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Customs House Weekly Series #18

Customs House Weekly Series #18

Jamaica Customs: Improving Trade Facilitating, Promoting Compliance

As the second largest contributor to the national budget, the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) recognises the crucial role it plays in propelling the nation’s development, as the entity continues to facilitate trade, protect the country’s revenue and borders, while promoting compliance.

So, what are some of the strategic changes that have been made, which have served to assist the JCA to improve its operational efficiency for the benefit of all stakeholders?



The implementation of the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA World) has significantly enhanced the trade facilitation mandate of the JCA. Since full implementation in April 2016, the use of ASYCUDA World has resulted in 55 per cent of cargo being cleared within 24 hours of arrival, versus 22 per cent prior to implementation of the system. ASYCUDA World has revolutionised the interaction between the JCA and its clients, and the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for which the Agency conducts regulatory functions.

ASYCUDA has enhanced the JCA’s business and operating procedures to the benefit of staff, Customs Brokers, importers, and other stakeholders, as it allows for less bureaucracy, and more accountability and transparency.



As a consultative partner the JCA is committed to creating an improved legislative framework which promotes business opportunities for Jamaica in the shipping industry as well as international trade.

The Government has indicated that the development of Jamaica as a global logistics hub and the establishment of special economic zones are key strategies for economic growth.  The realisation of these strategies requires appropriate laws that support customs procedures that facilitate trade and promote predictability and efficiency.

Legislative reform is being undertaken on a phased basis, which included amendments to the Customs Bill (2014) and current revision of the Customs Bill (2015), through robust stakeholder consultations.

Phase one culminated in the passing of the Customs (Amendment) Act, 2014, the primary focus of which was to provide the legislative support for implementation of ASYCUDA. Phase two is underway and covers, among other things, the following areas:

  • The introduction of modern terminology in accordance with international best practice
  • Express provision for electronic communication
  • The modernisation of the Act using easily understood legislative language and structure
  • The introduction of the concept of voluntary compliance
  • The introduction of risk-based compliance and selectivity in the Customs processing or treatment
  • The introduction of advanced rulings
  • Temporary imports



As it pertains to air travel, the JCA has implemented the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) which will boost the Agency’s efficiency for timely and less intrusive methods of processing passengers, while applying more effective means of advanced risk assessment.

Recently, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) also announced that IATA’s Cargo-XML messaging standard has been fully integrated into ASYCUDA World which will serve to standardise the electronic communication between airlines and Customs authorities which use the system. Also, as a result of Jamaica's ratification of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, the JCA will further increase its focus on trade facilitation. Jamaica Customs, therefore, looks forward to seeing even further improvements in its processing capabilities of both cargo and passengers, as part of its trade facilitation strategy.

The JCA continues to be resolute in effectively executing its mandates, as it continues to keep Jamaica on a path of sustainable growth and development.



Customs House Weekly Series #17

Customs House Weekly Series #17

Jamaica Customs Revamps
Clearance Procedures for New Motor Vehicles

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), as part of its strategy to enhance its business operations, has revamped the operating procedures for the clearance of new motor vehicles by new car dealers into private bonded warehouses and the domestic market, respectively. 


Integration of e-Trade with ASYCUDA World

The full integration of the e-Trade system with the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA World) now facilitates real-time transfer of all approved licence details from the Trade Board to include motor vehicle and general cargo. 

The ongoing pilot involves select importers, which includes the automated verification of the import licence details against the Customs declaration, mandating the submission of accurate motor vehicle details to include the importer’s Tax Payer Registration Number (TRN), the year, make, model, chassis number and HS-Code classification, which are now required by both systems. 


Benefits of New Clearance Procedures

This revamped clearance procedure has resulted in significant benefits to the importer, the Declarant and the JCA. The procedure also allows for the enforcement of business rules which detects, informs and rejects any variation pertaining to the motor vehicle details.  The procedure includes, but is not be limited to functionalities, such as the automated detection and notification of an import licence infraction (breach) for further processing by the Proper Officer. 

All motor vehicle import Declarations must be submitted and cleared in accordance with Customs laws, and guided by provisions of the Revised Motor Vehicle Policy of 2014.

This clearance procedure is applicable to Declarations submitted which reference the Import Regime and Customs Procedure Codes as follows:


Regime Type
(Box 1)

Customs Procedure Code
(Box 37 First Sub-division)


IM4 – Entry For Home Use


Commercial Import

IM7- Entry for Warehousing


Warehouse (Private Bonded)



Step 1: Preparing the Import Declaration

For Declarant

Access ASYCUDA World Goods Clearance and create Declaration using suitable IM - Import Regime

  • Complete e-SAD/c87E Details
  • Complete Valuation Note
  • Complete Motor Vehicle Tab
  • Input Container Details (if applicable)
  • Reference Import Licence Details
  • Upload PDF copies of Supporting Import Documents
  • Reference Advanced Deposit Account (ADA) details prior to submission - ( if not using other payment options)
  • Submit Declaration

Using ASYCUDA System

  • Verify Trade Board Licence referenced

Note: The system will issue a notification if a licence breach is detected and automate the allocation of the Declaration to the Proper Officer without suspending the registration process

  • Verify ADA referenced (if used to apply payment)
  • Conduct all other consistency and validity checks
  • Send email notification upon successful registration


Step 2: Making Payment


  • Makes online payment Using AW Portal or print Assessment Notice for payment at Cashier

Cashier (Over the Counter Transaction)

  • Accepts payment for import Declaration


  • Trigger automated lane assignment (Green Lane 70%, Blue Lane 30%)
  • Automatic workload assignment to Control Office (if required)
  • Automatic workload assignment to Customs Office of Clearance


Step 3: Documentary Review - Additional Controls Required

  • Processing Declarations with Special Tax Treatment/Duty Concession

Proper Officer

Conducts documentary review

  • Review Results as Satisfactory

Performs Controls

  • Results Unsatisfactory

Routes declaration to query status/complete inspection act

  • Processing Declarations with Licence Breach Detected

Designated Supervisor

  • Conducts review in accordance with the established breach procedure
  • Update inspection act and effect control once breach procedure is satisfied
  • A provisional clearance may also be done upon verification of deposit paid against the breach


Step 4: Release/Exit Processing

Proper Officer

  • Verify vehicle particulars and generate Release Order (if satisfactory)


  • Present Release Order to Exit Officer along with Gate Pass issued by Terminal Operator

Customs Delivery Officer

  • Verify Release Order details and conduct required vetting
  • Generate Exit Note
  • Validates exit of goods





Customs House Weekly Series #15

Customs House Weekly Series #15

Jamaica Customs Combating Corruption: How You Can Help Us

Corruption or allegations of corruption, can threaten the social, political and economic development and stability of any country, as it erodes public trust and confidence in government officials and public servants. Corruption, from a Customs perspective, involves, among other things, individuals (including employees) taking deliberate steps to evade Customs laws and other related legislation, which governs the administration of Customs procedures or processes.  

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) recognises that like many other public sector entities, it has a duty to operate and conduct its affairs with the highest level of integrity, and has therefore instituted several strategies, geared at combating and ultimately eliminating corruption. Therefore, against this background:

  • What measures have the JCA employed to combat malfeasance practices or corruption?
  • What policies guide the Agency’s thrust to combat corruption?
  • How can the public assist the Agency in combating corruption?

Strategies to combat corruption including the following:

  • Engaging in the security vetting of all employees
  • Establishing investigative units (Investigation Unit, Internal Affairs Unit)
  • Developing the Agency’s Integrity Manual (2016)
  • Implementing a rotation policy for employees
  • Automated assignment of work using the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA)  - allows for the traceability of all transactions via the system
  • Establishing an Anti-corruption &  Ethics Committee (chaired by external personnel)
  • Collaborating with other entities such as Tax Administration, Revenue Protection Division (RPD), etc., in combating breaches, tax evasion or fraudulent activities
  • Offering confidential access by the public to report matters of corruption to the Agency


Anti-corruption Initiatives

It is the policy of the JCA to recruit, select and promote employees, in accordance with professional best practices, the Public Service Regulations and Staff Orders of the Government of Jamaica (GOJ). Additionally, the Agency utilises a rigorous security screening process for all potential and existing employees, in accordance with its Security Vetting Policy.

In keeping with the provisions of the WCO’s Revised Arusha Declaration, the Agency has taken steps to deploy, rotate and relocate its employees in order to remove opportunities for Customs personnel to hold vulnerable positions for long periods of time.  

The JCA has also integrated risk management into its operations, in alignment with international standards and best practices as outlined in the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) and the WCO’s SAFE Framework of Standards, in order to ensure that ethical standards are upheld.

The Agency’s Anti-Corruption & Ethics Committee, more recently, commissioned and approved the development of the Agency’s Integrity Manual (2016) for employees. Among other areas, this Manual stipulates and guides how employees undertake their job functions and interact with business clients, customers, other stakeholders and each other.


The ASYCUDA System

The ASYCUDA system has seen the JCA, and its customers, reaping the benefits of the automation of its business and operational processes. ASYCUDA World has allowed for the full integration of risk management, post clearance audit and an electronic manifest system. Since risk management principles are built into this application, such as the requirement for staff to use their credentials to document their actions, and the use of different access levels; transparency, accountability and traceability are supported, which strengthens the integrity of the system, and the JCA as a whole.


Investigating Allegations of Corruption

It is crucial that the public has confidence in the integrity of Jamaica Customs and its employees. In order to ensure this confidence is maintained, complaints brought against employees are investigated promptly and objectively.

The investigative functions of the Border Protection Division and the Internal Affairs Unit provide a systematic and thorough process involving the examination of an incident or allegation, whether internal or external. Importantly, the Agency’s trained investigators conduct their duties in an independent, impartial, thorough, timely, discreet, and sensitive manner, at all times.


How the Public Can Help Us

Members of the public can help the JCA in its thrust to combat any form of corruption that threatens the integrity of Customs’ operations, by contacting the Agency’s confidential lines at 922-5141, extensions: 3401-3404 between 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.; or 922-1626, 898-8240 between 6:00 p.m. -12 midnight. You may also email: Information provided will be treated confidentially.



Customs House Weekly Series #16

Customs House Weekly Series #16

Jamaica Customs Enhances Customer Service Delivery:
Introduces Door-to-Door Clearance


The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) continues its thrust in improving its customer service capabilities, ultimately increasing the entity’s efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery. It with this objective in mind, that the JCA has introduced its ‘hassle-free’ Door-to-Door Clearance Service; a simplified process for clearing small shipments, at the Ports and airports.

  • So, what Is Door-to Door Clearance?
  • What Are the Requirements?
  • Why Use the Door-to-Door Service?
  • Who Can Utilise the Service?


The Door-to-Door Clearance Process

Importers can authorise Agents, Consolidators, Freight Forwarders or Licensed Customs Brokers to prepare, submit, and pay for a Simplified Declaration (IMS4). The responsible clearance agent can also complete the Customs clearance procedures to include delivery of the cargo at the importer’s (consignee) doorstep, upon request.

Persons who seek to clear personal items or shipments having a Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) value amounting to USD$5000 (Five thousand US dollars) or less, can use the Simplified Declaration (IMS4). The IMS4 should be prepared, submitted and paid for at the most convenient Customs Office or where the goods are physically located.



Authorised representatives, including Brokers must have an Advance Deposit Account with the JCA, in order to submit Simplified Declarations. All users must also be in possession of an active ASYCUDA login account. After making an electronic submission and paying the cost for the IMS4, the importer or his/her representative, must present a copy of the Assessment Notice to facilitate the timely retrieval and processing of the Declaration.


Why Use Door-to-Door Service?

  • Importers/Consignees, Declarants will spend significantly less time at the Ports and at Customs.
  • A Simplified Declaration is submitted in advance and consignees may choose to have cargo delivered at the Port or at their doorstep.
  • Agents and Customs Brokers can pay immediately at their office using the Advance Deposit payment option.
  • Authorised agents or representatives can satisfy all Customs formalities and deliver duty paid and cleared shipments for their clients at their door step or wherever it may be convenient.
  • The clearance time is faster and there is less Customs intervention.


Who Can Utilise the Service?

The following categories of persons are allowed to submit Simplified Declarations on behalf of importers/consignees who duly authorise them to act on their behalf:

  • Licensed Customs Brokers.
  • Cargo reporters such as Freight Forwarders, Consolidators and other agents who are registered with Jamaica Customs to submit IMS4.
  • Other representatives/Declarants who are registered with Jamaica Customs.


Importers or their representatives must verify that a Simplified Declaration is complete and accurate. If a Declaration is found to be incomplete, erroneous, false or in need of amendment, the normal Customs procedures and practices will apply.


For further information on Door-to-Door Clearance, you may contact the JCA’s ‘Help Desk’ at e-mail:; telephone: 922-5140, extensions: 3030, 3126, 3127 or 3133.

Customs House Series #14

Customs House Series #14

Jamaica Customs Uses Risk-based Approach in Protecting Borders, Fostering Compliance

As the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) continues its thrust of improving efficiency and service delivery through the use of the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), a key priority of the organisation is its ability to identify and combat risks that could serve to undermine the border protection capabilities of the Agency. The entity has also taken a risk-based approach in ensuring compliance among its clients/customers.

  • 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 Jamaica Customs Agency 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;
  • Monitoring the application of risk management remedies across the organisation.


The 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 further provide data to assist in the assessment and treatment of the risks identified.

For instance, data retrieved from the JCA’s Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), is analysed to ensure that the highest levels of risks to our borders are targeted. Several indicators are used in this regard, to comprise: who, what, when, where, how and why.


Risk Management Impacting Border Protection and Fostering Compliance

The JCA has placed risk management at the heart 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.

The entity has sought to integrate risk management elements in all facets of its operations in order to ensure that it operates in alignment with international standards and best practices as outlined in the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC), the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards and the Revised Arusha Declaration.


The JCA’s Agency Risk Management Policy (2014) speaks to the following areas:

  • Application of risk management techniques which will strengthen the resilience of the organisation and ensure integrity and ethics standards are being 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 of functional responsibility and are able to systematically identify, analyse, prioritise and develop treatment programmes to mitigate those risks.    
  • Provision of suitable and timely training for staff; the adoption of the latest Customs technologies, automation of key Customs processes and increased reliance on post 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 as seen in the revamped Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programme and the implementation of ASYCUDA World. Through the use of effective post audit techniques, the Agency is able to reward compliant traders by providing greater predictability and faster processing of cargo. ASYCUDA World allows for the full integration of risk management, post clearance audit and an electronic manifest system which meets the needs of the Agency and its stakeholders.


Customs House Weekly Series #13

Customs House Weekly Series #13


Do you wish to import items by air, sea or post; here are some tidbits you may find useful:


  • Passengers 18 years and older have a duty free allowance of US$500 for personal imports
  • The duty free allowance (US$500)  covers both accompanied and unaccompanied baggage
  •  Minors are not entitled to the US$500 duty free allowance



  • Television – 40.732%
  • Computer – 17.432%
  • Clothing – 40.732%
  • Cellular phone – 26%



  • The C27 form is valid for two months from the date the passenger lands in Jamaica.
  • It is issued only to arriving passengers who have unaccompanied baggage.
  • This form (C27/Yellow) cannot be used to clear commercial or charitable items.



  • Bill of Lading /Airway Bill
  • Government issued identification, such as a valid passport
  • Taxpayer Registration Number – TRN
  • Unaccompanied Baggage Declaration (C27/Yellow) Form, if applicable



  • Where necessary, import permits must be obtained before the goods arrive in Jamaica.
  • Import rates can be obtained from the Jamaica Customs Agency’s Customer Service Team prior to purchase.
  • A proper invoice must be presented when clearing items purchased overseas.



  • The import rates for motor cars and SUVs are determined by the cc rating/engine size of the vehicle.
  • The import rates for pick-up are determined by the unladen weight.
  • An Import Licence must be obtained from the Trade Board Limited
  • The clearance of all motor vehicles must be done by a licensed Customs Broker.



  • Organisations registered under the Charities Act will not pay Import Duties or General Consumption Tax (GCT) on approved goods imported for charitable purposes
  • Motor vehicles imported for charity will be exempt from Special Consumption Tax (SCT)



  • Personal imports with a FOB (free on Board) value of US$50 or less will not be subject to import charges.
  • Goods imported for commercial use will be subject to import charge, regardless of the FOB value.
  • There are no taxes or duties levied on exports. However, Customs Processing Fee of JA$3005 is applicable.
  • All exporters of commercial goods are required to register with Jamaica Promotion (JAMPRO).


Contact the Customer Service Team at Jamaica Customs:

  • For all customs related enquiries and procedures
  • If you wish to comment on our service
  • If you have suggestions on how we can serve you better

Telephone: 1(876) 922-5140-8 extensions 3148, 3149, 3009 or 3497


Customs House Series #12

Customs House Series #12

ASYCUDA World – Reforming Jamaica Customs

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) has re-engineered its business and operating processes towards achieving greater efficiency, with the full implementation of the Automated System for Customs Data, ASYCUDA World, at its various locations, the start of the 2016/17 fiscal year.

  • So, what is ASYCUDA World?
  • How does it impact the operations of the JCA?
  • What are the benefits?  
  • How is it funded?



ASYCUDA is a web-based application that allows clients of the JCA, including Customs Brokers & Shipping Agents, to undertake e-transactions such as the submission of manifests, declarations, payments, and documents. ASYCUDA was designed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), aimed at assisting with Customs reform. ASYCUDA is the leading system for Customs modernisation worldwide, with ASYCUDA World being the latest version.

The primary purpose of ASYCUDA is to help countries facilitate trade by strengthening the capacity of Customs administrations to carry out their operations more effectively. ASYCUDA accelerates Customs clearance and simplifies procedures through computerisation.


How does it impact the operations of the JCA and our partners?

The implementation of ASYCUDA World is in keeping with strategy of the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) to engender greater efficiency and high performance among public sector entities.  For instance, the system provides the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) with direct and real-time electronic access to data on imports and exports, transshipment and other areas, thus significantly reducing or altogether eliminating the need for the entity to manually peruse documents covering these areas.

This technology-driven system simplifies and standardises procedures for customers, reduces waiting time, provides more accurate and consistent tax calculations, and addresses revenue leakage, through enhanced system controls and accountability.


What are the benefits of ASYCUDA World?

Prior to ASYCUDA World, importers and brokers were required to physically submit for processing, paper-based documentation. With the implementation of this system, stakeholders can make electronic submissions of their declarations and other supporting documents. This has resulted in significant reduction in costs for the Agency and our clients.


Some of the Benefits Include:

  • Comprehensive review of business processes in order to simplify procedures for customers by removing bureaucratic processes and bottlenecks where possible.
  • Reduction of waiting time for commercial importation due to removal of hardcopy requirements.
  • Provision of more accurate and consistent tax calculations.
  • Automated control of Trade Agreements through validation of allowable commodities.
  • Integration of Customs with other trade regulatory agencies. Reduces time for documentary review, thereby expediting declaration processing.
  • Improvement of ‘Business to Business’ (B2B) logistics through the Port Community system (PCS) as ASYCUDA will be tightly integrated with the PCS allowing for efficient logistics management.
  • More efficient and speedier preparation of large declarations with multiple items by the brokers.
  • Reduction in travelling costs to clients as a significant number of commercial declarations processed do not need the Broker and/or importer to visit Customs House as before; the declaration is submitted and paid online.
  • Efficiency gained from automatic write-off of permits/licences through integration with the e-Trade system.
  • Better Integration with Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) through data sharing and validation.


How is the JCA’s ASYCUDA project funded?

The project is funded by the Government of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank. For queries about the project, or for assistance with the system, our clients are invited to contact the JCA at 750-3030 or 922-5140-8. You may also email

Customs House Series #11

Customs House Series #11 

The Customs Valuation Process

Are you importing goods?
Do you disagree with the assessment of values that was done?
Do you know the steps to be taken in requesting a re-assessment value of the imported goods?

The Jamaica Customs Agency reminds importers, that in keeping with World Customs Organisation (WCO) standards, an importer  has the 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 Customs’ Valuation Verification Unit. This unit is located at Customs House, Myers’ Wharf, Newport East, Kingston 15.

Customers who are asking for a review to be done by the Valuation Verification Unit should submit all relevant documentation to the Valuation Unit. These include:

  • Store receipts
  • Bank receipts
  • Wire transfers  
  • Credit/debit card receipts, etc. along with the referral notice mentioned above.
  • Email correspondences

Valuations are done as quickly as possible, usually, within less than four (4) hours, at no cost to the client. It is important for importers to cooperate with the Customs Agency during the initial review process. If an importer is still not satisfied, that individual or entity can 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:

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

The Customs Valuation methods are based on the 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


For details on the various methods and matters relating to valuation, please visit:


Customs House Series #9

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.


Common Breaches

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


Helpful Tips

  • 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. 

Further Reminders

  • 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.
  • Invoice
  • Bill of Lading or Air Way Bill
  • C27 (Unaccompanied Declaration Form)
  • C86 (Goods Declaration Form)


Customs House Series #8

Customs House Series #8

‘Do Not Get Fleeced’
Steps for Purchasing Goods or Motor Vehicles on Auction by Jamaica Customs

The Christmas season naturally brings with it higher levels of commercial activity than at other times of the year, and traditionally people engage in making gift purchases for themselves, families and friends.

Being cognisant of this, the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), reminds members of the public to be very vigilant and to always check to ensure that a sale is legitimate, before spending their hard-earned money.

Earlier this year, it came to the attention of the JCA that fraudsters were using email and telephone channels to lure members of the public to purchase motor vehicles that were reportedly on auction by the entity. The JCA therefore urges, that if you are being lured into such a scheme, that you should immediately report the matter to the police, as well as to the Agency.

Against this background:

  • What should you know about motor vehicle auctions done by the JCA?
  • What are the steps for participating in a public auction?
  • What documents are required for participating in an auction?
  • What does the law stipulate?

The JCA will not sell any item or good, outside of the guidelines that are laid out in the Customs Act and its Regulations.

Any item placed on auction, such as a motor vehicle, which is not sold at that auction is put up for resale by the JCA, at a subsequent auction. Additionally, all motor vehicles are sold through competitive bidding and no individual bidder is accorded special privilege; therefore the Agency will at no time use email or telephone as channels to advertise public auctions. Public auctions are advertised in the newspapers as well as on the JCA’s website.

What Are the Steps for Participating in a Public Auction?

  • Public Auctions are advertised in the newspapers one month prior to the date of the auction sale.
  • Payments – cash or managers’ cheque must be paid directly at the Jamaica Customs Agency Cashier on the day of the auction. At no time, should persons make payments to any person or entity, outside of this payment format. 
  • Cheques must be written in the name of the ‘Collector of Customs’.
  • Prospective bidders must register directly through the JCA. Registration takes place at the Queen’s Warehouse – 230 Spanish Town Road; Queen’s Warehouse – Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA); Queen’s Warehouse – Sangster International Airport (SIA); Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.  Registration closes at 3:00 p.m. on the day before an auction.

What are the Required Documents?

  • Two (2) passport sized photographs
  • Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) Card
  • Valid Identification – ID (Driver’s Licence, Passport or Electoral ID)
  • Bidder’s registration fee of Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00). The bidder will be issued with a Bidder’s Registration Card which expires on December 31st of each year.


Third party bidding is not allowed. This means that an individual cannot use another person’s registration card to bid. Each bidder must have his/her own card. 

What Does the Law Say?

The Customs Act affords the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) the authority to auction items to the public, including motor vehicles, which would have remained in its warehouse for a protracted period of time.

Section 88, sub-sections 1 & 2 of the Customs Act outlined below, specifies the process by which goods deposited within a Queen’s Warehouse shall be sold.

  1. Section 88 (1)  of the Customs Act states that “where under the provisions of this Act any goods are required to be deposited in a Queen’s Warehouse and such goods are of a perishable nature, then it shall be lawful for the Commissioner, notwithstanding, such provisions, to sell the same forthwith by public auction; and if such goods though not perishable, are of a kind not permitted by any other provision of  law to be deposited in a Queen’s Warehouse, it shall be lawful for the Commissioner, notwithstanding such provisions to sell the same by public auction after fourteen days’ notice by publication in the Gazette.”
  2. Section 88 (2) of the Customs Act states: “where any goods are deposited in a Queen's Warehouse under the provisions of this Act and the same are not entered for warehousing or delivery from such Queen's warehouse within three months after such deposit, or within such further period as the Commissioner may direct, and all charges for removal, freight and rent and all other expenses incurred in respect thereof duly paid, such goods may be sold by public auction after one month's notice being given by publication in the Gazette.”

The Commissioner of Customs further advises that the “further period” that will be allowed is up to seven (7) days prior to the date of the auction.  


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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