all wedding receipts and leave a 30% deposit at the airport. The question is why, they do not ask all tourist arriving for laptop recipts, phone or tablet receipts etc and to leave a deposit, so why are wedding dresses being tagetted?

      • Anonymous says:

        Because one way of making the policy all the more idiotic is to apply it inconsistently.  This is best done by arrogant correspondence with the Press that can be easily picked up and transmitted online to damage the tourist product.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ummmm…the Compass editorials were arrogant. Samantha's response was spot on.

    • Anonymous says:

      The real issue now is not the specifics of this case, which granted are less clear than the original reporting made out, but the recently revealed on-going requirement for non-residents, ie tourists, to declare all new wedding items and pay either duty or a deposit. The first sentence of your second paragraph suggests you've missed this development.

      If you can explain the logic of requiring duty or a deposit on a new wedding dress clearly intended to leave the island once the wedding is over, but not on new scuba gear or new general evening wear intended to leave the island once the vacation is over, I would be interested to hear it. 

      My understanding is that the discretion given to Customs officers under current law is being interpreted to permit duty or a deposit to be required on wedding items. If this is so, then the failure of this particular Custom's officer to exercise discretion in this case, once it was explained that the dress would be leaving the island in due course, is the real problem, not someone requiring " special treatment".

  12. Anonymous says:

    I do wonder why a 30% refunded deposit is needed if the item is for tourist. Are DOT planning on asking a 30% deposit on all travellers with laptops, tablets mobile phones etc in future? is this not the same thing? will they be requesting reciepts for all tourists for all the garments in their suitcases. Why are wedding goods singled out? are they including bridesmaids dresses? the parents outfits etc?

  13. Just Commentin' says:

    A couple I know, Caymanian, fairly well off, visits Miami on a very regular basis. He and his wife have a taste for expensive clothes, especially suits, designer dresses and shoes.  When they go on a shopping binge it is not unusual for them to come back with a couple of new $2,500 suits in his garment bag, he also wearing one, she has some $$$$ designer outfits neatly folded in her suitcase, and a few pairs of pair of new $500+ shoes they wear just a bit on the trip so the soles don't look new, all items without any tags. They may return with upwards of $15,000 of apparel and accessories. You think they declare these? Yeahhh….riiight! Goes on all the time here according to what he says.He and she will even occasionally bring back clothes that way for friends. He says many of his well-off friends do the same. Its almost like a game to them as they can well afford to pay the duty. Yet we strain to inconvenience marrying couples for a few dollars that in the end will see the wedding attire return with them when they leave.

    Let's do the math instead of acting like morons: Let's say a marrying couple declares the attire and pays the deposit. It costs government money to collect the deposit and it costs government to refund the deposit. The result is that government experiences a net loss on each such instance! Against what risk? It is not exactly like there is a thriving black market for wedding attire here.  No damn wonder our economy is in shambles! Our government trips over gold striving to collect twigs.

    • Anonymous says:

      A couple of years ago I had friends visiting me who brought a bunch of hand-me-down clothes for one of my daugthers, which my friends daughter had outgrown.  Customs had an issue as they hadn't declared a "proper" value. After approx 45 minutes of investigating the amount of clothes, their condition and approx value by TWO custom officers, my friends we slapped with a customs bill of CI$ 25! Yep, I must say Customs definetly has their priorities straight and that was 45 minutes well spent!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Who doesn't do that? Isn't the "take off the price tags" game an integral part of packing at the end of the weekend?  Scuffing up the soles of shoes is a terrible bore, but the wrongness makes it so much fun.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you know that people are flagrantly breaking the law you should report them to Customs.

  14. Knot S Smart says:

    A basic requirement that all government departments lack is a knowledge of customer service…

    Front line people who are dealing with the public should have to pass an exam in customer service before being accepted for the job…

    Instead we have a culture whereby once they have on a uniform they become an unchallengeable authority and bully of the public whom they are supposed to be serving…

    The public are the customers and there needs to be evaluation boxes whereby customers fill out a form to evalate the service we are receiving from these upstart civil servants…

    What  are we going to do about this – Mr Manderson?

    • Anonymous says:

      So you mean chewing gum and speaking to colleagues or having private phone calls instead of dealing with the customer in front of them is not customer service?

      • anonymous says:

        Institute an annual fitness test for all uniformed posts in Cayman.

        Bring in replacements from the UK to cover the 90% loss.

        That way it would be impartial and across the board.

    • Anonymous says:

      Completely agree. These people need closely supervising to ensure they are delivering the proper service. But i wonder if this could be extended to the clowns with guns at immigration in Miami? Rudeness seems to be the order of the day there, and nobody gives a damn it appears.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The public is being spoon fed nonsense by the Compass and Mr. David Legge. I'm not even sure how this story made the news lastThursday. Initially, I was completely confused by the article. There was not enough information to even make sense of the situation. I was shocked at how quickly people jumped on the bandwagon with such little meat to the story. In the past, a writer would have had to cover his bases. It is called "reporting". The article last Thursday, which left me scratching my head and seeking more information, is the only article to which people seem interested in referring.

    Why was the letter from Ms. Bennett not "headline" news yesterday like the ridiculous "Editorials" were for 3 consecutive days? I had to dig for it. It should have had a link to Ms. Bennett's letter right from the story, at the very least. When one reads Ms. Bennett's letter, one might even think that the mother was rude and harassing of the Customs Official? One might see the groom as pompous and arrogant by offering $500. That gesture feels to me as though money is no object for Mr. Groom to be. One can total imagine the emotion flowing in this situation but nobody is looking objectively at both sides of this story.

    Today, I am hearing beats that the groom had friends in the media outlet. Also that the groom may have an axe to grind against Cayman.

    To me, it seems that the Compass has an axe to grind against Cayman.

    Obviously, the Cayman Free Press (Compass) are not taking the high road like CNS. When the Compass makes you log in with a name and then cherry picks which comments to publish, it does, indeed, look like the whole of Cayman (and the world) thinks this policy is rubbish.  People are lemmings and generally follow the path of least resistance. That is how a country goes down the toilet. You know what they say: negative stories travel much faster than positive stories. Maybe Mr. Legge needs to get the hits up on his websiteto inflate his readership rate to his advertisers? I don't know what his agenda is, but clearly it is not giving an unbiased news report. 

    I am simply here to say, I was confused by the first story. The second story, published by the Compass on Friday, answered the questions but the tone and condescension to Ms. Bennett by the Compass left the direct details unimportant to most readers. 

    My biggest concern is not the import duty on a wedding dress, as that is quite obviously not an issue. It never has been an issue. My biggest concern is that Cayman is at a turning point. Most of the world is used to a level of reporting and, in each country, most people know which paper is sensationalized and which paper is not sensationalized. Lately, I have read over-compensating editorials from the Compass about how fair they are, how they are not tied in with so and so, and how they are Cayman's most trusted news source. This frightens me! If this group took this story and blew it out of proportion and posted information strategically, what about their other news stories? Are those stories padded in favour of their buddies? Are they worded just precisely enough to sway the public? Everyone has always questioned how Mr. and Mrs. Legge managed to purchase the Cayman Free Press. Well, perhaps they are being funded in ways that we cannot even comprehend.  If you cannot sell advertising, maybe you can sell a story.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank God someone see the big picture instead of picking out the nonsense!!!!

      Caymanians need to look into matters before they drag their own down but hey we are well known for that. So sad.

    • Anonymous says:

       07:29.You hit the nail on the head with referenceto the Compass Editorial stance.One has to wonder if there is a hidden agenda here;I believe some people are interested in having Cayman put under direct rule by the UK. Maybe they do not like the idea of having Caymanians rule over them,or maybe they feel Caymanians do not deserve such positions.Perhaps if they can rile politicians enough  they might provoke Government to censor the press,or get the public to cause disturbances and use that as an excuse to call for direct rule.Whatever the intentions I feel there is a hidden agenda.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you don't understand why this is a news story then you need to give your head a shake. Tourist or not, if the Cayman Islands advertises itself as a wedding destination and then harasses people coming in for a wedding… that's newsworthy and also worthy of change in policy. 

      • Anonymous says:

        This story is not about Customs "harrassing" anyone but instead doing their jobs and this was not a tourist situation in any event. The bride was a resident.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Does this now mean the CIG has a refund mechanism in their IT system?  


    Can I get my over payement from incompetence back please?

  17. Anonymous says:

    In the process of cancelling 11 booked hotel rooms, restaurant reservations for 2 nights of partying, airfare for 26 people, 6 rental cars, 8 stingray city tours, a weeks worth of dive boat reservations for 12. Started planning for another location thats cheaper than Cayman. We were prepared to pay more but it's just too hostile there.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a lot worse than you would think and probably everywhere is cheaper or offers better value for money.

  18. SKEPTICAL says:

    If there have been over 100 " VISITOR " weddings this year – how many paid a deposit on their wedding dresses, and groom's/best men's suits – and how much ? Has anybody asked Ms Bennett for this information ?  

  19. Anonymous says:

    Can the CIG give some cross security for the deposit are it is a bad debtor?

  20. Dred says:

    Really…..Really…we gonna waste time on people trying to defraud the government revenues? God you people. One worked here for 9 years….he betta darn know what he can and can't do. The other is currently working here.

    COME ON PEOPLE!!! You really gonna side with them. Tell me something. If you did it, would there be a story about it when they force you to pay? NO. This isa compass desperate for something to write. Sad part is CNS doing same thing. Customs was doing their jobs and a bunch of winers showed up. People were crying over $60 REALLY!! You guys buying this crap??

    • SKEPTICAL says:

      " Winers " ? Are these the people you occasionally saw sitting on the sea wall opposite the Wholesome Bakery in days gone by – don't think they would have any thoughts on illegally imported wedding dresses.

    • Anonymous says:

      If we are going to do that with Wedding Attire, Customs should go all out now and check everyone coming in (tourists, business people, locals, etc), for ipads, laptops, any electronic reading equipment, cell phones, etc.(  All these items then a deposit should be held on them……

      • Anonymous says:

        I know that visitors a few years ago used to have to leave a deposit  for golf clubs and dive gear .

    • C. Sense says:

      Would everyone who has never brought goods in to Cayman without declaring them please stand up? One of two things is stupid, the Customs Officers or the law. Whichever it is, get rid of it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I've worked here for 9 years and there is no way I would ever guess that duties would have to be paid or a deposit either. It defies logic. I suspect the customs agent picked up on the fact that he had lived here based on the stamps in his passport and decided to be a jerk to a former expat. 

      Caymankind = a joke

  21. John la due says:

    Absolutely and totally rediculous  wake up cayman

  22. Annie says:

    Wow! Stupid and vindictive to boot! Way to shoot yourself in the foot (and tourism in the head) CIG.

  23. Just Sayin' says:

    The moral of the story you ask? Marriage is a bad idea all around. 

  24. Kadafe says:

    This is wickedness! If the person is a local and will obviously be staying on island after the wedding thencharge them their duty as normal.. If they are tourists coming here for a destination wedding leave them be! There is no reason to charge a deposit on someone who is clearly a guest to the island for a week or two! We should all be contributing to our guests experience from the minute they arrive and not be harassing them right away about their wedding clothes! Ridiculous!! 

  25. Anonymous says:

    What about well to do business people here for meetings who wear expensive suits / dresses, are they supposed to leave a deposits?

  26. Anonymous says:

    Sounds simple right? Pay a deposit and get your money back when you leave? Has anyone ever tried getting a refund from the government? There is so much red tape involved, it is not like they hold it in a box as petty cash waiting to redistribute. it could take weeks maybe even months so I think that the Government is hoping that 1. You will forget to apply for the return of your deposit OR 2. It will take so long that you won't even bother to follow up on your application for the refund and viola more revenue for the Government.

    • Anonymous says:

      19:08.Obviously you have never paid a deposit and gotten a refund from Customs at the airport ,so you made up.The truth is deposits are refunded on the day  of departure and it simply involves presenting your deposit receipt and goods to Customs before check in and collecting your deposit. It is that simple,and anyone saying that it could take weeks is guilty of lying and making mischief.

  27. Anonymous says:

    i have expensive underwear   wanna see ?  wanna tax me on them too ????

  28. Anonymous says:

    This is ultimately self-defeating to Cayman’s desire to be a premier wedding destination. If they think this will help avoid newlyweds selling their Wedding Dresses and Tuxedo’s right after they get married they are nuts. No one who can afford to have a wedding in Cayman would need to sell the wedding dress and I can’t believe any new brides would want to anyway, so no one can convince me that there is a risk here. If they think that publicizing all the duties or deposits required to be paid by newlyweds will not have a negative effect on the industry they are equally crazy. I am sure there are people that may have been considering getting married in Cayman that have already changed their minds due to this. If Cayman wants to welcome weddings they should advertise wedding related apparel for visitors as duty free. I’m sure customs has much more to worry about. A visitor is much more likely to sell their Laptop, Tablet, Jewelry or Camera while on island, will this be the next step. I am sure there’s plenty of wealthy visitors that have a suit case full of outfits that cost more than $350 each and do not have receipts for each one nor do they desire to be scrutinized about their clothing. Folks in the Wedding Planning industry and the DOT really need to approach the CIG about this, before it starts effecting the industry.

  29. Anonymous says:

    For all those expats who believe that it was not the Groom that was wrong rather it was our Collector Ms. Bennett and the entire Customs department for doing their job.  For all those who are seeking an  apology from our customs department, here I will give you one as a citizen I'm telling you all what Jerry Lee Lewis told England when they gave him a hard time about being married to his young wife "You all can %%% ** @@@.  How go in peace and have a nice day! It is time for the News Media to close the case and get on with matters of importance because if this goes any further it will be the new media, groom, bride and the mother who will come out looking the worst for wear.  

  30. Anonymous says:

    I would like to put all of those wedding businesses on notice to expect a drop in business,

    and you can thank your local DOT and Customs Departments for being inept and perfecting the art of backpeddling instead of doing their jobs properly.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why is it not "You can thank the Cayman Compass for doing their job inappropriately!"?

  31. Anonymous says:

    Customs: What if a female visitor to Cayman bought with her a [ non-wedding] dress she purchased abroad ( in her own country) that cost $ US 1,000.00 . Shall she be required to leave the deposit & /or duty paid until departure with said dress? It was purchased a year ago & the reciept is not available. Her family has rented a beach front condo at the RITZ on the 6th floor .  How about a technical SCUBA diving outfit ,BCD regulator & equipment , with Nikon digital camera rig. Shall she be required to leave deposit & duty in lieu of / until departure?  They plan to be here 7 days & are neither residents , citizens , nor have family in Cayman. In fact it is their first time to these islands. They will however spend 'BIG' within this community during their stay. If their stay is a pleasent experience , they will return.

    Someone in the legal profession that can write in with the requirements of visitors to these islands ,please do so .. and do it quick,  for the sake of our visitors.

  32. Anonymous says:

    CNS , Unless the law has changed in recent years,I believe that the CI$350 mentioned in paragraph 6,is for returning residents and allowed only on personal goods (not for business use ) arriving with resident.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Leave the weddings alone you heartless thugs.

  34. Anonymous says:

    How long would I have to wait to be refunded the deposit?

  35. Anonymous says:

    Nobody seems to have focused on the fact that the deposit of $60 the groom ultimately paid is almost certainly not 30% (or even 22%) of the value of the bride's dress!  This fact alone strongly suggests that the Customs officials recognised that they were in the wrong.

    I am also yet to find any trace of this 30% deposit rule in the Customs Law or Regulations.  Even if it does exist, if it is not published in such a way as to bring it reasonably to the attention of intending visitors (e.g. on a government website or on the customs form) then it cannot be enforced against visitors when they arrive and it is unlawful to confiscate their private property.

  36. Anonymous says:

    So there is a huge screw up and uproar last week over a wedding dress. Instead of the government apologizing to the couple and trying to smooth things over for tourists who want to come and spend thier money to get married in the Cayman Islands, they insist thet they're correct and impose a ridiculous rule on all. Man up, admit your error and move on. I personally came to CI to be married. It was a great and beautiful experinece. I brought 30 people with me and we all spent real money for one week. Some of us even longer. I did not pay any duty or depost on our wedding attire. If I had been informed of the "law", I may have considered other arrangements. Maybe it's sounds foolish, but I do not like to be nickled and dimed. My party and I spent thousands, maybe tens of thousands of dollars. To demand a deposit on my own clothes? You would like to hold a bride hostage for a "deposit" on a gown she owns? It is a foolish and petty thing. Just admit it was an error and fix the law. After vacationing in the Cayman Island for 15 years, I'm appalled at what's happening here. 

  37. Anonymous says:

    OK, CNS, time to step up and admit you messed up. Your story leads off  "All couples visiting the Cayman Islands to get married need to pay either 22% duty or leave a 30% deposit on the value of their wedding outfits, customs officials have confirmed." This is not true for visitors, only residents. This incident involved one visitor admitting that he was importing goods (the dress) for a RESIDENT. This is a non-story and any damage done to the Cayman wedding industry has been done not by Customs but by Cayman's news outlets. 

    CNS Note: We probably mess up on an hourly basis and have no problem admitting it…… However, it was the collector of customs not us that confirmed VISITING couples pay the 30% deposit, residents pay the 22% duty. Given the 120+ comments your suggestion that this is a none story indicates that were you in the news business you would probably mess up even more than us! But thanks for blogging.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Does the groom and his best men have to declare their black ties and suites?

    Come on Collector of Customs!!! I your reply to the press you should have said " this is in the law, however i will be recomending to the powers that be to amend this ASAP", then go on to appoligize to the couple.

    However, and poir to me making this statement, i am happy Mr. Bodden got the job. This s what you get when you hire an honest cop to get the job done.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Seems kind of dumb and not well thought out but okay. Is there anyway else I can help out the poor government of Cayman?

  40. Anonymous says:

    Relating to the commentary that the bride lives in CAyman…..so why has it now been clarified and DOT is telling visitors that they need to pay a deposit?  This is going forward……

    and what is the difference then in visitors coming to a formal function who bring their gowns and tuxes (ie the Breast Cancer gala with visiting speakers).

    Something and someone is wrong…..tourists I do not think need to declaire their clothes, wedding dresses, ball gowns or bathing suits!


  41. Anonymous says:

    OMG whatever next!!  Yep lets chase more revenue away. What looney's think up this crap??  Or is over a few rum & cokes & dominoes…………lmfao! Duhh!

  42. Anonymous says:

    Also – what legal or statutory basis is there for Customs charging duty on freight and shipping costs (in addition to the actual value of the item)?  They need to be challenged legally on this!

    I purchased a stroller a few mons ago from a European online store which happenedat the time to offer free shipping to the Cayman Islands using UPS (which is why I purchased the stroller from them).

    I was outraged to find that I was chaged duty on the value of the shipping I hadn't paid for!  No matter how many times I pointed this out from the invoice I received from the vendor, the Customs Officer who assessed the duty refused to resile from her position or even try to understand my concern. She could not point to any stautory provision regarding this practice and simply reiterated that this was "the way things are done".


    • Anonymous says:


      They always have an excuse for stealing! " the way things are done"

  43. Anonymous says:

    That 30% sounds dangerous.  Can you imagine the entire bridal party outfits costing $25,000.00 and some stupid department doing up paper work for $7,500.00? Maybe we should all take out a checking account for this transaction only and leave them with the cheque. And if they discriminate and refuse to take our cheques we then sue them and get married after the Court makes a ruling on why they accept cheques from some passengers and NOT from others. 


  44. Anonymous says:

    May your marriage last longer than the coverage that your dress has received in the media and may you both give each other all the attention now until death do you both part as was given to your dress. Ms. Joan from Celebrations, may you now go forth and seek appointment with your politicians,especially cool guy Moses to put a stop to this nonsense of charging for wedding outfits to locals and visitors.  You have worked too hard to promote these islands and the wedding industry for an officer and his department to kill your business.  Wishing you all the best from a bride in waiting.

  45. Anonymous says:

    I bet the Island of ST. Maarten will be taking an interest in this fiasco and will use it to their advantage.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Just what couples need to start their wedding off – a pointless drain on cash flow imposed by petty officialdom. 

  47. Anonymous says:

    this just help bahamas and jamaica big time

  48. Anonymous says:

    a customs law, made by the idiotic and greedy Elected Members, that totally defeats the tourism department's so called "Destination Weddings" Campaign.

    any other bright ideas fellas?

  49. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely outrageous.  If this weren't so detrimental to our tourism product, it would be laughable.

  50. SKEPTICAL says:

    Let's look at the " nitty gritty " of just a wedding dress case. Quite possibly these days, the dress might have cost USD$10,000 meaning a $3000 DEPOSIT. How do they pay – cash? – who carries that much in their back pocket? Can't use a credit card as the charge could be cancelled. So really only a Debit card would work. Is the Deposit in US or CI dollars. When the couple depart the island, will Customs have enough in their cash float to refund $3000 ?  And so on, and so on……..

  51. noname says:

    I just wish people would look at the facts and not that it was a wedding dress!!

    The people concerned are not first time visitors to the island, they lived / live here. Our concerns should be:

    1. Why did this had to go as far as the press?

    2. If the individuals didn't inform customs of the dress what else are they capable of bringing into our Island?

    3. Why don't the groom work here anymore i.e. was he rolled over? This would explain why he enjoys tarnishing our Island.

    As Caymanians we need to stop encouraging these kind of people who has no respect for our laws. If I go to the US and they tell me I have to do a deposit on something I would question them yes but who am I to tell them or the newspaper that I had to do a deposit? We travel and respect other countries laws so why we expect anything less of people who come to our island.


    • SKEPTICAL says:

      Think the expression is – " HAVE no respect for our laws "

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep, anoter one of those individuals who look for spelling errors instead of trying to look intothe facts being provided but thanks for the correction. 


  52. Holy Matrimony! says:

    Thankfully we saved duty of $2000 by not knowing this silly little rule and getting the dress taken in by one of  the bridesmaids.

  53. Bella says:

    Everyone seem to be lost  here,including CNS! ON WHAT LEGAL GROUNDS?????? THEY HAVE TO DECLARE IT? Talk to an attorney who then would read the Law and tell  you the customs are WRONG in their interpreting the Tariff  Law! there is NOTHING in the law about wedding dresses. Why in the world would you talk to DOT?? If a visitor decides to sue the Customs for insult, hrassment and grief, a judge would read the  same Law and confirm that there are no exclusions for wedding attire of visitors. They are duty   free.

    • Anonymous says:

      14:05. Ms Bell i sure hope you are not practicing law in the Cayman Is.God help us.

  54. Anonymous says:

    My wife lived in Cayman when I married her. I declared and quite properly paid duty on her wedding dress. Should I demand a refund from Miss Bennett, or should we cut the depatment some slack?

    • Anonymous says:

      My wife lived in Cayman when I married her.  We didn't pay any duty and used the duty to buy really cool stuff.

      • Anonymous says:

        00:08. Was it within your allowance or are you saying that you cheated Customs out of the duty?

  55. UHUHUH says:

    The problem is, as I see it, "and it happens more often than not"  Our  [Government] has in recent times been looking for more ways to increase revenue through tariffs, and, in their haste  to implement these, they failed to take the time scrutinize  those items which were approved, to make sure that those tariffs were applied equally across the board to other such items and equipment which were being brought in on a temporary basis. And to make sure that these items were left with those persons who were visiting when they were leaving.

  56. Anonymous says:

    30% deposit, even for tourists? Where in the law does it say that? Customs can GTFOH.

  57. Anonymous says:

    After review of the entire affair , CI Customs acted within their right , however also acted without some due courtesy to the individuals concerned ,regardless the situation . Lets compare to other Caribbean destinations & the experience on arrival. Jamaica : Smiling staff in immigration, who thank you for your visit with courtesy & respect / same in Customs. Get a picture of Customs in Kingston or Montego Bay hitting every prospective newly wed for a deposit on her wedding gown & mens suit, when absolute droves of new couples go there to wed. Now if only Cayman Airways could get a reliable plane flying , I'll book to go watch the cricket in June.

  58. Anonymous says:

    How much money does Customs currently collect annually specific to weddings?   If its less then (making a number up) $50k then it would seem that the negative press, loss of goodwill etc. would be a higher costthen its worth versus trying to attract weddings in.

    Maybe remove it and then regather the expected revenue loss by adding a few dollars onto the cost of a non-resident marriage license?


  59. Anonymous says:

    Ya'll realise similar regulations exist in many other jurisdictions…just takes a little googling to see. (Too much bering made of this)

  60. Anonymous says:

    I personally think this has been blown up out of all proportion, NOT ALL the details were published open to the public, some serious editing and how come all of a sudden readers mail are  being placed in a local newspaper when before it was just some ones(insde the newpaper) personal opinions being shown?? some one is intent on stirring up the public!  forgot to mention that the groom had personal friends in the media, be intresting to see if this letter gets printed!

  61. Anonymous says:

    About two weeks ago a friend of mine was in line ahead of me at Customs.  She didn't have anything to declare.  She had purchased some books to study event planning, photography etc.  The

    customs officer told her she had to pay duty on it as the books were for making business!!!!  My friend told her that she wasn't even working (Caymanian) so how could she be charged duty! The customs Officer called someone higher in rank and that Officer told her no that it wasn't dutiable!!! Go figure!!!!

  62. Anonymous says:

    and lets not forget….  every business man that enters with a tailored suit should put a deposit down. Really. Time for CIG to sort this mess out. 

  63. anonymous says:

    This is a sef defeating poilcy…. another rule made by fools!

  64. Anonymous says:

    perfect combination of caymanian stupidity and stubborness

  65. Anonymous says:

    Politicians do dumb things all the time, but this is one of the dumbest things they have ever done.  But it doesn't surprize me any, because when you have a job that has no qualification requirements, any old Jackass will do.  So I do hope that now that it has been met with such abhoration (repulsiveness) that they will get together and quickly have it removed from the law with a simple amendment.  As for Customs, you mean to tell me that they had to go that far!  What a disgrace!  Your job might be to collect taxes, but for Christ sake, don't let politicians make you look so stupid.

  66. Own Goal says:

    Customs is totally wrong on this one. The officials are either incompetent or lack any common sense. The Minister of Tourism should be tearing his hair out on this one. But the damage has been done. Game over.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Next time I hope the brides' dress is laced with drugs (yes it is possible to smuggle it in that way) then i want to hear all you complainers jump ship onto the "job well done customs we should charge them more" bandwaggon. This is protocol, I have never seen such an uproar over policies and procedures in my life!

  68. Anonymous says:

    And their goes a bunch of future bookings.  Caymunkindness at its best.

  69. CHRIS says:

    Taking a deposit to return it shortly thereafter sure keeps civil servants busy but adds zero value to the country….in fact this futile exercise is an unnecessary expense.

    It would do our wedding destination image wonders if we simply made wedding dresses duty free. In fact we can go further and charge a $500 fee for a wedding visa, the couple gets a cute stamp in their passport stating Cayman Islands Wedding Visa with the date they arrived in Cayman to get married, they pay the fee at the airport and go on their way with their wedding items. Simple. Have a nice day and please come again.

  70. Cheese Face says:

    Seriously, drop this stupid rule now, idiotic at best!

  71. Anonymous says:

    Could someone please clarify something for me, perhaps even take a snapshot of the customs form.

    I thought it stated anything that you WILL BE LEAVING in the Cayman Islands must be declared?  Am I wrong.  

    It seems that tourists would have to declare anything over $350 then, if the Wedding Dress statement is correct, as most of you have mentioned.

    Government needs to clarify this or say goodbye to any tourists as they will have to show receipts for anything almost the bring in (computer, tablets, cell phones, etc).  

  72. Anonymous says:

    "All couples visiting the Cayman Islands to get married need to pay either 22% duty or leave a 30% deposit on the value of their wedding outfits, customs officials have confirmed." THIS CANNOT BE TRUE!!!! 

    This is the most bizarre position possible. If Visitors need to claim wedding dresses, why not wet suits… bathing suits… toothbrushes.

    If, and after the statement above if this is the case this needs to be dealt with ASAP!

    At firstbecause of the bias of the news release from the Groom, he had my sympathy and support because i thought they were both visiting.

    Then, when we learned that she was a resident and he as a vistor was carrying in something for her… Declare the item. Pay the duty.

    Now… WTF?

  73. Anonymous says:

    This is absurd!!! That's it i going to have my dream wedding in the beautiful Bahamas 🙂

  74. Ronnie says:

    "I'm from the Government and I'm here to help."

    What a joke. Totally self-defeating.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Dept of Tourism spends millions promoting the Islands as a wedding destination  and they didnt know the requirements ??????!!!!!!!  That is shocking.

      So do i need to pay 30% deposit on all my dive gear that i bring in to go diving in Little Cayman??

    • Anonymous says:

      I get it that the bride was resident here and that, as such, she should pay the tax — so the deposit was a compromise in this case in which at least one party was a resident.

      However, tourists coming in with the express purpose of getting married here are in a different category.  To add the requirement of a deposit is just wrong and is just going to tie up CustomsOfficers and honeymooning tourists in a lot of red tape. I don't think that this will be very palatable on either side.

      As far as I know in other countries one does not have to pay duty on anything which is not staying in the country.  

      Customs should find a more common sense way to sort this out.  

      Otherwise, logically, wet suits for divers, for example, should be dutiable or require a deposit.

      As other posters have noted, a wedding dress is part of your fit-for-purpose gear, just as a wetsuit. 

      Come on, Department of Tourism Nd Customs — exercise a little common sense here — don't discourage wedding parties by this red tape that ultimately brings in no revenue — but instead costs us in time.

  75. Anonymous says:

    It seems the screwup is really not customs but DOT's fault . They should have that info on their website

    • Anonymous says:

      who's going to come to have a wedding at a destinations where you have to leave a deposit on your wedding dress? it's moronic!

    • C'mon Now! says:

      No matter who is at fault here this is an incredibly stupid policy.  I guess the deposit is to fight the suggling of wedding gowns into the island.  This will do serous damage to our tourism industry to combat what seemingly can't be a major problem.

      Essentially we are saying "Hello Blushing Bride please give us 30% of the price of your gown price as a deposit because we can't trust you to not sell your dress here on Ecay! or smuggle it to a wedding planner for the next bride who will be exactly your size".  This creates an needless waste of time for our valued guests.  Please step off to the side to pay your deposit and by the way you also need to come extra early on your way back out to collect your deposit.

      What a waste, this will annoy and irritate many visitors.

  76. Anonymous says:

    Customs need to focus on importation abuses and fraud being carried out by business owners, retailers and businesses. It results in millions of loses to government coffers. If Custom were more vigilant with large scale importation they would not need to go to such lengths to chase every dollar that passengers bring through the airport. This entire situation has been so poorly managed it's laughable. Mrs. Bennett's leader is proof that she doesn't get that Cayman is a destination wedding hot spot and obviously she failed to grasp the concept of Caymankind.

    DOT, Ministry of a Tourism, Customs, Immigration get in a room and get on the same page. If not cut the tourism budget and save the money because as a country we fail to understand the objective and consequences of a bad visitor experience.

  77. Anonymous says:

    Say goodbye to the income from people coming here for their wedding. Not on your life would I go through the hassle of paying deposits and showing receipts. The message is loud and clear. Do not come to the Cayman Islands for your wedding as we plan to hassle you at the airport over a few bucks in clothes rather than thanking you for all the hotel taxes, drinks, food, taxis, excursions and so on that  you will be spending your money on. 

    Complete idiocy. Banana republic all the way. I'm sure every other Caribbean country is smiling in delight right now at the thought of our tourists leaving for better destinations. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Jamaica, for one, has similar regulation, as do many places. 

    • Anonymous says:

       09:18.Apparently you are prepared to go to a foreign country and ignore its laws.Just one thing to say to you:Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Rigghhhttt. Message is loud and clear. Which Banana Republic might you be from?

    • Anonymous says:

      People are losing their homes, jobs and we are now going to DEMAND duty holds on wedding items, WHEN THEY ARE BRINGING MONEY INTO YOUR ISLAND!!!! Are you stupid?  Oops I answered my question!!!!! 

    • Dred says:

      You are an idiot. This is about $60. No one died. Grow up. IT WAS THE LAW!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        You are an idiot.  One tell tale sign is the overuse of exclamation marks.

      • Anonymous says:

        It was the Law? It is the Law? Show it to me.Last time I checked,it was silent on this issue.

  78. Anonymous says:

    The Customs position is wrong. Under their tariff, tourists do not have to declare their clothes and personal effects, even if they are worth more than $350, which is probably often the case.

    • Anonymous says:

      You've missed the key point. The item the duty (deposit) was assessed on was being brought in for a resident.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't you try to speak for Customs, evidently you know nothing about the customs laws in Cayman.  You  are not the appointed head of customs or a designate, therefore, in future if you don't know the facts I suggest you SILENCE YOURSELF.

  79. Anonymous says:

    What about personal scuba equipment? How is it different? Wedding dressesare personal apparel and should be treated like any other clothes.
    Tourists do no hve to delre tiThe po9licy apear to violte Custom's own tariff rules.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t give them any ideas!! Charges to follow!!

    • Castor says:

      You are absolutely correct. What is the difference between a wedding dress and scuba gear regarding importation duties and/or deposits. This is no more than an exercise in face saving. I have no idea how big the wedding industry is here. that said I would certainly think twice about being married in the Cayman given this nonsensical rubbish.

  80. Anonymous says:

    Then it follows then that, justto name two, when golfers (who bring expensive golf clubs) and divers ( who bring in expensive equipment in the form of dive equipment, expensive dive computers, expensive cameras and laptop computers to download their pictures) come in then they must also have to pay a deposit. I am curious if this rule applies to every visitor who brings in expensive equipment when visiting the islands. If so,then this must be a nightmare for the customs officers handling all that paper works and for the visitor arranging to get back their deposit before leaving. Seems counterproductive.

    • Anonymous says:

      The item the duty (deposit) was assessed on was being brought in for a resident. It was not a tourist bringing in for their own use while on a visit to Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:


      Shut up! do  you know how greedy the CIG is! you are giving them ideas to tax everything that enters this country.

  81. MEM says:

    I don't understand what sense it makes to take the 30% anyway! It surely must cost more in administrative time to take a 30% deposit and THEN refund the whole thing when the couple leaves, usually less than a week after entry! The whole procedure is silly, if they are coming in to marry, leave them be! Surely the money these people and their wedding parties spend just to come here is far more valuable than 30% temporarily held funds. Just a waste of time and inconvenience to the couple, other passengers waiting to pass through customs and even the customs officers.

    • Anonymous says:

      The beaurcracy and delays at the airport to collect 30% deposit on these items (wedding dressies, dive equipment etc) being brought in is not worth it. Dont forget you then have to administer the refunds on departure.

      No wonder there are delays and long lines at the airport.

      Perhaps if we stopped this nonsense we would not need to spend all of the $100 million on expanding the airport.


    • Anonymous says:

      Taxing wedding dresses will open the people's eyes,  to see how ignorant a bunch of technocrats are . they sit around the table and come up up with the stupidest ideas.

      Do you all know why this was done? because they heard that foreigners were frequenting Cayman to get married, so they decided to tax the dress. Hoe inconsederate can we get?

      Try to create revenue without hitting directly on specific people. Lotto sounds good! that comes by choice.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is absolutely no motivation for the government to pay back this 30%, no way would I take this risk! Weddings are costly enough, especially on this island…

    • Anonymous says:

      Seriously, if this was such a specific procedure as parties to the matter are now being forced to come forward and detail, why is it not on the DOT website and why don't the persons running businesses that specialize in this critical business category know about it??   It seems a very important and militant process that should have been previously regulated, and would not have tarnished what should have been this couple's happiest experience.  I wonder how many other anomolies will come to light the less BS people are willing to put upwith in instances such as this.  Beware the squeeky wheel.

  82. Anonymous says:

    A big problem they have in cayman is the fact that discresion is allowed to be used by officials

    This causes Civil Servants to be allowed to make up the law the way they see fit. Many times I have been faced with a fresh face making up rules as they go along and some older menbers of the CS  Acting like know it all gods.  I must keep my mouth shut for fear of upsetting them. 

    • Anonymous says:

       08:56.It is a good thing that Customs officers are allowed discretion in carrying out their duties,particularly in screening passengers at the airport.Imagine if the law stated that all passengers should be thoroughly searched,no discretion allowed.Or what if the law said no foreigners are to be searched ,no discretionary powers.That means that even if a tip was received that a foreigner was bringing guns in his luggage,Customs would be powerless and unable to carry out a search,since it would be illegal..Again it is good that they do have discretionary powers. 

  83. Westbayer72 says:

    I guess next they will want to charge them duty on the wedding rings since those will be brought in and used in the wedding ceremony.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wedding rings, diamonds, all watches and jewellery are duty free.  Make your bride's wedding dress out of books, gold leaf, silver leaf, leather, wool, or fine bone china and you'd be duty free….uncomfortable, perhaps, but duty free.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Jewellery is duty-free, moron. 

    • Anonymous says:

      At least you can buy a ring on the island if Customs screws you over.

  84. Anonymous says:

    Why is Customs taking this approachwith wedding gowns and not people's underwear and socks?

    If it really is the actual policy of Customs to now require deposits on the value of clothing tourists bring to Cayman, then someone ought to show them how to read the law they are supposed to be enforcing. The charging of duty and the taking of deposits on personal clothing items brought temporarily into the Islands by tourists is not in accordance with the Customs law, no matter how bad$$ Customs senior management want to appear to be in the first few months on the job.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why doesn’t the Government just make wedding dresses one of the items that are duty free? This would be a great gesture and everyone would be happy.

  85. Anonymous says:

    Protection for the burgeoning local wedding dress making companies, can only be.

  86. Anonymous says:

    This means more red tape paperwork and more problems to reclaims deposit back. They should aim people who bring drugs and illegal stuff not target people who planning marry in cayman as they bring million of dollars to spend a year.

    • Anonymous says:

      – 08:25  Are you saying that it is impossible for people who are planning to marry to also bring in drugs.How naive.

  87. Anon says:

    Why do visitors have to declare wedding outfits and tourist divers don't need to declare their dive equipment?  Why does the bride have to declare her wedding dress but does not need to declare all other outfits she'll wear the rest of the week while here?

     This policy makes in sense to me.  Samantha can you please explain the reasoning for this selective customs policy?

    • Anonymous says:

      Simple… the difference here is that the bride was not a tourist. She was a resident.

      The visiting tourists were bringing an item in for a resident which made it dutiable.

  88. Anonymous says:

    And how do these rates compare with other Caribbean wedding destinations? Hard to see why anyone would choose to come to Cayman to get married with this nonsense going on. Isn't the government already raking in taxes on flight entry and hotels in respect of wedding parties?? Insanity……

  89. Anonymous says:

    Based on my own experience, I blame this all on the likely unprofessional and unfriendly behavior by our customs people! If people are not aware of this law (which is actually are really, really stupid law), then you make them aware of it in a friendly manner and ensure them you will help them to come to a conclusion. Obviously this was not the case cause why else would the mother-in-law have burst into tears, and why else was the gown removed from its plastic protection?

    Customs should be able to distinguish people who come for a wedding/honeymoon from someone who is likely up to no good and adjust behavior accordingly!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      08:21.Based on my experience I could assume that this incident  escalated because the groom was arroagant,and disrespectful to local law enforcement officers,perhaps he had a little too much to drink before he arrived.I could assume that ,but that would not mean I was right.Youhave chosen to assign blame to Customs ,without knowing all the facts and not having been present.This makes your assumption totally biased and irrelevant.

  90. Anonymous says:

    The only people making a big issue out of this and potentially harming our tourism economy are the Cayman Compost and Cayman News Service. Please find some actual news to report.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you don't think this is actual news then perhaps we can discuss the cyclist that was put into the hospital (encouraging all tourists to not choose the cycling excursions when they come), or the shot that was fired at Batabano (encouraging tourists to not attend next year) or…  shall I go on?

      What do you consider newsworthy? Only those subjects that will not reflect poorly on the Cayman Islands? If you don't want bad press here then perhaps efforts need to be made to clean up society. 

    • Anonymous says:

              08:21. I like the name you have given to that other media house.Composting seems just about the right use for that biased,arrogant,snobbish piece of trash.As for CNS they seem to be straying a bit from their normally fair  reporting,I hope they do not lose their way.

  91. Anonymous says:

    Wow! Jamaica is a wedding destination with beautiful mountains,  waterfalls, Dart Parks and Bike Trails up in the beautiful Blue Mountain, Ritz Hotels, all inclusive hotels, Montego Bay, cool Mandeville, Ocho Rios and do not forget the Nude weddings in beautiful Negril and they do not charge you for your wedding outfits upon arriving on their shores. Cho Man welcome the bridal party to the Cayman Islands and waive the Bridal Party charges on their outfits, we need to be a part of the wedding business too. If we can give the big investors concessions, why cannot we give concession to the Bride/Groom and their party to marry and spend some money here too?  

    • Reality says:

      If it's a nude wedding they can't really charge duty on the wedding dress???

  92. Anonymous says:

    Well, that is the end of weddings in the Caymans.  Why would anyone in their right mind pay this deposit in Cayman when there are alternative destinations?   Can you even imagine the problems in trying to get the deposit back?  I would advise people to arrive 2 days early for their departing flight so they have time to process the paperwork….

  93. Castor says:

    The beauracracy never ceases to astound!

  94. Anonymous says:

    I read the letter written by Samantha Bennett written in the Compass this morning and was disappointed with the description of the event as described by her.

    Certainly she ignored the wedding experience these visitors arrived with in the country and were left in tears after the Customs interaction.

    It is puzzling to me that Customs would be so untouched by the visitor's experience and hard heartedness is my only explanation.

    Those in charge of the wedding Tourism program must be wringing their hands with this public relations disaster.

    What was also noticably missing in the response by Samantha Bennett was any regret or compassion at the horrible experience suffered by these visitors.

    The silence by the politicans who are usually running to microphones, you know to whom I refer, is deafening.

    • Anonymous says:

      PLEASE!  Read through the information, as this situation has been blown out of proportion by one major media outlet in Cayman, who continues to do so even today.

      Let me clarify if you do not have the time:

      1. Bride to be lives in Cayman.

      2. Husband to be arrives with his mother.

      3. They are carrying their wedding attire, his suit (used) and her wedding dress.

      4. Bride to be LIVES ON GRAND CAYMAN.

      5. Customs did their job. Discovered the situation.

      6. Groom to be OFFERED the $500.00 deposit

      7. Customs went online with the Groom to be to find a comparable dress as the dress was handmade. This is above and beyond customer service, in my opinion.

      8. Groom to be mentioned that Bride to be would be leaving the island with him after the wedding.

      7. Groom paid a, roughly, $60 REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT on the dress, only.

      Story over.

      The way that the other news outlet has sensationalized this story seems to be worthy of a lawsuit. The absolute destruction they have caused the wedding industry in Cayman is nothing short of criminal. Twisting the story. Leaving out important details and using "she" and "he" to keep the story murky. That news outlet needs to be shut down.

      • Anonymous says:

        PLEASE! Read this article…

        "All couples visiting the Cayman Islands to get married need to pay either 22% duty or leave a 30% deposit on the value of their wedding outfits, customs officials have confirmed."

      • Anonymous says:

        You are missing the point.  Do you really think the $60 deposit which has to be refunded on departure was worth it?

        The bad press alone is costing us millions.

      • Anonymous says:

        Which one is it?

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree, what a load of nonsense blown out of all proportion by the Caymanian Compass, which appears of late increasingly intent on sensationalization. For crying out loud, the groom failed to make a truthful declaration on the custom's form. That fact seems to have been glossed over/ignored completely. Quite how this omittance on his part translates into Cayman being labelled a "banana republic" by some, or indeed calls for the Customs Department to be somehow reprimanded for doing its job is unfathomable, surely? The law is the law and as long as it is the law that dutiable goods must be declared that's the way it is. (That doesn't happen in a "banana republic"!) The issue as to whether or not wedding dresses should be subject to the customs law is a separate conversation entirely.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you crazy?  Are you not listening to the public?  Cayman is a Wedding destination!  The revenue the Government makes off 250 guests attenting this wedding is above and beyond!  Sometimes you should not even comment if you don't know what the consequences of the situation will be!  Enough said!

        • Anonymous says:

          I certainly hope not. You are missing the pointabout the law, any law, needing to be adhered to, including in this instance the lawful requirement to declare goods being brought into the country. (Sorry about this but it's just the way the world works.) As I said, the issue of whether or not there should be changes to the law is a separate conversation, which appears to be happening right now, which is democracy in action, okay?

      • Kykaracha says:

        and how do you justify other brides and grooms paying deposits? 

      • Castor says:

        How did the deposit suddenly decrease from $300.00 to $60.00? Maybe I'm missing something here?

    • Anonymous says:

      What you don't seem to understand is that in this particular instance the bride nor the groom were visitors! The groom lived on island for 9 years( prob got roll over)  and the bride was still resident and working on island at the time this all took place. They should have known better and at the very least declared that he was bringing in a brand new dress and suit that was valued over CI$350 like all residents are required by law to do.

      • Anonymous says:

        But the point is that they were NOT remaining on island, and presumably neither was the dress. Did they try to charge the guests for their apparel, or the brides mother?

        Just another example of the lunatics running the asylum, if I were them I'd make it my business to ensure that thier experience was posted to all travel and bridal mags in the US and Europe.

      • Anonymous says:

        What you seem to miss from this story is the lack of tact and heart that was shown by Customs. I have lived on the island for 15 years and didn't know that a wedding dress that was for a wedding to be taken out of the country after the wedding has duty.

        You sound like a bureaucrat or a lawyer and the emotion of a wedding seems to be beyond your level of experience. As a married husband this story touches me deeply because I remember my wedding day and remember how I felt up to & through that experience.

        You and the other respondant to my posting can list the legalise of the incident and present it as a legal brief but to ignore the emotion misses the real point of the story.

        This reminds me of the rule where Cuban boat people cannot be given food, water or fuel because it is the law. and it is mean and wrong.

      • Anonymous says:

        Some folk seem too focused on where the bride and groom live. Customs have confirmed the rule applies to visiting couples, so whether the bride was resident or not seems irrelevant. The same would have happened to them either way.

      • Read the article says:

        Read the article – ALL visitors need to pay the duty deposit.  Customs is not distinguishing between this bride's status and someone that is on island for a weekend.  Customs is now in process of informing all wedding planners of the need to pay the deposit.

      • Anonymous says:

        What you don't seem to understand is the deposit is levied on all, not just residents

    • Anonymous says:

      You've got to be kidding! This guy had resided here for 9 years was fully aware of his obligation to disclose purchases particularly one that may have costs thousands of dollars. He attempted to smuggle it in for a resident and got caught and suddenly he is the victim?! smh. Why on earth would Samantha be expressing regret? For doing her job? For carrying out the law but with leniency? Did the groom apologise for his attempt at smuggling? All of the media, and especially the Compass, should be apologising to Samantha for the disgraceful biassed reporting in this case.  Instead they are brazen enough to write yet another disrespectful editorial. What I see here is contempt for Cayman's laws, and it seems it mostly comes down to expats vs. Caymanians. That's what you get when the media is controlled by expats.   

  95. Anonymous says:

    A new height in goverment stupidity.  As if there is some lucrative money to be made in smuggling dresses

  96. Anonymous says:

    was it so hard to explain FROM THE BEGINING? the passenger was the one who offered the 500 dollars, asuming that your officers did not take that into consideration a final deposit was charge. well if i could only watch the seurity fee showing that they were not misstreated as they claim…..


    next time do it quickly

    • Anonymous says:

      I'm not sure who that was addressed to (the groom, Customs, the media?) but in my opinion the media is at fault in not getting Customs side of this before reporting on it.