Customs Weekly

Customs House Weekly

Jamaica Customs Says Imports and Exports Still Continue…As Country Combats COVID-19

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is assuring its stakeholders that the Agency remains fully operational at the country’s air and sea ports, while it continues to institute the relevant public health measures for both staff and customers, in combating the coronovirus – COVID-19.

The JCA is also imploring stakeholders to adhere to health guidelines, to include complying with sanitation measures implemented at the Agency’s locations.

The Agency recognises that as a trade facilitation and border protection entity, its operations are critical for the sustainability of the Jamaican economy, and will implement contingency measures to ensure business continuity, where required.

Where feasible, the JCA is encouraging customers to utilise its e-Payment platform to undertake transactions, as well as its online channels (Live Chat, Customer Relationship and Feedback Platform), located on its website:, to make queries or to lodge reports, or to contact its Customer Service Representatives at and, or by telephone 876-922-5140-8.

The Agency remains committed to promoting the strategies being advanced by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and the World Health Organisation (WHO), as together - as individuals, organisations and a country, we work towards mitigating the impact of this pandemic on employees, their families, customers and the entire Jamaica.





Customs House Weekly

Understanding the Operations of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Jamaica

SEZs and their Oversight

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) plays a crucial role in the regulation and monitoring of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Jamaica, and works closely with the Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA) in this respect.

Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are geographically demarcated areas within countries where special tax benefits and fiscal incentives are provided to companies operating in these zones.

The Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA) has oversight of the SEZ Regime, and all SEZs activities are governed by the Jamaica Special Economic Zones Act (2019), and the Special Economic Zones Regulations (2017), as well as guidelines issued by JSEZA. Additionally, the laws that govern other Government entities, particularly the JCA, are applicable in these zones.


Partnership and Collaboration  

The JSEZA regulates SEZs in Jamaica, in collaboration with other Government entities, such as Jamaica Customs, Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) and Municipal Corporations, which monitors compliance within these zones.

In an effort to strengthen cooperation for the development of SEZs, the Special Economic Zone Authority, as part of its Business Acceleration services, is actively engaging other Government entities, through the signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) and Service Level Agreements (SLAs), including the signing of a tripartite MOU with the JCA and TAJ, to establish standard operating procedures and protocols for information sharing, due diligence, investigating, monitoring, general cooperation, among other things.   


Governance, Applications and Due Diligence

The Commissioner of Customs is a named member of the JSEZA Board as stipulated in the SEZ Act. Therefore, the JCA through legislation is part of the JSEZA governance structure and participates in the review and recommendation for approval of SEZ developers to the Minister with responsibility for SEZs and the direct approvals of occupants. The Authority engages in a risk-based approach in its evaluation of companies seeking SEZ status, which is done in collaboration with the JCA and other agencies.  

Additionally, within the due diligence process, special attention is paid to excise goods, as mandated by the SEZ legislation. Excise cargo, are goods of a sensitive nature, that attracts special taxes and generate high revenue such as cigarettes and alcohol. Excisable goods carry with them a high level of risk and susceptibility to smuggling which potentially fuels organised crime (local and transitional) and terrorism financing. The JSEZA and JCA are very cognizant of these associated risks and ensure that there are logistical and security arrangements in place, by every applicant seeking to handle Excise goods (Section 36 of the SEZ Act).   

The new Customs Act (2019), now before parliament, includes international best practices, which promotes the efficient operations of SEZs. Running parallel to this process is a joint JSEZA-JCA effort to put in place, a framework of procedures in an effort to simplify and harmonise SEZ/Customs procedures and documentation.


Accountability and Transparency

Both the JSEZA and JCA, as part of the SEZ monitoring framework, grounded in accountability and transparency have the right to inspect the physical premises as well as audit the books of any SEZ company. This is part of a check and balance system that allows the JCA to verify data in its ASYCUDA System and reports generated by the JSEZA. The JCA mandates: to facilitate trade, collect revenue and protect Jamaica’s borders, are reflected in the SEZ Regime, (Section 43 of the SEZs Act, and Regulation 55(3), which outlines the responsibilities of Customs in facilitating the efficient operations of SEZs in Jamaica.

The JCA has a key role to play in mitigating tax leakage, by monitoring the entry, admission, transfer, exit and other movements of merchandise in all SEZs, as well as in all SEZ Customs Controlled Areas. A Customs Controlled Area is an area within a SEZ that is a restricted access area within a SEZ, that is subject to the control and supervision of Customs (that is situated outside the Customs territory), for purposes of exempting the assessment or imposition of Customs duties.

These areas are controlled by Customs in accordance with the SEZ Act and Regulations, the Custom Laws and any other applicable laws.

Additionally, the JCA monitors the transfer of goods from a SEZ to the Customs territory for sale or destruction. In the event where a SEZ entity intends to destroy goods that are deemed unfit for its operations, permission has to be sought from the Special Economic Zone Authority and the destruction must be performed under Customs supervision. 

The JSEZA and the JCA will continue to collaborate, with the aim of advancing our Special Economic Zones, ultimately attracting more investments and contributing to the growth and development of the Jamaican economy.




Customs House Weekly

Jamaica Customs Will Continue to Transform through Automation Supported by Legislative Reform


A key Agency in border protection and an important player in the global supply chain and logistics process, the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) will continue to seek ways to expand its capabilities and improve its efficiencies.

The global space is today, much more advanced technologically, and it is imperative that the JCA adopts the relevant automated systems for greater value creation and service delivery that will seek to accelerate us in the right direction.

The JCA is cognisant that the world moves with great speed with the utilisation of Information Communication Technology (ICT), the Fourth Industrial Revolution and emerging technological breakthroughs such as the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analysis and Robotics, coupled with wide and growing mobile usage and internet penetration, and as such, we must ensure security of cross-border trade, through the automated environment.

Our clients are now demanding even faster and more efficient service, by simply using the click of a button, and, businesses too – both local and international have adopted new approaches in serving their own customers. In this respect, we must ensure that we are ready and able to meet their needs. The emergence and growth of e-commerce, for instance, has signalled to us the need to operate in more dynamic ways.

Additionally, the JCA and other Border Regulatory Agencies, in demonstrating coordinated border management in an electronic environment, will be implementing the Electronic Single Window in 2021, that will benefit our traders. This system will allow for the single submission of information by traders along with the electronic exchange of information and delivery of services.

The JCA continues to ensure greater security of the supply chain with our World Customs Organisation (WCO) accredited programme – Authorised Operator Economic (AEO) Programme, which is geared towards encouraging greater compliance and mutual trust and transparency of our traders, who have benefitted significantly from the faster and smoother clearance of their cargo.

Of note, is that tied to automation is the application of a risk-based approach in line with our Service Standards and Charter. The need to mitigate risk is embedded within the dynamic environment within which we operate, which keeps us agile in our transformational pursuits.

Of significance, is that the JCA, in collaboration with its partners, completed the development of the new Customs Act (2019) which was tabled in Parliament in June 2019.  It must be noted that the current Customs Act (1941) remains in effect (law) until the new Act (2019) goes through the required parliamentary processes, and is passed and gazetted.

The new Act has retained some of the substantive provisions of its predecessor, even as it incorporates several new provisions geared towards trade facilitation and international best practices. Additionally, the area of risk-based compliance and selectivity in Customs processing or treatment has also been included.

Provisions have also been crafted with respect to advance rulings, inward and outward processing, and an expansion of commercial opportunities for stakeholders with respect to the warehousing regimes, among other provisions that would be indicative of Jamaica as a logistics and commercial hub. Importantly, the language of the new Act has been simplified and modernised to facilitate ease of understanding, by the general public.

The Jamaica Customs Agency will continue to work with its various partners, towards achieving the country’s national development goals, which seek to make Jamaica “the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.”




Customs House Weekly

Jamaica Customs – Striking the balance between Trade Facilitation and Border Protection


The use of Risk Management by Custom Administrations is on the rise globally. Traditionally, managing risks affecting administrations was ad hoc, largely based on perception and required one hundred (100%) physical intervention. However, the increase in international trade and the movement of people across borders, coupled with the need for administrations to be more effective and efficient have contributed to the use of Risk Management Techniques and practices by Customs administrations.  


Risk Management - The Modern Approach

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) has strategically incorporated Risk Management as the primary basis for its operations. This approach has aided in maintaining relevance, and has significantly improved the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the Agency.


What is a ‘risk’ in the JCA context?

The possibility of an event occurring that leads to a breach of the Customs Act/Regulations or any of the related legislation, and as a consequence, exposes the Agency to possible revenue loss or, threatens national security and public safety.


How does the JCA manage risks?

Through the application of Risk Management Techniques and modern practices supported by improved Information Communication Technology (ICT), the JCA is equipped and better able to manage its risks. The implementation of the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA World) in 2016 has centralised the Agency’s operations and created a coordinated approach to risk management which includes the interest of other Border Regulatory Agencies (BRA).

In realising the vision of a modern Customs Administration, the JCA recognises the importance of striking the delicate balance between border security and trade facilitation. In creating this balance, the Agency is able to identify and mitigate potential threats, while facilitating legitimate trade and passenger travel. In addition to the Agency’s use of Risk Management, there is also a thrust to create an environment that is agile, innovative and integrated, which will assist in furthering the modernisation initiatives of the JCA.  The Agency continues to work on ‘getting it right’ through business process re-engineering and utilisation of more sophisticated ICT to tackle the increasingly complex challenges associated with global trade and passenger travel.


JCA’s Testimony: Benefits of Using Risk Management

  • Improved trader compliance with laws and regulations;
  • Speedy clearance/processing for legitimate traders and passengers. Approximately eighty (80%) of commercial cargo is released from JCA controls within 24hrs;
  • Establishment of  recognition programs for compliant traders e.g. Authorised Economic Operators (AEO);
  • Greater transparency in the Agency’s decision making process;
  • Improved cooperation between traders and the JCA;
  • Improved Agency efficiency;
  • Increased stakeholder satisfaction;
  • Better coordinated activities with other Border Regulatory Agencies (BRA) and;
  • Improved risk identification, targeting and selectivity.



Customs House Weekly

Jamaica Customs promotes risk-based approach in protecting country’s borders & fostering compliance


As the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) continues its thrust to improve its overall efficiency, the entity continues to boost its capacity to identify and combat risks that can   serve to undermine its border protection capabilities and the country’s overall security.  

  • What is Risk Management?
  • What are the benefits of using a risk-based approach?
  • How does it impact border protection?
  • How does it foster compliance?

The success of Customs administrations worldwide, depends on an effective Risk Management System. The Risk Management Unit of the JCA is responsible for implementing risk management plans and processes which involves gathering and collating information; identifying, analysing and reporting areas of risk; developing targets and profiles; establishing and maintaining a risk management database; and monitoring the application of risk management remedies across the Agency.    


Risk-based Approach

The risk-based approach adopted by the JCA emphasises that border protection has to remain a priority, while facilitating the legitimate movement of cargo and passengers. The risk-based approach is primarily data-driven, as data analysis, is critical to the risk management process. The purpose of risk analysis is to separate low risks from high risks and to provide data to assist in the assessment and treatment of the risks identified.


Risk Management, Border Protection and Fostering Compliance

The JCA places Risk Management as a focal point of its operations and has formulated an Agency Risk Management Policy (2014) in order to ensure that practices are aligned with the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) and other international benchmark guidelines, such as the World Customs Organisation’s (WCO) SAFE Framework of Standards and the Revised Arusha Declaration.


The JCA’s Risk Management Policy (2014) involves the following:

  • Application of risk management techniques which will strengthen the resilience of the organisation and ensure integrity and ethics standards are upheld. It allows the Agency to use risk-based information to make strategic and proactive decisions.
  • Implementation of a structure that supports risk management and which ensures that  employees have a clear understanding of the nature of the risks in their areas, and are able to systematically identify, analyse, prioritise and develop treatment programmes to mitigate those risks.
  • Provision of suitable and timely training for staff.
  • Adoption of the latest Customs technologies, automation of key Customs processes and increased reliance on effective post clearance audit techniques.
  • Use of non-intrusive examination techniques, such as cargo imaging (screening) and the use of profiling of high-risk cargo and passengers. Another mechanism is the application of a uniformed approach to risk management, such as the Risk Register Template.
  • Fostering compliance, through simplification and automation of processes, through the revamped Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programme and the implementation of the Customs Automated System, allowing for greater predictability and faster processing of cargo.

Additionally, the Agency continues to be proactive in seeking to reduce and eliminate illegal activities that threaten the economic stability and safety of our people, including detecting and seizing counterfeit goods.  

The JCA wishes to reassure our stakeholders that the Agency remains committed to securing Jamaica’s ports and keeping our people, society and economy safe from illegal imports and trading activities.




Customs Meet the Community

Jamaica Customs to Dock in St. Thomas for Next Parish Engagement – September 25, 2019

As the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) continues its journey to the various parishes islandwide, the Commissioner of Customs, Mrs. Velma Ricketts Walker, will lead the Customs team into the parish of St. Thomas for the Agency’s ninth (9th) parish engagement “Customs Meets the Community,” under the theme: ‘reaching our customers where they are.’

The event will get underway at the Morant Villas Hotel, in Morant Bay, on Wednesday, September 25, 2019, from 1:30p.m. – 6:30p.m. The mini-expo, which will include booth displays, will start at 1:30p.m., and the Town Hall Session will get underway at 4:00p.m., which can also be viewed online at:    

The “Customs Meets the Community” parish engagement series are being held in order that the JCA can communicate more effectively with its customers, in keeping with its thrust to inform and educate stakeholders on a myriad of Customs-related matters.

The Agency recognises that strong partnerships, augmented by our collaborative approach, with other Border Regulatory Agencies (BRAs) can have a transformational impact on compliance, as our customers become more exposed to the various policies and procedures of the Agency, and that of other BRAs.

This initiative also helps the JCA to better connect with a diverse range of Jamaicans who receive the opportunity to ask questions, state their concerns and give their feedback during the Town Hall segment of the engagement.

The Customs team has so far, visited the parishes of St. Elizabeth, St. Catherine (Spanish Town, Portmore), Portland, St. Ann, Westmoreland, Clarendon and St. Mary.

The initiative is done in collaboration with the Social Development Commission (SDC).



Customs House Weekly

New Customs Act (2019) tabled – aimed at promoting and supporting Jamaica’s socio-economic development


Arising from a decision of Cabinet in 2017, the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) was tasked with the responsibility to develop a new legislative framework which would further promote business opportunities for Jamaica, particularly in the areas of shipping, logistics and international trade. Following several stakeholder consultations, the Agency, along with its partners, completed a significant leg of the process, which resulted in the new Act being tabled in Parliament in June 2019.

The JCA however, reminds all its stakeholders that the current Act (1941) remains in effect (law) until the new Customs Act (2019) goes through the required parliamentary processes, and is passed and gazetted.

The new Act has retained some of the substantive provisions of its predecessor, even as it incorporates several new provisions geared towards trade facilitation and international best practices. Additionally, the area of risk-based compliance and selectivity in Customs processing or treatment has also been included.

Provisions have also been crafted with respect to advance rulings, inward and outward processing, and an expansion of commercial opportunities for stakeholders with respect to the warehousing regimes, among other provisions that would be indicative of Jamaica as a logistics and commercial hub. Importantly, the language of the new Act has been simplified and modernised to facilitate ease of understanding, by the general public.


Benefits of the New Legislation:

  • Promote socio-economic development and assist with the creation of the conditions for economic growth.
  • Facilitate the efficient processing of Customs-related transactions.
  • Aid in protecting local businesses and the international supply chain from unfair international trading practices, smuggling of goods, under-invoicing, fraud and intellectual property rights infringement.
  • Encourage voluntary compliance with Customs laws and procedures.
  • Further support the implementation of ASYCUDA World.
  • Strengthen the enforcement powers of the Commissioner of Customs.
  • Strengthen the ability of the JCA to effectively protect Jamaica’s borders.
  • Assist the JCA in facilitating the processing of increased volumes of trade in an increasingly complex international trading environment.
  • Encourage new business models and requirements, including e-commerce.


Modern Terminology and Ease of Use

The new terms and definitions in the Customs Act are consistent with the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) which has been adopted by several Customs administrations worldwide. The use of internationally accepted terms and definitions will facilitate Jamaica's interaction with the international trading community and will assist carriers, agents and all the industry professionals who operate in the global context.


Wide Range of Security

There is an overarching provision in the Act which deals with security. The JCA will facilitate a broader range, of types of security. Further, security may be specific, that is, relating to a specific consignment of goods; or general, that is, relating to any class/kind/category of goods during a specified or indefinite period. 


Fluidity of Procedures

Express provisions are made for different Customs procedures in keeping with a logistics-focused economy. For example, the new legislative framework will facilitate the introduction of Customs processing and procedures, such as inward and outward processing. Such processing procedures will enable goods to be imported for the specific purpose of under-going processing in Jamaica on condition that the products that result from the processing will be exported. In addition, goods may be seamlessly moved from one Customs procedure to another, once all Customs requirements are satisfied.


Clarification of the Transit and Transshipment Procedures

The Act seeks to clarify the regimes relating to transit and transshipment to promote improved alignment with ASYCUDA World and international best practice.


 Advance Arrival Reports

The Agency has sought to revise the provisions concerning advance reports to be provided by carriers engaged in short haul flights and voyages as opposed to long haul flights and voyages. The time frames in the new Customs Act will conform to the World Customs Organisation’s (WCO) SAFE Framework of Standards. These time frames will facilitate further compliance by shipping agents.

The Jamaica Customs Agency takes this opportunity to thank all its partners and stakeholders for the roles they played in coining the new Customs Act (2019), as together we work towards achieving the goals of (Vision 2030) Jamaica’s National Development Plan, which seeks to make Jamaica “the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.”




Customs House Weekly

PICA and Jamaica Customs Launch Online Passenger Declaration Form

On July 24, 2019, the Passport, Immigration and  Citizen Agency (PICA), in collaboration with the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), launched the online version of the Immigration/Customs Declaration Form (C5 Form), which will allow for more efficient processing of air passengers and baggage at the island’s international airports.

The Online Passenger Declaration Platform provides passengers with a flexible option for completing the Declaration Form and aims to reduce waiting and processing times at both the Immigration and Customs halls. Travellers who use this service can fill out the online form once they have booked their flight, or, while en route to Jamaica.

Speaking at the launch, CEO/Commissioner of Customs, Mrs. Velma Ricketts Walker, said: “as protectors of Jamaica’s borders, we (PICA/Customs] have a duty and a mandate to carry out this function effectively, using a two pronged approach – that of ensuring that we safe-guard our country, as well as offering excellent service to our passengers.”

“The introduction of this [C-5 platform] system,” she further stated, “is expected to improve not only our processing time, but also our risk management capabilities, as well as the customer service experience.”

The Online Passenger Declaration (C5) Platform was conceptualised by PICA, and is designed to capture the same information as the manual version. This system is a first for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  1. What is the Electronic Immigration/Customs Declaration (C5) Form?

This is an online version of the physical Immigration/Customs Declaration C5 Form.  It allows airline passengers to complete and submit their Immigration and Customs Declaration information prior to their arrival in Jamaica.


  1. Where may I go to access the form online?

The form is available on PICA’s website at, as well as Jamaica Customs Agency’s website at Click on the Online Passenger Declaration Form logo to gain access.


  1. Will I be required to fill out separate forms for each family member?

     Yes, each passenger is required to complete the form


  1. What are the benefits of using the electronic form?
  • Convenience is the foremost benefit of the online form. Passengers are able to complete the in advance of travelling once they have booked their travel arrangements.
  • Passengers will  experience faster processing  in designated lanes at Immigration and Customs


  1. Is my (online) information secure?

Customers can be assured that their security will not be compromised.  The data is encrypted and the system has been accorded an A+ certification as a secured site.


  1. Will I be able to amend the information at any time, before landing?

No, you cannot amend the form. Once you have submitted the form you cannot change the information. You may however complete another form with the updated information and resubmit. The last information submitted, will supersede the first.


  1. Will passengers still be able to complete the physical C5 Form?

Yes, the physical form is available to passengers. The manual processing of passengers and baggage will continue alongside the use of the electronic system.




Customs House Weekly

Jamaica Customs Urges Travellers & Importers to Adhere to Import Regulations

With summer travel in high gear, the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is reminding travellers and importers to comply with regulations governing the importation of restricted and prohibited items. Restricted goods, such as meats and plants, require a permit, while prohibited goods, such as toy guns and fire crackers are not allowed into the island, and will be seized at the port.  

Other items that require permits and/or licences include motor vehicles, pesticides, agricultural produce, human remains, fire arms and holsters, and several others. Importers and travellers are therefore being urged to contact the JCA and the relevant agency or agencies (below), for further guidance or clarification, as it relates to importing goods/items that may require a permit.

The JCA performs border protection or agency functions on behalf of the following agencies and encourages importers to make contact with these entities if they require details on importing any item that falls within their purview:   

  • The Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA), Ministry of National Security
  • The Pesticides Control Authority (PCA),Ministry of Health
  • Plant Quarantine Unit, Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries (MICAF)
  • The Veterinary Services Division, MICAF
  • Trade Board Limited
  • Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA)
  • The Public Health Department, Ministry of Health
  • Bureau of Standards (MICAF)
  • National Compliance and Regulatory Authority (NRCA) 
  • National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA)
  • Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ)
  • Coconut Industry Board
  • Spectrum Management Authority (SMA)
  • Department of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies (DCFS)
  • The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA)
  • Department of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies (DCFS)


The Agency further advises that importers can be breached for failing to obtain the relevant permits when importing certain items. Other reasons for which persons can be breached are:

  • Under-invoicing;
  • False Declarations;
  • Undeclared Excess Goods;
  • Intellectual Property Rights Violations;
  • Violations of the requirements of regulatory authorities.


  • No excess goods are being shipped and that invoices are authentic;
  • Supporting documents, such as Tax Compliance Certificate (TCC), Certificate of Registration of Approved Charity, etc. are valid;
  • Documentation for shipments to Charities bears the consignee’s name and address. 


  • If the passenger uses a portion, or all of the Duty Free Allowance (US$500.00), the Customs Official will indicate on the C-27 electronic form (formerly Yellow Form) that full allowance was given, or the amount of the allowance utilised. Once there is an allowance remaining, the passenger will utilise the balance to clear the unaccompanied baggage.
  • The C-27 electronic form is valid for clearing goods that arrive in the island two months before, or two months after the passenger arrives. This form is completed by the Customs Officer.
  • Goods with a Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) value of more than US$5000.00 must be cleared by a licensed Customs Broker.
  • 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).

For further information telephone the JCA at: 876-922-5140-8; Toll free: 1-888-287-8667 or email or




Customs House Weekly

Jamaica Customs Bolsters Its Stakeholder Awareness Thrust - Meets with Used Car Dealers


The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), in keeping with its thrust to enhance its service delivery and meet the needs of its various stakeholders, hosted a Stakeholders’ Awareness Forum with the Used Car Dealers Association of Jamaica, on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, under the theme: “Let’s Talk Valuation.”

This forum facilitated discussion between the Agency and members of the Used Car Dealers Association, and sought to address their varying concerns, covering several areas, such as application of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Valuation Methods, processing time for transactions, and improvements in some areas of customer service.

On the matter of Valuation Methods, the JCA is reminding importers that they have a right to request a review of any assessment done at any of our ports by requesting that a referral note be prepared (for the imported goods) and sent to the Valuation Verification Unit, at the Agency’s head office – Myers’ Wharf, Newport East, Kingston.

Customers, who request a review, must submit the relevant documentation to the Valuation Unit to include:

  • Store receipts
  • Bank receipts
  • Wire transfers 
  • Credit/debit card receipts
  • Email correspondences (where applicable) and,
  • Any other documentation relevant to the case

If an importer is still not satisfied with the review done by the Valuation Verification Unit, that individual or entity can make a further appeal to the Agency’s Internal Review Committee.

Valuation Principles

The Valuation Principles outlined in the Valuation Schedule (Section 19) of the Customs Act, specifies the rules of valuation for imported goods, the methods to be used and the manner in which they may be applied. Rights and Obligations in keeping with the Customs Act:

  1. Section 19 (2) – Customs has the right to doubt the truth or accuracy of the information submitted.
  2. Section 19 (3) – Customs is obligated to notify the importer of how the value was determined.
  3. Section 19 (4) & 19 (5) – Customs is obligated to inform the importer of the right to an appeal without penalty.
  4. Section 19 (8) – Customs has two years within which to change a previously accepted value due to new information gathered or any other reason garnered.

The Customs Valuation methods are based on the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Valuation Agreement, of which there are six methods:

  1. Transaction Value  – Article 1
  2. Transaction Value of Identical Goods – Article 2
  3. Transaction Value of Similar Goods – Article 3
  4. Deductive Method – Article 5
  5. Computed Method – Article 6
  6. Fall-back Method – Article 7

The JCA will continue in its thrust, to serve all its customers efficiently and effectively.





About us

Mission Statement
To facilitate trade, protect our borders, optimise revenue collection, through collaborative border management and delivery of high quality customer services and to develop and maintain a team of motivated professional and competent staff.


Jamaica Customs Agency

Customs House
Myers Wharf,
Newport East, Kingston 15
Phone: 876 922 5140-8 | 922 8770-3

Corporate Office
2-4 King Street, Kingston
Phone: 876 948 5151

Opening Hours
Monday - Thursday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Friday: 8:00am - 4:00pm

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