If you are receiving a barrel this holiday season...

Customs House Weekly

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

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As the 2017 holiday season comes into sharp focus, it is the practice of many people overseas to start the process of shipping barrels to their relatives in Jamaica. It is also during the Christmas season that the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) sees a significant increase in commercial imports into the country, when compared to other periods of the year.

The Christmas season, undoubtedly, is the busiest time of year for the JCA, customs brokers, shipping agents, port operators, and other players along the supply chain, as the volume of domestic imports increases, particularly during December, which last year saw the JCA recording 9,548 domestic containers in December.

In this regard, the agency has already sought to prepare itself for another busy period, and will institute measures that will seek to improve our operational efficiency, and importantly, our clearance and processing times for both importers and air passengers, respectively.

Among the strategies to be instituted for the upcoming Christmas season are:

• Improving our service delivery by boosting our human resource capacity in key areas

• Collaboration with the port, terminal and warehouse operators

• Increasing our vigilance and border protection capabilities

• Intensifying our public education and customer engagement programmes

• Reviewing our work flow processes, allowing for greater efficiency.

Will you be receiving a barrel during this holiday season? Bear these clearance procedures in mind:

1. Collect your shipping documents from the shipping agent and pay the relevant handling and/or freight charges.

2. Proceed to the warehouse where your barrel is stored and pay the relevant handling and storage fees.

3. Present the shipping documents to the security personnel at the warehouse.

4. Once the barrel is located, the customs officer will request that you open the barrel for examination.

5. Following examination, the customs officer will value your goods and advise you to proceed to the customs cashier to pay the applicable duties/fees.

6. Present the release order to the warehouse operator who will issue a gate pass.

7. Proceed to the delivery area with your gate pass and collect your barrel.


• If you received an unaccompanied baggage clearance declaration (C27/yellow form) at the airport, present it along with your passport and Tax Payer Registration Number (TRN) card to the customs official at the warehouse.

• Barrels containing 'personal effects' (eg food, clothes, toiletries, basic household items) or 'non-commercial' items attract a minimum charge of $6,500 per barrel.

• If you are clearing a barrel on behalf of the consignee, you must present a letter of authorisation, signed and stamped by a Justice of the Peace. The consignee's TRN card and valid passport must be presented to the Ccustoms official (copied documents must be signed/stamped by a JP).




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