Q: A barrel was sent to my grandmother who is old and unable to clear it herself. Can someone else clear it for her? If yes, what is the process?
A: The situation you have mentioned happens from time to time. Yes, another person can clear the barrel for your grandmother. However, that person would need to present a letter signed by your grandmother and notarised (certified) by a Justice of the Peace (JP) authorising him/her to clear the barrel on your grandmother's behalf.
The letter should include the name and identification number of the person who will be clearing the barrel. The person should also bring a copy of your grandmother's Tax Registration Number (TRN) card and a valid photo identification, such as a driver's licence or passport, which also must be certified by the same JP .
The flat rate of J$5,000 for barrels with personal effects (items that are used by an individual or their household) still applies. As of January 2, 2013 the rate will be increased to J$6,500.
The port operators and Jamaica Customs will be opened for select Saturdays in the month of December to allow our clients additional hours to clear their cargo. Customs House in Kingston (Newport East) will be opened on December 8, 15 & 22 from 8:30 am - 2:00 pm. Kingston Wharves Limited will also be opened on the above mentioned three Saturdays from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm. Universal Freight Handlers will be opened on December 15 & 22 from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm. Adolph Levy Brothers & Limited will only be opened on December 22 from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm.
The seaports in Montego Bay will open for additional hours as the need arises. Please be reminded that children are not allowed on the ports.
Meanwhile, clearings barrels can be made easier if the following steps are followed:
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), Customs Entry (C78X) and authorisation from your grandmother 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. 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, www.jacustoms.gov.jm, where you can access live help by clicking on the 'Live Help' link or contact us through our 24-hour Quick Response Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-customs.