Customs House Series #9
How Can You Improve Your Import or Clearance Experience with Customs?
The holiday season is now buzzing with lots of activities; relatives are coming in from overseas, there is heightened activity at the ports and it is now the norm to see more people making trips to the ‘wharf’ (as it is more commonly called) to make those final import clearances, just in time for the Christmas holidays.
The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is committed to serving our customers with professionalism and efficiency and therefore reminds them of the various requirements for doing imports or clearances. Areas, for which persons can be breached under the Customs Act, are also mentioned.
- How do persons seek to circumvent the Customs Act?
- What are some common breaches?
- How can persons comply with regulations and avoid penalties and seizure of their goods?
- What documents are required for clearing personal shipments?
With the Automated System for Customs Data – ASYCUDA World – in full effect, the Agency continues to ‘clamp down’ on importers who attempt to circumvent Customs laws in order to evade Customs duties.
- False Declarations
- Undeclared Excess Goods
- Permit Breaches
- Intellectual Property Rights Violations
- Violations of the requirements of regulatory authorities
- Check if goods being imported require a permit or import licence.
- Obtain a valid permit (where applicable) when shipping goods prior to goods arriving in Jamaica.
- Ensure goods are properly classified and quantities correspond with documentation submitted to the JCA.
- No excess goods are being shipped and invoices are authentic.
- Supporting documents, such as Tax Compliance Certificate (TCC), Certificate of Registration of Approved Charity, etc. are valid.
- Documentation for shipments to charitable organisations bear the consignee’s correct name and address.
- If the passenger uses only a portion or all of the allowance (US$500.00), then the Customs Officer will indicate on the form that full allowance was given, or the amount of the Duty Free Allowance utilised. Once there is an allowance remaining, the passenger will utilise the balance to clear the unaccompanied baggage.
- The C27 or ‘Yellow Form’ is valid for clearing goods that arrive in the island two months before, or after the passenger arrives.
- Goods with a Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) value of more than US$5000.00 must be cleared by a licensed Customs Broker.
- If you received an unaccompanied baggage clearance declaration (C27/Yellow form) form at the airport, present it along with your passport and Tax Payer Registration Number (TRN) card to the Customs Official at the warehouse.
- Barrels containing ‘personal effects’ (e.g. food, clothes, toiletries, basic household items) or ‘non-commercial’ items attract a minimum charge of JMD$6,500.00 per barrel.
- If items are being cleared on behalf of a consignee, the representative must present a letter of authorisation, signed and stamped by a Justice of the Peace (JP). The consignee’s Tax Payer Registration Number (TRN) card and valid identification must be presented to the Customs Official (photocopied documents must also be signed/stamped by a JP).
Documents Required for Clearing Your Items
- Tax Registration Number (TRN)
- Valid Identification (Driver’s Licence, Passport or Voter’s/National ID).
- Passport/receipt from the Kiosk in the Immigration Hall, if the C27 ‘Yellow Form’ is used.
- Bill of Lading or Air Way Bill
- C27 (Unaccompanied Declaration Form)
- C86 (Goods Declaration Form)