Personal and household effects are those personal items of clothing, adornment, toiletries, furniture and household equipment that are necessary to re-establish a home in Jamaica. a speecified amount of such items, whether new or used, may be imported fress of customs duty by an eligible Returning Resident.
Imported items in excess of the quantity allowed is dutiable.
If the value of items imported is in excess of the duty-free allowance of US$5,000 (five thousand US dollars), they will be dealt with as a separate customs entry and will require the services of a Licensed Customs Broker to effect their clearance.
The services of a professional shipper or freight forwarder may be acquired for the transportation of your personal and household effects and tools of trade. These items are classified as Unaccompanied Baggage. The shipper may recommend the services of a Licensed Customs Broker in Jamaica to clear and deliver the personal effects for a specified charge.
Any small household and other items carried as accompanied baggage, will be detained by Customs and are considered dutiable until eligibility for Returning Resident status has been confirmed by the Customs Department.
Tools of Trade are defined as follows:
That type and amount of instruments, tools, equipment, devices and machinery as would be usually used in the normal course and scope of a person's profession, trade or occupation without utilizing additional labour.
The Missions overseas or the Jamaicans Overseas & Consular Affairs Department will forward the documentation to Customs for review and determination. Once the process has been completed, the determination is conveyed in writing, including an indication of the duty payable, if the items do not qualify for duty exemption.
It should be noted that the formal assessment of customs duty or determination of compliance for duty-free importation of tools of trade can only be made by the Examination Officer on the clearance of the items.
Please note that a concession for Tools of Trade is granted to each qualified indivitual with a family.
There may be concessions and assistance available to those Returning residents who wish to establish a business that requires the importation of equipment other than those allowed as tools of trade. Interested persons are encouraged to contact the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Jamaica's Economic Development Agency.
Every effort should be made to clear personal and household effects, as well as tools of trade (unaccompanied baggage), as soon as possible. It should be noted that storage costs are payable for goods kept at the port for more than sever (7) days.
Import licences issued by the Trade Board Limited are valid for the duration of the financial year in which they are granted, that is, the period 1st April to 31st March of any given year or remaining portion thereof.
Please note that revisions to the law have facilitated the acquisition of new or used vehicles through an approved dealer or a certified used car dealer in Jamaica. This is an option that the Returning Resident may wish to explore.
An importer must obtain an Import License from the Trade Board BEFORE shipping the vehicle. The services of a Licensed Customs Broker must be secured to clear the vehicle on arrival, as an indivitual is not permitted to do this.
Copies of the identification documents must be certified by a Justice of the Peace/Notary Public or by a Consular Officer at any Jamaican Mission overseas.
The fee for the processing of the Import Licence is the equivalent of J$ 3,495 and is payable by cheque, money order or postal order to the Trade board Limited. This fee is non-refundable.
Applications are processed within twenty-four (24) hours of receipt by the trade Board and the licence is available for collection in Kingston or Montego Bay to which it was directed. The Import Licence must be collected in person: however, the Trade Board will facilitate delivery to a licensed Customs Broker acting on the importer's behalf, upon presentation of proper identification; or, to an individual with a letter of authorization from the importer and proper identification.
The penalty for importing a motor vehicle without a valid import permit is a fine equivalent to three (3) times the value of the vehicle, plus seizure of the vehicle.
The Licensed Customs Broker will be responsible for the clearance of the vehicle from the port of entry and will advise of the procedures, documets, and the costs involved for these services.
For a new motor vehicle, an estimate of the customs duty payable may be calculated by applying the relevant Aggregate Customs Duty rate to the value on the supplier's pro-forma invoice.
For used vehicles, the depreciated value applicable to the age and mileage of the vehicle can be referenced from the Glass' Guide - for vehicles being imported from the UK and Europe and the N.A.D.A Book - for vehicles being imported from North America.
For further information on the duty assessment process, please contact the Motor vehicle Unit of the customs Department.
After the vehicle has landed, the required documentation should be given to the Licensed Customs Broker. Once the documents have been processed by the Customs Department and found to be in order, the licensed Customs Broker will pay all the duties, taxes, and other charges on the importer's behalf.
Documents required for clearance of a motor vehicle include:
Insurance coverage for the motor vehicle is required prior to its clearance from the wharf. Once the vehicle has been cleared, it is necessary to obtain a Certificate of Fitness and registration plates prior to taking the vehicle on the road. The Certificate of Fitness is issued by the Motor vehicle Examination Depot. The registration of the vehicle and the purchase of the registration plates, as well as the application for the title of Ownership of the Vehicle are done at the revenue Service Centre/Tax Collectorate. All require the submission of the insurance cover note, the Certificate of fitness and the Import Entry documentation and attract a fee.
It should be noted that persons not in possession of a valid Jamaican driver's licence are permitted to drive on a valid overseas licence for one (1) year of until the overseas licence expires, whichever comes first, after which a Jamaican licence must be obtained.
In addition to the matters covered in detail in the previous sections, there are other points worthy of mention:
Jamaica utilizes the NTSC standard for television transmission, and the public electricity system supplies 110 volts @ 50 cycles. In the event of doubt or concern about the compatibility of an item, the supplier or appropriate expert should be consulted.