Press Release

JAMAICA CUSTOMS AGENCY (JCA) TELEPHONE LINES ARE TEMPORARILY DOWN

July 2, 2019

JAMAICA CUSTOMS AGENCY (JCA) TELEPHONE LINES ARE TEMPORARILY DOWN

 

The Jamaica Customs Agency is advising our customers that the telephone lines at our Head Office at Myers Wharf, Newport East, Kingston are down. Our service provider is aware of the situation and is working to resolve same, as quickly as possible.

In the interim, our customers may contact us at 876-948-7849 or via email at quick.response@jca.gov.jm or public.relations@jca.gov.jm or imu@jacustoms.gov.jm or helpdesk@jca.gov.jm or visit our website www.jacustoms.gov.jm for information.

The JCA is committed to providing the best quality service to our clients and apologise for the inconvenience caused. We will provide further updates as soon as the lines become operational.

 

For Additional Information, Contact:

La Donna Manning

Director of Public Relation and Customer Services

Tel: 876-550-9600

Email: ladonna.manning@jca.gov.jm

 

Natalee Cameron

Customer Service Manager

Tel: 876-948-7849

Email: natalee.cameron@jca.gov.jm

 

 

 

Jamaica Customs Heads to St. Mary – for Parish Engagement – June 27, 2019

 

 

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) recognises that strong partnerships with its stakeholders, through public education, and other awareness building initiatives can have a transformational impact on compliance. It is against this background that the JCA embarked on one of its most innovative stakeholder engagements, “Customs Meets the Community” (CMC), under the theme: ‘Reaching Our Customers Where They Are.’

The “Customs Meets the Community” parish engagement series are being held in order that the Agency can communicate more effectively with its customers, in keeping with its thrust to inform and educate stakeholders about Customs policies and procedures, and other Customs-related matters.

For its eighth stop in this series, the JCA will be placing the spotlight on the parish of St. Mary, where it will be hosting a Mini-expo and a Town Hall Meeting, at the St. Mary’s Anglican Church Hall, Port Maria, on Thursday, June 27, from 1:00p.m – 6:00p.m.

The Town Hall Session, slated to begin at 3:00p.m., will be streamed online (live) by the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), thus allowing persons locally and internationally to actively participate in the session.

CMC helps the JCA to connect with a diverse range of Jamaicans including political representatives, housewives, farmers, entrepreneurs, as well as with schools, churches, charity groups, and community-based organisations, within the visited parish.

This initiative allows the JCA to more effectively inform, educate and increase the awareness of its customers with regard to Customs policies and procedures, and other Customs-related matters. This is augmented by our collaborative approach, which includes the engagement of other Border Regulatory Agencies to participate in these sessions. Importantly, the forum provides the opportunity for participants to ask questions, state their concerns and give their feedback. The initiative is done in collaboration with the Social Development Commission (SDC).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamaica Customs to Visit the ‘Sunshine City’ of Portmore - March 27

On Wednesday, March 27, 2019, the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) team will disembark in the ‘Sunshine City’ of Portmore, St. Catherine for its seventh “Customs Meets the Community” Parish Engagement, to be held at the Portmore HEART/NTA Academy, in Waterford.

This is the second stop for the Customs Team in the parish of St. Catherine. The team first visited the parish (Spanish Town) in August 2017.

The “Customs Meets the Community” 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 about Customs policies and clearance procedures, and other Customs related matters. The Portmore leg of the Engagement will focus on clearing items by courier, and provide other general information that may be relevant to participants/attendees.  

The event will be streamed live from the Portmore HEART Academy and persons are encouraged to tune in (online platforms) for the presentations. The Agency is also encouraging persons with disabilities to participate in the event by attending, as well as logging on to the Social Media Platforms of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), which will be streaming the event. A Sign Language Interpreter will be on hand to facilitate effective dialogue with persons who are hearing impaired or deaf. The Agency recently hosted its first ‘Community Meets the Communit - The Diaspora Edition Online’ Series, which targeted the Jamaican Diaspora.

Since the introduction of its Parish Engagements, the Agency has taken a collaborative approach in educating its stakeholders, and has partnered with its border and regulatory agencies including the Plant Quarantine Unit, the Pesticides Control Authority, the Department of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies, the Agriculture Incentives Unit, the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office – JIPO, and the Post and Telecommunications Department (Parcels Post/Central Sorting Office). The Agency has also partnered with the Social Development Commission (SDC), which has assisted with mobilisation efforts.

Since May 2017, the Customs team has visited the parishes of St. Elizabeth, St. Catherine, Portland, St. Ann, Westmoreland and Clarendon, where the sessions were received with great appreciation by participants. 

 

 

 

Jamaica Customs Crosses Borders to Reach the Jamaican Diaspora – Entity to Host Online Forum

In its thrust to expand its scope and reach its stakeholders in the Diaspora more effectively, the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, will on Monday, March 11, 2019, host the inaugural staging of ‘Customs Meets the Community – The Diaspora Edition Online’.

This stakeholder engagement will take the form of an online town hall meeting, to be driven by a network of online users from across the Diaspora (United Kingdom, United States of America and Canada), who are being invited to join the discussion through online platforms provided by the Gleaner and Nationwide 90FM. These platforms can also be accessed at the Jamaica Customs Agency website: www.jacustoms.gov.jm.

A number of border regulatory agencies and government entities, including the National Education Trust (NET), Health for Life and Wellness Foundation, and the Department of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies (DCFS), will also be part of this online forum.

Matters to be discussed include clearing items for charity for the health and education sectors, as well as the concessions available to Jamaicans returning home permanently.

La Donna Manning, Director of Public Relations and Customer Services at the JCA, said that “while the Agency has previously undertaken live streaming of some events, this online meeting will specifically target stakeholders in the Diaspora, in an effort to provide information and clarity on Customs policies and clearance procedures, and importantly, garner their feedback.”

In May 2017, the JCA started its public education series Customs Meets the Community’, an initiative which has allowed the Agency to better connect with, and reach stakeholders at the parish level, as encapsulated in the tagline ‘Reaching Our Customers Where They Are’

Since then, the Agency has left footprints in the parish capitals of Santa Cruz, Spanish Town, Port Antonio, Ocho Rios, Savanna-La-Mar and May Pen. The Customs team will make its next stop in the ‘Sunshine City’ of Portmore, on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

The JCA continues to invite customers both home and abroad, to contact its Customer Service Representatives at Telephone: 876 922-5140-8; Toll Free: 888-287-8667; or by Email: public.relations@jacustoms.gov.jm, if they require clarity on any Customs related matter.

 

 

 

JAMAICA CUSTOMS SAYS FLYER IN SOCIAL MEDIA IS ERRONEOUS - CAUTIONS PUBLIC AGAINST AUCTION SCAMMERS

Saturday, December 1, 2018

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is advising customers and the general public that a flyer purporting auctions to be undertaken by the Agency that is circulating on Social Media, did not originate with the Agency and bears false and erroneous information.

In this regard, persons are urged to desist from further circulating this flyer or share its contents.

In keeping with the Customs Act, all auctions relating to motor vehicles and general merchandise, are officially advertised by the Agency by way of print media, as well as posted on the Agency's website: www.jacustoms.gov.jm.

By law, all public auctions are advertised in the newspaper, thirty (30) days prior to the date of the auction sale and all payments – cash or Managers’ Cheque must be paid directly at the Jamaica Customs Agency Cashier on the day of the auction. All cheques must also be written in the name ‘Collector of Customs’.

The JCA is further advising that at no time should persons make payments to any person or entity, outside of these accepted payment channels.

Additionally, the Agency will at no time, use an email or flyer to communicate to anyone or the public, regarding auction sales. 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.

All motor vehicles are sold through a competitive bidding process and no individual Bidder is accorded special treatment.

All persons wishing to participate in an auction must register through the JCA. Registration takes place at the Queen’s Warehouse - 230 Spanish Town Road; Queen’s Warehouse - Norman Manley International Airport; and Queen’s Warehouse - Sangster International Airport (SIA); Monday – Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.  Registration of bidders closes at 3:00 p.m. on the day prior to an auction.

Applicants are required to submit the following:

  • Two (2) passport sized photographs
  • Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) Card
  • Valid government issued ID (driver’s licence, passport or electoral ID)
  • Bidder’s registration fee of Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00), after which the bidder will be issued with a Bidder’s Registration Card which expires on December 31st of each year.

Kindly contact the Jamaica Customs Agency's Customer Service Team at: quick.response@jacustoms.gov.jm or public.relations@jacustooms.gov.jm, or by telephone at 876-922-5140-8 (Mondays-Fridays) if you require any further information or clarification. The team stands ready to assist.

 

 

$3M DOLLARS WORTH OF COCAINE SEIZED AT SANGSTER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

As Jamaica’s chief border protection entity, the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) continues to make dents in the illicit drug trade, following the seizure of sixteen (16) packages of cocaine at the Sangster International Airport during the course of this week.

The seizure took place on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, by officers from the JCA’s Contraband Enforcement Team (CET) and from the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Narcotics Division, during a routine scanning operation of outbound cargo.

The examination revealed packages of cocaine weighing 2.18 kg concealed in eight (8) tins of Jack Mackerel with an estimated street value of JMD$3,117,400.00. Two (2) persons have been arrested in conjunction with the seizure.

The matter is currently being investigated by the Border Protection Unit of the Jamaica Customs Agency and the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

This week’s find, follows on the heels of a seizure at the Port of Kingston, on November 02, 2018, which saw the confiscation of fifteen packages of marijuana weighing 1,156.2 lbs with an estimated street value of five million dollars JMD$5,781,000.00.

 

 

 

Jamaica Customs Offers Clarity on the Importation of Mobile Phones

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is Jamaica’s principal border management entity, and its core mission of facilitating trade, optimising revenue collection and delivering high quality customer service, underpins the necessity for the Agency to conform to international best practices that govern Customs administrations worldwide.

As a core mandate, the Agency collects gazetted duties and taxes on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, on goods imported into the country. These gazetted duties and taxes are applied according to the First Schedule of the Customs Act (The Customs Tariff (Revision) (Amendment) Resolution, 2018), and other legislation such as the General Consumption Tax (GCT) Act and the Stamp Duty Act.

The JCA is also guided by international instruments of the World Customs Organization (WCO), as it relates to the classification of goods, such as the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System.

With respect to recent comments in the media, including social media, the Agency is reminding all importers that the duty structure on mobile telephones, whether purchased or gifted, is as follows:

  • Import Duty - 20%
  • General Consumption Act - 25%
  • Environmental Levy - 0.5%
  • Standard Compliance Fee - 0.3%

The above charges are calculated on the Cost, Insurance & Freight (CIF) value.  A Customs Administrative Fee (CAF) is also applicable to the clearance of goods.

Passengers, eighteen years and older, are reminded of their US$500 allowance that is given on all personal effects and household items.

The Agency continues to improve its customer service mechanisms, and implores customers to report all complaints, make queries, or give their feedback at the various online platforms available, including by email at: quick.response@jacustoms.gov.jm or public.relations@jacustoms.gov.jm; the Agency’s website at: www.jacustoms.gov.jm via Live Chat and the Customer Relationship & Feedback Platform. Customers may also call the Public Relations & Customer Service Unit at 876-922-5140-8; toll free 1-888-287-8667; or 876-948-7849.  

 

 

 

Jamaica Customs Agency Introduces “Express Cargo Clearance Process”

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is advising its customers and stakeholders that effective Monday, October 29, 2018, the entity is introducing its Express Cargo Clearance Procedure (ECCP) for the processing of personal (non-commercial) shipments.  This initiative will facilitate a more simplified process for the clearance of personal shipments with a value (Cost, Insurance & Freight - (CIF) below US$5000.00.

Express Cargo Clearance Process
Importers can authorise Clearing Agents (Consolidators, Freight Forwarders or Licensed Customs Brokers) to prepare, submit and pay for a Simplified Declaration (IMS4). The responsible Clearing Agents will now be allowed to complete the entire Customs clearance formalities, including delivery of the cargo/goods to the consignee, upon request.

Convenient Payment Options
Payment can be made at any Customs Office, including any of the offices where the goods are physically located. To maintain efficiency, Agents are encouraged to utilise the pre-payment/advance deposit account facility.

Benefits of ECCP

  •  Importers/Consignees, Declarants will spend significantly less time at the Ports.
  • A Simplified Declaration is submitted in advance to Customs, which results in speedier processing.
  • Agents and Customs Brokers can pay immediately upon submission from their offices, using the Advance Deposit payment option.
  • Authorised Agents or representatives can satisfy all Customs formalities, including paying duties and clearing shipments for their clients.

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

The Jamaica Customs Agency remains committed to its mandate of trade facilitation and continue to improve its business processes, in an effort to optimise efficiency and enhance client services.

For further information on Express Cargo Clearance, you may contact the JCA’s ‘Help Desk’ at e-mail: awinfo@jacustoms.gov.jm; Live Chat @ www.jacustoms.gov.jm; Telephone: 876-922-5140 extensions: 3030, 3126, 3127, 3133 or 876-750-3030.

 

 

 

Jamaica Customs – Makes Strides in Key Areas of Governance: Surpasses Revenue Targets in first two quarters of 2018/19 FY

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) stands firmly on its motto: “Country Above Self” and its core values of Customer-centricity, Accountability, Professionalism, Integrity and Transparency (CAPIT), and remains committed to its mandates of facilitating trade, protecting Jamaica’s borders and collecting revenue on behalf of the Government of Jamaica.

The JCA has sought ways to improve its overall efficiency as a public sector entity and has invested resources in several areas within the Agency, in order to improve its business and operational processes, and border protection capabilities, with the goal of achieving greater compliance in all areas.

The Agency also recognises that enhancing compliance is critical to protecting the nation’s purse and has instituted several mechanisms in support of this, to include improving its ICT capabilities (ASYCUDA World), allowing for greater accountability and transparency; expanding its trade facilitation initiatives; strengthening its internal assurance mechanisms in all areas of governance; and transforming the Agency’s legislative framework, as it pertains to the repealing and replacement of the Customs Act.

 

Revenue Collection

An Executive Agency since 2013, the JCA prides itself in being the second largest revenue collector for the Government and continues to play its part in keeping the economic wheels of Jamaica turning. Currently, the JCA contributes approximately thirty eight percent (38%) of the Government’s tax revenue.

At the end of the second quarter (April – September) of the fiscal year (FY) 2018/19, the JCA’s revenue outturn stood at $111.316B. This was approximately one point seven percent (1.7%) or $1.843B above the targeted collection of $109.472B, and ten percent (10%) or $9.709B over the previous year’s collection of $101.607B. In the last fiscal year, the Agency successfully collected $207.848B, surpassing the target by $0.075B or 0.04%. 

 

Trade Facilitation

Jamaica operates in a global space and must remain competitive in order that the country can continue to improve its performance ranking, regionally and internationally. Therefore implementing initiatives that are geared towards effective trade facilitation continues to be a major thrust for the JCA.  The Agency is cognisant of the need for the ease of flow of goods and passengers at the country’s borders which will result in a reduction of processing time and associated costs.

The JCA in addition to several Border Regulatory Agencies (BRAs) will benefit from the implementation of an Electronic Single Window (ESW) which will allow for the single submission of information by traders via an electronic gateway to all trade related and cross border government agencies, instead of submitting the same information multiple times to different government agencies. The ESW project started on August 2, 2018 and is expected to be completed within thirty six (36) months.

In addition, the JCA has been undertaking several initiatives to reduce the clearance time for goods and passengers, some of which include:

  1. Collaboration with Border Regulatory Agencies, ports and warehouse keepers in improving efficiencies at the port.
  2. Implementation of an Express Cargo Clearance Process (ECCP) which is a simplified process for clearing small personal shipments from the ports and public bonded facilities.
  3. Piloting of flexible working shifts to facilitate declaration processing on a twenty-four (24) hour basis for several categories of goods.
  4. Sensitisation sessions to the private sector on the benefits of the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programme which is geared towards compliant traders. This allows for expedited declaration processing and clearance of goods with little to no physical inspection of cargo.
  5. Conducting tours and ‘walkthroughs’ of companies, manufacturing plants and operational areas to better understand their business operations to facilitate ease of doing business with the JCA.
  6. Expansion of the “Nothing to Declare” channels at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) to allow for the speedier flow of passengers.

 

Legislative Transformation

The proposed new Customs legislation will retain some of the provisions of the current Act and will introduce new provisions geared towards trade facilitation and international best practices.

Additionally, the area of risk-based compliance and selectivity in Customs processing or treatment will be part of the new Act, which is slated to be tabled in Parliament come March 31, 2019.

The new Act will allow for:

  1. Improved transparency – use of modern terms will increase the ease with which the legislation is read and understood.
  2. Improved dispute resolution – provision of administrative appeal processes for all Customs decisions.
  3. Increased predictability – introduction of binding advance rulings.
  4. Increased facilitation for compliance with Customs processes – persons with a record of compliance will benefit from added facilitation.

 

Compliance

It is crucial that the public has confidence in the integrity of the Agency, and as such, the JCA has instituted several anti-corruption measures to ensure transparency and accountability in all areas of governance. Among some of these measures are:

  • The security vetting of all Customs employees.
  • The establishment of Investigative Units (Investigation Unit, Internal Affairs Unit)
  • A structured rotation system for Customs Officials.
  • The Implementation of the Customs Automated System, allowing for transaction traceability.
  • The collaboration with other government entities in combating fraudulent activities.

With a highly trained and committed staff, the JCA will continue to play its part in undertaking its mandates and functions effectively, in keeping with Vision 2030: National Development Plan, where Jamaica will not only be the place of choice to live, work and raise families, but to also do business.

 

 

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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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