How to: Importing goods

May 13, 2016
File A van is seen leaving the wharves with barrels of goods.

Entrepreneurs who import goods intended for business trade or other commercial activities are sometimes unaware of the right procedures they need to follow to import goods into Jamaica.

Goods representing a CIF value of more than US$5,000, or the Jamaican equivalent, must be cleared by a licensed customs broker. Here is how entrepreneurs can clear goods they have imported:

1. These goods normally require the services of a licensed customs broker for import clearance or for export.

Prepare import entry form using appropriate invoices. A proper invoice should have the following information - the name, address and country of the seller; the name, address and country of the buyer; an invoice number and date; means of transport, whether sea or air; country of final destination; and a detailed description of the item, unit price and total invoice amount.


2. The completed import entry form, along with supporting documents, which are invoices, permits, licences and bill of lading/airway bill, should be taken to the lodgment desk at Customs House for the data to be captured.

3. The entry form will then be forwarded to the invoice branch for further processing. If there are no anomalies the entry will be passed.


4. The individual should pay relevant duties using electronic payment or over-the-counter payment (cash, debit/credit card, or manager's cheque) to the customs cashier.


5. All relevant documents should be taken to Customs Manifest Branch where the clearance documents will be stamped and returned to you.

6. A validated bill of lading/airway bill should be presented to the warehouse keeper where your goods are stored for your goods to be located.


7. When the goods are located, they will be placed in the designated examination area for inspection by a customs officer. The officer will check the shipment against the clearance documents presented to ensure that the items invoiced are actually imported. If there are no discrepancies, the officer will issue a customs release.


8. If there are discrepancies, the clearance documents will be sent back to Customs House with the appropriate reports for action to be taken. These may result in additional duties to be paid.

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