How to: Clearing items at Customs at the airport

November 13, 2015

With the Christmas season and Thanksgiving Day in the United States approaching, Jamaicans will be heading abroad to celebrate the festivities with friends and family.

On their return to Jamaica, individuals will be required to clear customs, so here are some basics to know about clearing customs at the airport.

1. Jamaican residents leaving the island with items such as laptops or camera equipment, which they plan to take back on return to the island, should register these items with Customs ,prior to checking in their luggage at the airport.

2. All passengers, 18 years and older, are allowed the following: US$500, duty-free, on household and personal effects, 170 ml bottle of perfume, 340 ml bottle of eau de toilette, 2 litres of alcoholic beverages and 200 cigarettes, or 50 cigars, or 230 grams of processed tobacco.

3. When 'clearing customs' at the airport, ensure you have read and filled out the Customs/Immigration Declaration Form (C5 - white form) which is distributed while you're on your flight. Declare all items acquired abroad and the price paid for them.

4. When you arrive at the airport, if you have not exceeded your allowances, proceed to the green line, or nothing to declare.

5. if you have exceeded your allowances, or have unaccompanied baggage (meaning you have shipped items to arrive after you have landed), you should proceed to the red line.

6. If you have shipped items (barrels, boxes, crates, pallets), you should request a C27 or yellow form from the customer-service representative.

7. In order to clear your 'unaccompanied luggage' at the seaport/wharf/air cargo, you should bring the C27 (yellow form) as proof that you travelled. If the US$500 allowance was not used in your accompanied luggage, your duty-free allowance will be transferred to the items you have shipped.

8. Note that penalties can be levied, and can result in a possible forfeiture of goods if an individual makes a false declaration or declares commercial items as personal items.

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