WHAT IS THE CONTACTLESS CLEARANCE PROJECT?
The Jamaica Customs Agency has embarked on a project to modernize its physical inspection process to make it easier for importers to clear cargo and for Customs Officers to conduct inspections in a controlled, sterile and secure environment. Importers and agents will be able to clear cargo without physically visiting the ports and public bonded warehouses for Customs inspection.
WHAT CATEGORY OF CARGO WILL BE TRANSITIONING TO CONTACTLESS IN PHASE 1?
Non-Commercial Cargo which are cleared on IMS4 declarations will be the first category of goods to transition to this new inspection process.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF THE CONTACTLESS CLEARANCE PROCESS?
- Increases the security and integrity of the clearance process.
- Improves the overall Customer experience:
Reduction in congestion in the waiting, clearance and delivery areas.
Reduction in the number of physical contact points
Reduction in overall cargo processing and wait times
- Improves the efficiency of cargo flow through the warehouse.
- Allows flexibility in cargo inspection time.
- Creates opportunities for value added service.
WHAT IS THE TIME FOR FULL IMPLEMENTATION FOR NON-COMMERCIAL CARGO?
At the end of the pilot the Agency will be doing an evaluation of the findings to see the areas of success and those which need to be improved. Notwithstanding, the start of the fiscal year April 1, 2023, is being targeted for the full implementation of the new inspection process.
WILL CONTACTLESS CLEARANCE BE IMPLEMENTED FOR LCL COMMERCIAL CARGO?
Following the implementation for non-commercial LCL cargo the JCA will pursue the implementation of contactless clearance for LCL commercial cargo in phase 2 of the project.
WILL SHIPPERS BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE A PACKING LIST FOR CONTACTLESS CLEARANCE?
The submission of a packing list is highly recommended as it provides the freight forwarding agent with adequate details to complete an accurate customs declaration. The Agency will make a packing list template available via its website. This template will allow the shipper to select from a list of the most commonly used commodity descriptions and the tariff code will be auto filled providing additional assistance for agents to submit correct declarations.
AT WHAT POINT IN THE PROCESS WILL AGENTS BE ABLE TO SUBMIT THE SIMPLIFIED DECLARATION?
The simplified declaration (IMS4) can be submitted as soon as the manifests have been uploaded to the Port Community System (PCS).
WHEN WILL THE CARGO BE INSPECTED?
When the cargo is offloaded from the container into the warehouse it can be inspected if the simplified declaration has been submitted and the customs duties paid.
HOW WILL THE IMPORTER KNOW THAT THEIR GOODS HAVE BEEN INSPECTED AND RELEASED BY CUSTOMS?
When the Customs Officer completes the inspection and releases the cargo the declarant/agent receives notification via the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA). The agent can notify the importer that their cargo has been released.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I RECEIVE MY CARGO AND IT IS DAMAGED OR ITEMS ARE MISSING?
The claims process which agents and warehouse operators have in place remains unchanged. Importers should contact their freight forwarder to inform them about damages or missing items. The freight forwarder will provide guidance on their claims process and will contact Customs where applicable.
HOW WILL THE JAMAICA CUSTOMS AGENCY GUARANTEE THE SECURITY OF CARGO DURING INSPECTION IN THE ABSENCE OF THE IMPORTER OR AGENT?
To reassure importers, the Agency has outlined strict security requirements for warehouse operators. These include:
Security vetting and background checks for warehouse employee handling cargo;
Separation of cargo inspection and storage areas;
Security controls including logging of personnel entering and leaving the inspection area;
Prohibiting the carrying of bags or any other means of conveyance into the inspection area;
Video surveillance systems capable of capturing the items and labels during inspection.
WILL IMPORTERS BE ABLE TO USE THEIR DUTY-FREE ALLOWANCE UNDER THE CONTACTLESS CLEARANCE PROCESS?
The Contactless Clearance process will not change how the duty-free allowance is applied. Importers who travel are reminded on arrival to Jamaica to inform the Customs Officer that they have shipped goods. It is also necessary for importers to inform their freight forwarding agent that they have a duty-free allowance (UBA). Failure to do so will result in longer clearance times.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (876) 922-5140-8