Clearing Customs at the airport

Clearing Customs at the airport

Thursday, November 08, 2012

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Q: How do I clear Customs at the airport? What are my allowances and what is the difference between the red and green lines?

A: After disembarking the aircraft and being processed by Immigration, passengers should proceed to the Customs/Baggage Hall. The use of cellphones is NOT allowed in the Customs Hall. Passengers should immediately collect their luggage from the designated carousel which is usually announced on the intercom and electronic screens.

When "Clearing Customs" at the airport, ensure that you have read and filled
out the Customs/Immigration Declaration Form (C5 - white form). Declare all items acquired abroad and the price paid for them. Please remember to sign the bottom of the form.

After retrieving your luggage from the carousel, you will either proceed to the red or green lines depending on the contents of your luggage. However, let us discuss your allowances first in order to be sure about which line you will join to be processed.


All passengers 18 years and older are allowed the following:

* US$500 duty-free
on household and personal effects;

* 170 ml bottle of perfume

* 340 ml bottle of eau
de toilette

* 2 litres of alcoholic beverages

* 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 230 grams of processed tobacco

Red line vs green lines

If you have not exceeded your allowances then you would proceed to the GREEN LINE or the NOTHING TO DECLARE line.

However, if you have exceeded your allowances or have unaccompanied baggage (meaning you have shipped items to arrive after you have landed) you MUST proceed to the RED LINE.

If you have shipped items (barrels, boxes, crates, pallets, etc) please remember to ask the customer service representative at the Information Desk for a C27 or yellow form. After completing this form, present it along with your C5 form and passport to the Customs officer at the top of the RED LINE.

Be reminded that even if you have nothing to declare in your luggage, as long as you have "unaccompanied luggage" you must proceed to the red line.

When you go to the sea port/wharf/air cargo to clear your "unaccompanied luggage" remember to bring the C27 (yellow form) as proof that you travelled. If you have not utilised your US$500.00 allowance in your accompanied luggage, your duty-free allowance will be transferred to the items you have shipped.

If you have "unaccompanied luggage" and did not complete a yellow form and cleared Customs through the GREEN LINE, when you go to clear your "unaccompanied items" your allowances will NOT be considered. This is because by going through the Green Line you claimed you had "nothing to declare".

Prior to Departure

Jamaican residents leaving the island with items such as laptops or camera equipment which they plan to take back on return to the island should register those with Customs prior to checking in their luggage at the airport.

Also, the export and subsequent re-importation of articles for repairs or modification are subject to duty charges on the value of the repair or modification done. Ensure a C43 form is complete before the item is exported.

After being processed by the Customs officer, passengers should exit the Customs Hall in a timely manner.

When "Clearing Customs" at the airport, passengers should remember that making a FALSE DECLARATION or declaring COMMERCIAL ITEMS as PERSONAL EFFECTS will result in a breach of Section 209 & 210 of the Customs Act and penalties will be levied and possible forfeiture of goods.

Feel free to ask our Customer Service Representatives stationed at the Information Desk in the Customs Hall for assistance.

For more information, visit the Jamaica Customs Department website,, where you can access live help by clicking on the 'Live Help' link or contact us through our 24-hour Quick Response Team at or 1-888-CUSTOMS.

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