Export, Innovate, Invest - The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service

Import Regulations - Jamaica

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Introduction

Jamaica is a member of the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Organization of American States (OAS). Jamaica uses the Common External Tariff (CET) which was adopted by members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), a trade bloc of English-Speaking Caribbean countries. The CET tariff is based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System. For additional information on trade agreements visit the Government of Canada Negotiations and Agreements.

Import Duties and Documentation

Duties are generally assessed on an ad valorem basis and range between 15% and 20 % for all items except for a small number of commodities, which are duty exempt or attract a higher rate of duty. In addition to import duties under the CET , a 16.5% General Consumption Tax (GCT) is payable on the combined value of CIF and import duty. The GCT is a value added tax charged on all transactions for goods and services unless exempt or zero rated. Other fees include the recently implemented Custom Administration Fee (CAF) which replaces the Customs User Fee (CUF), a Standard Compliance Fee (SCF) of 0.3%, and an Environmental Levy of 0.5% and Stamp Duty. The Plant Quarantine Branch of the Jamaica Ministry of Agriculature and Fisheries introduced a new Phytosanitary Certificate effective July 1, 2012. This new certificate replaced certificates issued under the old format, which remained valid up to July 10, 2012. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) were advised of this change. On August 25, 2014 the Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Minister of International Trade Ed Fast announced that Jamaica has approved all imports of beef from Canada

Import Controls

Almost all goods may be imported to Jamaica freely except for items which require a specific import licence, e.g., certain meats, animals, fruits and vegetables, pharmaceuticals, firearms, ammunition, used tyres, radios (two-way) as well as motor vehicles. Banned items include dangerous drugs, dog racing equipment and pornographic material, etc.

To obtain additional information on commercial entries, duties and taxes, prohibited items, etc., please visit the Jamaica Customs website.

Standards

The local distributive trade is regulated through three main agencies - the Fair Trading Commission (FTC), Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), and Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ). In pursuit of its mandate to enforce the Standards Act, the BSJ is the agency directly responsible for maintaining quality standards for all products and goods, whether imported or locally manufactured.

Useful Links

Tariffs and Market Access Informaton

September 2014