Jamaica Customs Reminds Importers of the Procedures for Clearing Charitable Items as the Summer Approaches
The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) takes this opportunity to remind importers, including schools, churches, charities and foundations of the following requirements and procedures for clearing charitable items at the nation’s ports:
- All shipments must be in the name and address of the charitable organisation only, before it arrives in Jamaica.
- A Tax Compliance Certificate (TCC) is required for clearing all shipments.
- Where an individual other than officers of the charitable organisation is being asked to undertake clearance, a notarised letter of authorisation on the organisation’s letter head must be presented to Customs.
- The name and signatory on the authorisation letter must be compatible with the information uploaded to the JCA’s database in respect of the charitable entity.
- A Special Declaration must be completed and signed by the responsible officer on the organisation’s letter head. This is to be given to the authorised person conducting business on behalf of the Charity or the licensed Customs Broker.
- A licensed Customs Broker is required to clear shipments valued at and above US$5,000.00, and a C73 Form (Authorisation for a Person to act on behalf of another) must be completed. However, the Charity organisation also reserves the right to contract a licensed Customs Broker for shipments under $5000.00.
As it pertains to shipments of US$5,000.00 or more, a licensed Customs Broker, who, upon receiving a completed C73 form, must prepare an entry into the ASYCUDA system (Automated System for Customs Data), and upload all relevant documentation.
Additionally, officers of charitable organisations or persons authorised to clear shipments of US$5,000.00 or less, should proceed directly to the Port of Clearance with the documents pertaining to the shipment consigned to the name and address of the charitable organisation to include:
- A copy of the Certificate of Registration of Approved Charity
- A letter of authorisation where applicable
- The signed Special Declaration
- Bill of lading or Airway Bill
- Packing list
- Tax Compliance Certificate
- Permits/licences where applicable
- Any other document(s) pertaining to the shipment
Schools wishing to import items of charity (such as canteen equipment--stoves, refrigerators, microwaves, etc.) outside of their entitlements covered under the Second Schedule of the Customs Act must receive approval from the National Education Trust (NET), before the items are shipped to Jamaica, in order to receive duty exemption and other prescribed benefits.
Approval for the importation of school supplies and educational/instructional materials/items covered under the second schedule of the Customs Act must be sought through the Ministry of Education’s Procurement Unit, before the items are imported into Jamaica, in order for duty exemption and other benefits to be given.
Entities wishing to import items of charity (such as back-to-school fairs), must register with the Department of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies before getting the items shipped into Jamaica, in order to receive the relevant duty exemption and other benefits.