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Tips on importing a motor vehicle

Balford Henry

Friday, August 31, 2012

PLANNING to import a motor vehicle into Jamaica? It is advisable to check the Jamaica Customs website for information on the documents required to facilitate the process, and what you need to do to ensure a smooth processing.

It is easy, too: simply go to the Jamaica Customs website and click on Importing a motor vehicle. At the very outset, the site warns that if you intend to import a motor vehicle, you must first apply to the Trade Board for an import licence, and ensure you get the licence before making arrangements for the shipment of the vehicle to Jamaica.

The import licence is issued by the Trade Board, authorising the importation of the motor vehicle.

Documents you will need:

• Title: A document issued to the owner of the vehicle by the Government of the country where the vehicle was purchased.

• Bill of Lading: Order obtained from the shipping agent, with information about the particulars of the vehicle, the date it landed in the island and the port of entry.

• Invoice: An invoice from the supplier is required for all motor vehicles

• Bill of Sight: This is a document on which details of the motor vehicle to be imported are recorded. It is prepared and signed by the broker and certified by Customs.

• Tax Compliance Certificate: Obtained from the Tax Administration Certificate Services Department.

• Import Entry from (C87): This is the primary import document on which all the particulars of the motor vehicle, the name of the importer, shipping information and the duties are recorded. It is completed by the broker and submitted to Customs. Only a licensed Customs Broker should complete this form.

In determining the value of motor vehicles, the Customs recognises the WTO Agreement which requires that invoices be presented to Customs, from which the value for duty will be derived.

Another important thing to note is the age limit for the importation of motor vehicles:

• For pickups – six (6) years;

• For motor cars – five (5) years;

• Trucks, trailers and other heavy duty equipment - Ten (10) years.

•The age limit for buses to be used in the transportation sector will be determined by the Ministry of Finance and Planning. Age limit for buses to be used in the transportation sector will be determined by the Ministry of Finance. Import Duty, Special Consumption Tax and General Consmption Tax is compounded. The processing fee and environmental levy is included in the aggregate duty.
For further information contact the Trade Board at 967-0507 or 967-0674.