Committed to ensuring that its various stakeholders, including Returning Residents, were able to readily access the agency’s services during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) introduced several new measures, including the automation of the Returning Residents process, allowing for greater efficiency in service delivery.
In 2020, the JCA embarked on automating the application process for Returning Residents and Returning Students to facilitate more ease and efficiency, allowing passengers to access their benefits before travelling.
Using the Online Portal, residents are able to upload the necessary documentation, view their progress regarding their requested Returning Resident Status, as well as receive provisional approval.
Manager of the Returning Residents Unit, Alicia Allen, shared that before the automation of the Returning Residents process, applicants had to be in Jamaica, attend a face-to-face interview, confirm their approval and then proceed to ship. “By automating the Returning Residents’ application, the applicant is no longer required to physically report to the JCA’s office to attend interviews, saving them both time and money. Now, the customer is able to know prior to their arrival in Jamaica, if they qualify for the benefits of a
Returning Resident/Student so they are able to make arrangements concerning the shipment of their items,” she further stated.
Having automated this process, those benefitting from this status have given the JCA ‘the thumbs up’. Marcel Anderson, a Returning Resident, who returned home after residing abroad for over 10 years and benefitted from the Returning Residents’ status, shared his experience of the process. “The online application was very straightforward and the response from the Jamaica Customs Agency was prompt,” he said, further noting that the automation of most processes and receiving a certain standard of service in the first-world country he had resided was the practise.
This he said “tells me that the JCA is continuously improving its online processes to meet first world expectations and best practices.” His expectation is “for the agency to maintain this innovative momentum and acceleration in its use of modern technologies, which they have deployed to facilitate these online processes.”
Customers are reminded to be guided by the following steps in applying for Returning Resident/Student status:
- Visit the JCA’s website: www.jacustoms.gov.jm; complete the Registration Form.
- A username and password will be generated and shared via the email provided, allowing for the applicant(s) to access the application form.
- Once accessed, complete the application form, upload the relevant documents and click ‘submit’.
- The Returning Residents’ Unit will review the application and grant the approval once all requirements or criteria are met.
- The Returning Residents’ Unit will generate and issue an Exemption Notice for the applicant(s) to submit to their relevant Shipping Agent(s), which must be used on the Declaration, in order to access the relevant benefits provided (exempted items are gazetted).
For any additional informational on the JCA’s Returning Residents’ process, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 876 922 5140-8.