Press Release

Jamaica Customs Reminds Customers to Desist from Abusing Customs Officials

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is reminding passengers, importers and anyone who does business with the Agency to desist from behaving in a disorderly manner, verbally abusing or physically harming, or obstructing a Customs Official in carrying out official duties, as they may be liable for prosecution. 

This reminder comes against the background of a recent incident, which took place at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston, involving the assault of a Customs Official by two females, following the assessment of Customs duty. The assessment was calculated after one of the females, exceeded her US$500.00 duty-free allowance, an entitlement given to all passengers eighteen years and older.  In this regard, her other items would be subject to Customs duty.

The two females were subsequently charged for ‘Obstructing a Customs Officer’, ‘Assaulting a Constable’, ‘Disorderly Behaviour’, and ‘Using Indecent Language’ and appeared before the Kingston & St. Andrew Parish Court. The Defendants pleaded guilty to three (3) offences and were each fined, $100,000.00 or three (3) months imprisonment for Obstructing a Constable, and $10,000.00 or thirty (30) days imprisonment for Disorderly Behaviour. 

The JCA takes this opportunity to encourage persons to use peaceful means to resolve differences and reminds our customers that, should a disagreement arise as to the assessment of any Customs duty or charges, a request may be made for a re-assessment by a Supervisor. If they are dissatisfied with the re-assessment of the Supervisor, the JCA encourages the use of the Appeals Process through our Valuation and Verification Unit located at our head office – Myers’ Wharf, Newport East, Kingston.

We thank all our customers for their business and look forward to their cooperation.

 

 

Jamaica Sets Precedence – Customs Head Appointed Chairperson of WCO’S Capacity Building Committee

(From left) Ernani Checcucci, Director, Capacity Building Directorate; Immediate Past Chair, Per Arvid Nordli; Velma Ricketts Walker newly appointed Chair, Capacity Building Committee (CBC); Brenda Mundia, Deputy Director, Capacity Building Directorate; and Daniel Perrier; Vice Chair of the CBC.

 

In a precedence-setting move, CEO/Commissioner of the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), Mrs. Velma Ricketts Walker, has been elected by the membership of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) to serve as Chairperson of the WCO’s Capacity Building Committee (CBC). She has the distinction of being the first female chairperson of the CBC, and the first person from Jamaica and the Caribbean to hold the post. Mrs. Ricketts Walker vied for the post at the 9th Session of the WCO Capacity Building Committee (CBC), which was held in Brussels from 26 to 28 February 2018, under the theme “Smart Customs: The Gateway to High Performance and Sustainability.”

Mrs. Ricketts Walker will serve for a period of one (1) year and will be eligible for re-election. Canada will serve as Vice-Chair for the Committee, with Norway being the outgoing Chair. Previous chairpersons were from Canada, Brazil and Norway. The CBC enjoys wide membership support and comes in second, with over 200 participants, only to the WCO’s Annual General Council Meeting.

Jamaica has been a member of the WCO since 1963. The WCO has 182 members from across six (6) regions; namely the Americas and the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and the Pacific, Eastern and Southern Africa, Western and Central Africa and the Middle East and Northern Africa. The CBC has been gaining increasing support in recent times, as Customs administrations focus on modernization and capacity building, especially in light of their obligations under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which entered into force on February 22, 2017.

The CBC’s mandate is to initiate work and studies on capacity building to consider overall capacity building priorities, and to prepare guidelines, standards, tools and instruments to support capacity building objectives. It also provides a forum for cooperation and information exchange on development topics. These initiatives are informed by an annual needs assessment process carried out together by the WCO Secretariat and Member administrations, and supported by the Regional Offices for Capacity Building (ROCBs).

Since the last session of the CBC, held in March 2017, 492 capacity building missions have been conducted across all six (6) regions of the WCO, with more than 130 Members benefitting from this support. Jamaica has been benefitting from various capacity building initiatives including the WCO Knowledge Academy, WCO Fellowship Programme, various WCO Accreditation Workshops, WCO Time Release Study Workshop, WCO Strategic Planning Workshop, WCO Rules of Origin and Advance Rulings Workshop.

A near future engagement of the Jamaica Customs Agency is the WCO Mercator Programme, which aims to assist governments worldwide to implement trade facilitation measures, including the WTO TFA, in a uniform manner, through the use of WCO instruments and tools. Other future and current capacity building engagements the JCA will participate in include the human resource boosting Leadership and Management Development Programme (LMPD), WCO e-learning platform CLiCK! (Customs Learning and Knowledge Community), the Virtual Customs Orientation Academy (VCOA) and various scholarship programmes.

Other key areas of focus for the WCO’s CBC include building capacity in integrity, in order to adopt new methods and develop new tools to combat corruption and promote integrity; and gender equality and diversity. Gender equality and diversity is an area being given keen interest by WCO Members, resulting in the WCO’s participation in the “Women and Trade International Forum,” organized by the European Commission in Brussels. The Forum gathered policymakers, private stakeholders, and civil society organizations with the aim of promoting inclusive trade policies to promote women’s economic empowerment.

A Virtual Working Group on Gender Equality and Diversity is to be launched by the WCO Secretariat with the objective of gathering best practices on Gender Equality and Diversity initiatives implemented by Members and promoting the exchange of information in this field. Further, a special section of the WCO website has also been devoted to this topical issue. It is expected that work will continue under the CBC on these two very important areas, to the benefit of the Members, particularly Members from Developing and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), including Jamaica.

 

 

 

Jamaica Customs Improves Efficiency – C27 (Yellow) Form Now made Electronic

Jamaica Customs Improves Efficiency – C27 (Yellow) Form Now made Electronic


 

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) advises that effective Thursday, February 1, 2018, the Agency will be automating its processes which require the use of the C27 form, also known as the Unaccompanied Baggage Declaration or, ‘yellow form’.

This will allow for more efficient processing of passengers who have unaccompanied baggage. As at this date, hard copies of the ‘yellow form’ will no longer be issued to passengers.

Notwithstanding this procedural change, the Agency wishes to further advise that adult passengers 18 years and older, will still receive their US$500 duty free allowance on personal and household effects, not for resale or commercial use.  This change does not affect how Customs deals with the application and validity of this allowance.

It is important that passengers with unaccompanied baggage indicate this to the Customs Officer, prior to the examination of their luggage.

Additionally, passengers must present their Passport/Immigration Kiosk Receipt, at the point of clearance.

 

 

 

ASYCUDA World & Java 8 Update 161 Incompatibility

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) wishes to advise that JAVA Release (JAVA 8 update 161 - released January 16, 2018), is not compatible with ASYCUDA. If update is applied the application will experience login issues or the message “Network error, server not found” will be displayed.

If you updated your system with the new release (JAVA 8 update 161) kindly uninstall and reinstall JAVA 8 update 151. You can retrieve the JAVA 8 update 151 files from the following link: https://www.itechtics.com/java-8-update-151-offline-installer/

If you have not effected JAVA Release (JAVA 8 update 161), when prompted to do so please select LATER from the Java Update Pop-Up that appears (See below).

 

 

The JCA will advise when the compatibility issues are resolved and the new update can be installed.

We do apologies for any inconvenience caused to you our valued customers.

For further queries or assistance please contact our helpdesk at 750-3030 or 922-5140 extensions (3127, 3126, 3133, 3198). You can also email us at imu@jacustoms.gov.jm.

 

 

Jamaica Customs Advisory to Industry Partners & Clients

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is cognisant of the intermittent disruptions and resulting delays that our customers have been experiencing with the Automated Customs Management System. The Agency extends sincere apologies to our valued clients and business partners while we enhance our automated environment towards improved service delivery and user experience.

We wish to inform you that the JCA has undertaken activities to effect additional counter and corrective measures having identified some root cause resulting in the interruptions while we complete a comprehensive review and verification. We are actively working with our local and overseas service providers and having expended additional resources to resolve our issues.

In the coming days it is expected that maintenance works may be necessary during your normal working hours. We are asking for your anticipated understanding for such interruptions which are unavoidable as we make improvements in the various components of the system.

The Agency will be issuing further advisory regarding our progress in this matter as we continue with the improvements of the automated system. Read more...

 

 

Jamaica Customs Will Facilitate Extended Opening Hours at Seaport

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is advising its customers and stakeholders that it will be facilitating the clearance of containers at the Port of Kingston, for as long as the Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited (KFTL) remains opened for business.

This facilitation is in keeping with efforts to clear the back log of containers, which occurred as a result of recent strikes by haulage contractors and operators, who have since resumed duties at the Terminal.

The Jamaica Customs Agency is assuring its stakeholders that it is collaborating and working with the KFTL, its partners, and border agencies to effectively reduce and ultimately clear the back log of containers at the Port.

Read more...

 

 

 

Jamaica Customs Apologises for Clearance Delays

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) wishes to apologise for the delays and inconvenience experienced by our valued customers as a result of the interruptions of service from our internet service provider.

Please be advised that the JCA is working with the internet service provider to rectify the situation.

The JCA wishes to express our sincere appreciation to Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL) and other operators for extending their operation hours until 7:00 p.m. today.

The JCA sincerely regrets the negative impact this interruption caused, and is working assiduously to facilitate your clearance.

Read more...

 

 

 

 

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Jamaica Customs Agency

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

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Phone: 876 948 5151

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