Exporting guide to

Dominican Republic


The Dominican Republic has one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the Caribbean and Central American regions. Tourism, free trade zones and improved telecommunications are the main drivers of its growth.

Trade statistics

£208.0 million total UK exports to Dominican Republic for the four quarters to the end of Q3 2023

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: January 2024)

111th largest UK export market

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: January 2024)

less than 0.1% of total UK exports for the four quarters to the end of Q3 2023

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: January 2024)

Strong, stable economy

The Dominican Republic is the largest market in the Caribbean and Central America. The currency and the political and economic environments are stable.

Good match for UK exports

The country has an open economy with a strong appetite for imported goods and technology, and a growing recognition of UK brands and service offerings in areas such as education.

Top five UK goods exported to Dominican Republic , in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2023

Goods Value (£ million )
Cars 19.1
Plastics in non-primary forms 12.7
Mineral manufactures 7.2
Medicinal & pharmaceutical products 6.9
Meat & meat preparations 6.8

Source: ONS Trade in goods: country-by-commodity exports
Last updated: February 2024
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Dominican Republic.

Dominican Republic: at a glance

Economic growth


Actual figure (IMF, 2022)
The UK is 4.1% (IMF, 2022, actual figure)

GDP per capita


Actual figure (IMF, 2019)
The UK is $42,797 (IMF, 2019, actual figure)


Dominican peso

Business language


You may need a translator

Time zone

GMT -4

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Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in the Dominican Republic have identified opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors:

Check for trade barriers

Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.

See current trade barriers

See resolved trade barriers

Check duties and customs

Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.

See current duties and customs procedures

Doing business in the Dominican Republic

Preparing to export

You’re advised to seek good legal advice from an English-speaking lawyer before exporting to the Dominican Republic.


Taxes are collected by the General Directorate of Internal Revenue (website in Spanish). Tax rates and mandatory contributions are the same for both Dominican and foreign investors. If you are an employer, you must pay social security for your employees.


If you are registered for VAT, it may be possible to zero-rate the goods you export to the Dominican Republic, provided certain conditions are met.

VAT (known as ITBIS) is charged at 18%. Goods and services which are exempt from ITBIS include basic foods, medicines, fuel, and books.


The Dominican Quality Institute (INDOCAL) (website in Spanish) enforces mandatory product safety and information standards and bans on unsafe goods.

Selective consumption taxes (ISC)

ISC (impuesto selectivo al consumo) is applied on the purchase price or import of certain goods including alcohol and cigarettes. The rate of ISC tax varies according to the item being taxed.

Free trade zones

Free zone operators and companies located in industrial parks enjoy 100% exemption from various taxes. There are currently 53 industrial parks, housing over 500 companies.

Intellectual property (IP)

Intellectual property (IP) rights are territorial and rights granted in the UK do not provide protection elsewhere. You should consider getting IP protection abroad if you want to trade overseas or sell to overseas customers via the internet.

The Intellectual Property Office provides practical information to help you protect, manage and enforce your IP abroad. Further support for British businesses can be found through a network of IP attachés, based in key UK export markets.

Trade barriers

Check for any reported barriers to trading with the Dominican Republic.

Report any trade barriers that are affecting your business so we can help fix them.

Operating in the Dominican Republic

Intellectual property

The National Industrial Property Office (ONAPI) (website in Spanish) is in charge of granting patents and registering industrial property. Civil and criminal sanctions may be applied in case of an infraction of industrial property rights.

There is currently a problem in the Dominican Republic with counterfeit products, especially alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceuticals. The Attorney General’s Department is taking action but it is proving difficult to reduce the scale of the problem.

Payment terms

The most common methods of payment are:

  • cash (as most Dominican companies have dollar accounts abroad) by electronic or wire transfers
  • supplier credit, once you’ve established a trading relationship
  • documentary letters of credit including stand-by letters of credit
  • documentary collections through the banking system
  • commercial credit cards (accept these with caution because of the possibility of fraud)

Using agents and distributors

To export successfully to the Dominican Republic, you will probably need to employ an agent or distributor. In some cases where health certification is required, a local agent is a legal requirement.

Next steps

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