Help, I feel as if Customs robbed my iPhone!Wednesday, February 24, 2021
On December 15, 2020 I came into Jamaica from New York at Sangster International Airport. I had sent a package by mail and, therefore, had to declare goods at Customs.
There, as per regular protocol, my bags were searched. In my handbag, the officer found and confiscated my iPhone 12. The reason for confiscation was that it was valued over the US$500 limit, and I was fined $45,155.70.
My arrival was delayed for over an hour due to the tedious process of her preparing the documents for confiscation. As a result of the extremely high and exaggerated fee I had no choice but to leave my item there with the intention to collect it when I depart the country.
During my visit I inquired about the procedure to collect my phone on my departure and I was informed that I would not be able to collect my phone. No valid reason was given as to why that wouldn't be possible. I have called, written e-mail, contacted other immigration officers, and none can give a reason I'm unable to receive my phone.
As far as I am concerned, it is normal for visitors to regain their confiscated items when they are leaving the country, since technically the item had not entered the country.
I left Jamaica on January 22, 2021 and went to the Customs office at Sangster International. I was told I still won't be able to receive my phone unless I pay the duty. The officer told me my item was still at the airport in their possession, but I cannot get it. I showed her my boarding pass as proof that I was indeed leaving the country that day and I was still denied.
I would like to know what the correct procedure is, because my phone did not enter the island so I am confused as to why I still have to pay such high fees on my departure. I once again had to leave without my phone because there was no way I could pay such high fees on a phone I own.
As a visitor to the country I am very disappointed in the system. I would like to know how these high costs are determined and if the correct measures were taken. I feel as if I've been robbed.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login