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Duties and Tax Exemption

For contact information regarding government customs authorities, please follow this link: 4.1 Jamaica Government Contact List

Emergency Response

All Jamaica customs activities are governed by the Customs Act. The Jamaica Customs Act may be found at: https://www.jacustoms.gov.jm/sites/default/files/docs/The%20Customs%20Act.pdf

Jamaica also has a provisional clearance goods form (C88 Form) under Section 30 of Customs Regulations. A guide for provisional clearance may also be found at: https://www.jacustoms.gov.jm/sites/default/files/docs/Provisional%20Clearance%20Form%20Procedure.pdf

Application guidance for provisional clearance may also be found at: https://www.jacustoms.gov.jm/sites/default/files/docs/PLC_new.pdf


Agreements / Conventions Description

Ratified by Country (Yes/No)

WCO (World Customs Organization) member

Yes - 29th March 1963

Annex J-5 Revised Kyoto Convention

 No, but guided by the principles 

OCHA Model Agreement

No 

Tampere Convention (on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations)

No

Regional Agreements (on emergency/disaster response, but also customs unions, regional integration)

No


Exemption Regular Regime (Non-Emergency Response)

The Charities Act

The guidelines for importing charitable items fall under the Charities Act (2013). The Act serves to maintain, protect and enhance public trust in charitable organisations, and seeks to ensure accountability and that board members comply with their legal obligations. Any person or entity, incorporated or not incorporated, seeking to function as a charitable organisation must be registered with the Department of Cooperatives & Friendly Societies (DCFS) (www.dcfsjamaica.org), in order to obtain the prescribed benefits.

Donations to Charities

  • The beneficiary must be registered in order to obtain the stipulated benefits.
  • The donor must provide the name and address of the beneficiary or consignee.
  • For shipments to multiple beneficiaries, each beneficiary must be named on the shipping documents.  

Clearing Charitable Items

  • The charitable organisation must submit the original Approved Charitable Organisation Certificate (ACO), along with the shipping documents to the Collector of Customs.
  • The Collector of Customs will verify the documents and return the original copies.
  • Verified copies of the documents will be sent to the Customs Manager at the relevant warehouse.
  • The consignee or authorised representative must proceed to the warehouse and follow the clearance procedures.
  • Goods with a Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) value of more than USD $5,000.00 must be cleared by a licensed Customs Broker.

If items are being cleared on behalf of a consignee, the representative must present a letter of authorisation, signed and stamped by a Justice of the Peace (JP). The consignee’s Tax Payer Registration Number (TRN) card and valid identification must be presented to the Customs Official (photocopied documents must be signed/stamped by a JP).

Benefits to a Registered Charity

  • There is no import duty charged, in most cases.
  • There is no General Consumption Tax (GCT) charged, in most cases.
  • Only fifty per cent (50%) of applicable Customs Administration Fee (CAF) is applied.
  • All other applicable fees will be applied.

Importation of a Motor Vehicle by an Approved Charity

  • For motor vehicles, full Import Duty, Environmental Levy and GCT are applied.
  • Fifty per cent (50%) of applicable CAF is applied.
  • No Special Consumption Tax (SCT), no Stamp Duty (SD), and no additional Stamp Duty (ASD) is charged.   

Auditing of an Approved Charity

The Customs Act gives the JCA the authority to audit any person or entity, including charitable organisations, in order to ensure that the items imported by the approved charity are used, or are being used for the intended purpose.

Please refer to the following link in order to get access to Jamaica Customs Agency Charities Act – 2013.

Please refer to the following link in order to get access to Jamaica Customs Agency Organizational Chart: https://www.jacustoms.gov.jm/sites/default/files/Chart.pdf


Organizational Requirements to obtain Duty Free Status

United Nations Agencies

 

Non-Governmental Organizations

The Charities Act

The guidelines for importing charitable items fall under the Charities Act (2013). The Act serves to maintain, protect and enhance public trust in charitable organisations, and seeks to ensure accountability and that board members comply with their legal obligations. Any person or entity, incorporated or not incorporated, seeking to function as a charitable organisation must be registered with the Department of Cooperatives & Friendly Societies (DCFS) (www.dcfsjamaica.org), in order to obtain the prescribed benefits.

Exemption Certificate Application Procedure

Duties and Taxes Exemption Application Procedure

Generalities (include a list of necessary documentation)

The Charities Act 2013

To register a Charitable Organization the following document must be submitted:

  1. Application Form or Renewal of Charity Status (Application Form)
  2. Certificate of Registration / Certificate of Incorporation  
  3. Entity’s Tax Registration Number  (TRN) 
  4. Articles of Association and memorandum of Association (entities registers with COJ before 2005); Form 1B – Articles of Incorporation to include Schedule 1, Rules, Vested Act, or any other applicable constitution 
  5. Fit and proper questionnaire along with certified passport size pictures to be submitted by all directors including the secretary
  6. Prior year audited financial statement or current unaudited financials

Contact Info:

info@dcfs.gov.jm

1-876-927-4912 / 927-6572/ 978-1946

Exemption Certificate Document Requirements

Duties and Taxes Exemption Certificate Document Requirements (by commodity)

 

Food

NFI (Shelter, WASH, Education)

Medicines

Vehicle & Spare Parts

Staff & Office Supplies

Telecoms Equipment

Invoice

Yes, original,

1 copy:

applies to UN and all NGOs

Yes, original,

1 copy: applies to UN
and all NGOs


Yes, original,

1 copy: applies to UN
and all NGOs

Yes, original,

1 copy: applies to UN
and all NGOs

Yes, original,

1 copy: applies to UN
and all NGOs

AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

Yes

Yes


Yes

Yes

Yes

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

No

No


No

No

No

Packing Lists

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Other Documents

Permits depend on the type of foods being sent.
Information from exporting countries



Jamaica Trade Board License


Spectrum Authority License

Additional Notes

THE ABOVE DOCUMENTS ARE NOT REQUIRED WHEN APPLYING FOR THE CHARITY CERTIFICATE. Depending on the equipment, some equipment may require clearance from Ministry of National Security.

Customs Clearance

General Information 

Customs Information

Document Requirements


Embargoes


Prohibited Items

Prohibited items are absolutely forbidden from entering Jamaica, some of which include:

Indecent and obscene prints
Indecent and obscene prints, paintings, photographs, cinematographic films, lithographs, engravings, books, cards or written communications or any indecent or obscene articles whether similar to the above or not and any parcels, packages or packets having thereon, or on the cover thereof, any words, marks or designs which are grossly offensive or of an indecent or obscene character.

Coin-base or counterfeit coin of any country.

The following and similar publications: 

  1. All publications of de Laurence Scott and Company of Chicago in the United States of America relating to divination, magic, cultism or supernatural arts.
  2. All publications of the Red Star Publishing Company of Chicago in the United States of America relating to divination, magic, cultism or supernatural arts.


General Restrictions

https://www.jacustoms.gov.jm/service/restricted-items

Customs Clearance Document Requirements

Customs Clearance Document Requirements (by commodity)

 

Food

NFI (Shelter, WASH, Education)

Medicines

Vehicles & Spare Parts

Staff & Office Supplies

Telecoms Equipment


D&T Exemption Certificate

Yes, Charity Certificate original, 1 copy: applies to NGOs

Yes, Charity Certificate original, 1 copy: applies to NGOs

Yes, Charity Certificate original, 1 copy: applies to NGOs

Yes, Charity Certificate original, 1 copy: applies to NGOs

Yes, Charity Certificate original, 1 copy: applies to NGOs

Yes, Charity Certificate original, 1 copy: applies to NGOs


*Invoice

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes


AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes


Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

No

No

No

No

No

No


Packing Lists

Optional

Optional

Optional

Optional

Optional

Optional


Phytosanitary Certificate

Yes

No

No

No

No

No


Other Documents



Ministry of Health Permit





Additional Notes

  • In the absence of an invoice, a Bill Of Sight is done by the Customs Officer.
  • The UN as a donor would not be required to get a charity certificate. The receiving party however are required to present the above documents.

Transit Regime

The customs procedure under which goods are transferred from the importing means of transport to the exporting means of transport occurs within the area of one customs office, which is the office of both importation and exportation. (Kyoto Convention-Specific Annex E Chapter 2 pp.3 (2000)).

In order for a transhipment declaration to be made there must be a registered waybill indicating Nature “28”, reflecting an intention for the cargo to be transhipped to a destination outside Jamaica.  If due to an error the ‘nature’ of transit was not stated, approval must be given by the authorized customs personnel in the form of an amendment. A declaration reflecting the appropriate regime type and customs procedure is required to initiate the process. This declaration is then processed at the customs border office of departure and arrival within the country.

*Relevant fees are charged.


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