arrived in Jamaica, you will wish to clear the personal and household
effects and tools of trade which you have shipped, as soon as possible.
In the Customs terminology these are referred to as your Unaccompanied
During your journey you would have been provided with a Customs Declaration
Form C.5 for presentation to the Customs Officer at the airport. In
addition to the other details required, you should indicate in the
space provided on the form the number of pieces of Unaccompanied Baggage
you have shipped.
On presenting the Declaration Form to a Customs Officer you should
indicate that you are a Returning Resident, and that you require an
Unaccompanied Baggage Declaration Form C.27.
Examples of both the forms mentioned above are appended to this Information
As was earlier indicated, you should then visit the Returning Residents
Unit of the Customs Department at their Head Office (See Directory
Section for address) to attend an interview. If the interviewing officer
is satisfied that you meet the criteria for eligibility, your C.27
Form will be stamped accordingly, certifying your Returning Resident
Status. However, this exercise can only be carried out when you have
been notified by your shipping agents that your personal and household
effects and equipment have arrived and are ready for clearance. Please
note that the original shipment documents(Bill of Lading, Airway Bill
etc.) must be presented at the interview. It is also important to
note that you are required to complete the importation of your personal
and household effects within six months of being certified by the
Prior to departure your shipper will have provided you with a copy
of the Bill of Lading, and advised you of the local agent of
the shipping company or airline which has carried your goods. The
Bill of Lading is the official shipping document, and is essentially
an inventory of all the items you have shipped.
On being advised by the local shipping agent that your goods have
arrived you should visit their offices, where the Bill of Lading is
validated, and a further document, a Bill of Sight, may be issued.
You should also go to the wharfage or warehousing company responsible
for the storage of your goods. It is important to note that storage
costs are payable for goods that are kept at the port for more than
seven (7) days after the ship's arrival.
The next step is to visit the Customs Manifest Branch at the Cargo
Section of the Port of Entry, whether at the airport or the wharf,
to which your shipment was consigned. You should carry the Bill of
Lading, the Bill of Sight, and your C.27 Form. The documents are validated
by the officers there, who will retain the Bill of Sight if one has
The validated documents should then be taken to the warehouse where
your goods are stored, and they will be first examined by the security
officer on duty before you can be admitted. On admittance, a Customs
Examination Officer will examine your goods upon presentation by the
In the event that you have imported items in excess of the personal
and household effects allowance, Customs Duty will be assessed on
their value at the prevailing rates set out in Appendix B-1 of this
Information Pack. With tools of trade the Customs Officer will make
a determination of compliance with the definition of tools of trade
for duty-free importation and permit free entry, or indicate the level
of duty payable as appropriate.
Once the examination is completed, the Customs Officer will make the
appropriate notation on your C.27 Form, which you should then take
back to the Customs Manifest Branch. There you will be required to
pay any Customs Duty assessed and an Official Release for your goods
will be issued.
You will also be issued with a Gate Pass which enables you to remove
your goods. During removal, various checks will be made, and so it
is important that you have all the relevant documentation with you.
Note that your copy of the Bill of Lading is to be left with the warehousing
or wharfage company.
Remember that, with the exception of certifying your eligibility
for Returning Resident status, all of the steps noted above can be
carried out by a Licensed Customs Broker.