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Jamaica Customs reminds charities of procedures for clearing items

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is reminding charities, foundations and importers generally, of the requirements and procedures for clearing charitable items.

Noting a Sunday Observer article titled: Customs red tape chokes charity event for infants, the blind, the agency said it “recognises the significant contribution and the crucial role charities play in the social development of Jamaica and the ease at which they do business with the entity, is at the forefront of the Agency's Trade Facilitation mandate”.

As such, JCA said charitable organisations must note the following:

  1. All shipments must be consigned, in the name and address of the charitable organisation only, before it arrives in Jamaica.
  2. A Tax Compliance Certificate (TCC) is required for clearing all shipments.
  3. Where an individual other than officers of the charitable organisation is being asked to undertake clearance, a notarised letter of authorisation on the organisation's letterhead must be presented to Customs.
  4. The name and signatory on the authorisation letter must be compatible with the information uploaded to the JCA's database in respect of said charitable organisation.
  5. A Special Declaration must be completed and signed by the responsible officer on the organisation's letterhead. This is to be given to the authorised person conducting business on behalf of the Charity or the licensed Customs Broker.
  6. A licensed Customs Broker is required to clear shipments valued at and above US$5,000.00, and a C73 Form (Authorisation for a Person to act on behalf of another) must be completed. However, the Charity organisation reserves the right to contract a licensed Customs Broker for shipments under $5000.00.

As it pertains to shipments of US$5,000.00 or more, a licensed Customs Broker, who, upon receiving a completed C73 form, must prepare an entry into ASYCUDA (Automated System for Customs Data), and upload all supporting documents necessary to facilitate processing.

Additionally, Officers of charitable organisations, or persons authorised to clear shipments of US$5,000 or less, should proceed to the Port of Clearance with the documents pertaining to the shipment consigned to the name and address of the Charitable organisation to include:

  • A copy of the Certificate of Registration of Approved Charity
  • A letter of authorisation where applicable
  • The signed Special Declaration
  • Bill of lading or Airway Bill
  • Packing list
  • Invoice
  • Tax Compliance Certificate
  • Permits/licences where applicable
  • Any other document pertaining to the shipment

“Charities or persons authorised to effect clearance, are also being reminded that as at November 1, 2017, they should proceed directly to the port of clearance to undertake same, and not to “Customs House” as was previously the case. This is in keeping with the Agency's thrust to improve its operational processes to the benefit of all customers,” said JCA.

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