Commercial importation

Commercial importation

Thursday, November 15, 2012

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Q: What are the steps involved in clearing commercial shipment?

A: Clearing commercial shipment will require the services of a customs broker. You may refer to the Jamaica Customs website for a listing of approved brokers or contact the Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association of Jamaica (CBFFAJ), or the Customs Brokers Society of Jamaica (CBSJ).

Step 2: The broker will prepare an Import Entry Form (C87) using an appropriate invoice. A proper invoice should have the following information:

* The name, address and country of the supplier

* The name, address and country of the buyer

* An invoice number and date

* Port of lading

* Means of transport, eg, sea /air

* Country of final destination

* Should be written in English

* A detailed description of the item

* Unit price and total invoice amount

* The quantity of item(s)

* Delivery term, ie CIF, FOB, etc.

* The currency in which the sale was transacted.

Step 3: The completed Import Entry Form (C87) with supporting documents (invoices, permits, licences, bill of lading/airway bills) must then be taken to the Lodgement Desk at Custom House for the data to be captured.

Step 4: The Entry Form (C87) will then be forwarded to the Invoice Branch for further processing. If there are no anomalies, the entry will
be passed.

Step 5: Pay the relevant duties to the Customs cashier. You have the options of electronic payment (e-payment), or over-the-counter payment (cash, debit/credit card, or manager's cheque). A new policy implemented on November 1 has limited all cash payments to $2 million. Duty payments for transactions in excess of $2 million must be made via
e-payment, debit/credit cards, or manager's cheques.

Step 6: The documents should then be taken to the Customs Manifest Branch where the clearance documents will be stamped and returned to you.

Step 7: Present validated bill of lading/airway bill to the warehouse keeper where goods are stored for you to be located.

Step 8: When the goods are located they will be placed in the designated examination area for inspection by a customs officer. The officer will check the shipment against the clearance documents presented to ensure that the items invoiced are the ones imported. If there are no discrepancies then the officer will issue a Customs Release. The release, along with the bill of lading/airway bill, should be presented to the gate pass officer who will issue a gate pass. The goods can now be removed from the warehouse.

In the event of an anomaly

Step 9: If there are discrepancies, the clearance documents will be sent back to Customs House with the appropriate report for action to be taken. This may include the payment of additional duties, which would necessitate the preparation of a citation for a breach of the Customs Act (De-novo entry) and the signing of the Consent Form A.

Step 10: If it is determined that additional duty is payable, instructions will be given to return to Customs House for additional duty to be calculated and paid. The receipt for additional duty paid should be taken back to the releasing officer, after which a Customs Release will be issued.

For the preparation of an import entry and for the classification of goods, a Customs Act, Customs Tariff (Revision) (Amendment) Resolution, 2007 is required. This can be purchased at the Jamaica Printing Services at
77 1/2 Duke Street in downtown Kingston.

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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