Clearing Customs

Easy steps to clearing your barrels

Thursday, November 01, 2012    

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Q: The busy Christmas season is fast approaching and I will be receiving barrels of goods from my relatives abroad. What are the

correct steps to clear a barrel?

A: The Christmas season normally sees the clearance of thousands of barrels in just a short period of time. Clearing barrels can be a tedious experience if people are unfamiliar with the correct processes. There are eight simple steps in clearing barrels from all ports.

First of all, people need to understand that they should try to clear their barrels before the Christmas rush to eliminate unwarranted waiting periods due to the amount of cargo on the ports.

Also, do not take advice from people who claim they can make the process easier for you, as this often makes the process longer and more costly.

Step 1: Collect the bill of laden/airway bill from the shipping agent or freight forwarder.

Step 2: Present documents to port operator/warehouse keeper and pay handling and/or storage fee(s) where applicable.

Step 3: If you received a C27 form (yellow form) at the airport, take it along with your passport and Taxpayer Registration Number card to the customs supervisor at the berth or warehouse where your barrel is stored, for verification.

Step 4: Take the bill of laden, Customs Declaration (C86) and Customs Entry (C78X) to the Customs Manifest Area where your documents will be checked and verified by the customs manifest clerk.

Step 5: All the documents should then be taken to the security personnel at the warehouse where your barrel is stored; your barrel will be located and placed in the examination area. Please note that you should not open your barrel until you are instructed to do so by a customs officer.

Step 6: Your barrel will then be examined and the necessary duties applied. As of today, the flat rate on all personal effects barrels is $6,500.00. Personal effects refer to items that will only be used by an individual or their household. Therefore, the flat rate will not apply to barrels with items in commercial quantities.

When clearing customs, people should remember that making false declarations will result in a breach of Section 209 and 210 of the Customs Act. These breaches attract penalties and even the possible forfeiture of goods.

Step 7: Upon payment to the Customs cashier, a release form will be issued by the cashier which the customer will take to the Port's Gate Office for their gate pass to be printed.

Step 8: The customer will then take this gate pass and release form to the Delivery Area where their goods will be given to them and they will be able to take their goods off the premises.

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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