Wed | Nov 14, 2018

Customs clarifies cell phone imports

Published:Friday | November 9, 2018 | 12:15 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is the country's principal border-management entity, and its core mission of facilitating trade, optimising revenue collection and delivering high-quality customer service underpins the necessity for the agency to conform to international best practices that govern customs administrations worldwide.

The agency collects gazetted duties and taxes, on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, on goods imported into the country. These duties and taxes are applied according to the First Schedule of the Customs Act (The Customs Tariff (Revision) (Amendment) Resolution, 2018), and other legislation such as the General Consumption Tax (GCT) Act and the Stamp Duty Act.

The JCA is also guided by international instruments of the World Customs Organization, as it relates to the classification of goods, such as the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System.

With respect to recent comments in the media, including social media, the agency is reminding all importers that the duty structure on mobile telephones, whether purchased or gifted, is as follows:

• Import duty - 20%

• General Consumption Act - 25%

• Environmental levy - 0.5%

• Standard Compliance Fee - 0.3%

The above charges are calculated on the cost, insurance and freight value. A customs administrative fee is also applicable to the clearance of goods.

Passengers 18 years and older are reminded of the US$500 allowance that is given on all personal effects and household items.

The agency continues to improve its customer service mechanisms, and implores customers to report all complaints, make queries, or give their feedback at the various online platforms available, including by email at quick.response@jacustoms.gov.jm or public.relations@jacustoms.gov.jm; and the agency's website at www.jacustoms.gov.jm via Live Chat and the Customer Relationship & Feedback Platform.

Customers may also call the Public Relations and Customer Service Unit at 876-922-5140-8; toll free 1-888-287-8667; or 876-948-7849.

LA DONNA MANNING

Director, Public Relations & Customer Services

Jamaica Customs Agency