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Documents required to import motor vehicles

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Q: I am contemplating importing a motor vehicle. Is there an age limit on vehicles I can import? Also, what documents do I need?

A: There are age limits for different categories of motor vehicles, which are as follows:

* Pickups — six years

* Motor cars — five years

* Trucks, trailers and other heavy-duty equipment — 10 years

Documents required

You must get an import licence from the Trade Board before making arrangements for the shipping of the vehicle to Jamaica. You will also need the services of a customs broker to import the vehicle.

Additionally, you will also need the title, which is the document issued to the owner of the vehicle by the Government of the country where the vehicle was purchased. The bill of lading/order should be obtained from the shipping agent with details about the vehicle, the date it came to the island and the port of entry.

An invoice from the supplier is also required as well as a bill of sight, which has the details of the motor vehicle. It is prepared and signed by the Broker and certified by Jamaica Customs. The Tax Compliance Certificate (TCC) is also required and can be obtained from Tax Administration Jamaica.

Finally, you will need an import entry form (C87). This is the primary import document on which all the particulars of the motor vehicle, including the name of the importer, shipping information and the duties are recorded. Only a licensed customs broker should complete this form and submit it to customs.

When clearing customs, persons should remember that under-invoicing will result in a breach of the Customs Act. Such breaches attract penalties, including the possible forfeiture of goods.

Next week, we will continue with our discussion on motor vehicle importation, duties and values, and concessions.

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.