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Waivers for charitable items

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Q: An organisation abroad wants to send five barrels of food to my church for our HELP Ministry. How do I get a waiver for these items?

A: Thank you for contacting the Customs Department before the goods are imported. This will eliminate delasy when the shipment gets to the port.

In applying for a waiver, the organisation abroad must send you a letter stating their intent to send these items for your church's charity. They will also need to state the estimated cost of the goods (proof of this with invoices is beneficial to the process).

The next step is to write a letter to the deputy financial secretary of taxation at the Ministry of Finance and Planning (30 Heroes' Circle, Kingston 4) requesting a waiver for these items. This letter should be accompanied by the correspondence from the donor and the estimated cost of the goods.

When the submission is made, the relevant office at the ministry will seek the finance minister's approval for the request. If approved by the minister, an advisory will be sent to the Revenue Protection Division, which will then send an electronic version of the waiver to the Ministry of Finance and print the waiver certificate to be batched for dissemination to your church. The Jamaica Customs Department will also be sent a notation of the waiver for when clearance is being done.

If the waiver request is denied, a denial document will be prepared advising your church of the reason.

Please be reminded that the granting of waivers is a discretionary process and it is not a guarantee that you will be given approval.

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.