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Duties,Taxes and Fees

If you are importing any item into Jamaica, it is important that you find out whether or not such items attract any form of government duties, taxes or processing fees.

These ‘Duties’ as they are collectively called are payable to Customs and are separate and apart from the fees that you will pay for shipping.

Here is a list of the different Duties, Taxes and fees. However, not all of them might be applicable to all items imported:

  1. Import Duty
  2. Additional Stamp Duty (ASD)
  3. General Consumption Tax (GCT)
  4. Special Consumption Tax (SCT)
  5. Processing Fee
  6. Customs User Fee (CUF)
  7. Standard Compliance Fee (SCF)
  8. Environmental Levy (ENVL)


Import Duty

  • The Import Duty Rate in most cases is 20% and is payable on most imported items
  • The rate of Import Duty varies depending on the commodity being imported.
  • The Rates for each commodity can be found in the Common External Tariff


Stamp Duty

  • Stamp Duty is payable on all receipts resulting from payments of Duties
  • Two fixed amounts are charged based on the CIF Value of goods:
    • JA$5,500 or less pay JA$5.00
    • Above JA$5,500 pay JA$100.00

Additional Stamp Duty (ASD)

  • ASD is payable on specific items: some meat products, some aluminum products, alcoholic beverages, and cigarettes
  • The ASD rate varies depending on the item being imported

General Consumption Tax (GCT)

GCT was implemented October 22nd 1991. There are 2 categories:

  1. General Consumption Tax (GCT)
    • Applicable to all items except for Zero-rated items and Exempted items
    • Current Rates: 16.5% on Personal Items and 21.5% on Commercial Items

  2. Special Consumption Tax (SCT)
    • Applicable to only a few items: alcoholic beverages, most tobacco products and some petroleum products.
    • SCT rates vary depending on the item

Customs Administration Fee (CAF)

The CAF came into effect on April 1st 2013 and consist of two (2) parts: The Examination Fee (eCAF) and The Processing Fee (pCAF)

  • The eCAF amount payable is base on the size and/or type of package being imported. If your package is a 'Barrel, Small Carton, or other Small Personal Shipments' then no eCAF is applicable. However if your shipment is a 'Pallet, Skid, D or E Container (i.e. very large box)' then your eCAF will be J$2500. Containers (20',40', etc) attract an eCAF of Between J$20,000 - J$25,000.

  • The pCAF amount payable varies based on the type(s) of document being used to process the shipment. This ranges from between J$1500 - J$2,500 for personal shipments and $55,000 for motor vehicles. Comercial shipments will attract a pCAF of between J$5,000 - J$25,000

Standard Compliance Fee (SCF)

  • Collected by Customs on Behalf of the Bureau of Standards
  • Applicable to all Goods that require quality control or regulation of standards
  • Rate: 0.3 %
  • Calculated on CIF Value

Environmental Levy (ENVL)

  • Applicable to all items that will have an impact on the environment
  • Rate: 0.5%
  • Calculated on CIF Value
  • ENVL became effective on June 1st 2007

The Common External Tariff

This is a book that shows the rate of Import Duty applicable to all the categories of imported items. It is also referred to as The Customs Tariff. It is a part of the Customs Act that governs customs procedures in Jamaica

Copies of The Common External Tariff can be:

  • Obtained at The Jamaica Printing Services, 77 � Duke Street, Kingston. Tel: 967-2250, www.jps1992@cwjamaica.com
  • Or viewed online at the Jamaica Customs Department website

What is CIF?

  • What is CIF?
  • Cost
  • Insurance
  • Freight
  • Example

CIF is an acronym for Cost, Insurance and Freight. It is a standard used internationally to value imported goods. Customs in Jamaica use the CIF value in calculating the amount of Duties, Taxes or Fees payable on goods imported.

CIF has three components:

  1. Cost
  2. Insurance
  3. Freight

COST

The Cost is the total paid for the goods abroad. Cost is often called FOB (Free On Board) or FOA (Free On Air) Cost include the following amounts once they are incurred in the country from which the goods came:

  • Ex-factory price
  • Commission
  • Mark-up
  • Sales Tax
  • Inland Freight

INSURANCE

The insurance is the amount paid as insurance in transporting the goods to Jamaica If no insurance was paid directly by the importer, an estimated insurance cost is still calculated and used in the CIF value:

  • For goods arriving by sea 1.5% of the Cost and Freight.
  • For goods arriving by air 1% of the Cost and Freight

FREIGHT

The total amount of monies paid to the airline or shipping agent to transport the goods to Jamaica Freight charges include any of the following incurred in the country from which the goods came:

  • Inland Freight (transportation charges paid within the foreign country)
  • Packaging
  • Handling

Example

Cost: You paid US$100 for the item

Freight: You paid US$90 to freight the item to Jamaica

Cost & Freight Value: US$100 + US$90 = US$190

Insurance: The insurance cost is 1% of the Cost & Freight Value = US$1.90

(in this example we assume item arrived by air. If it came by sea the insurance would be 1.5%)

CIF Value: The total CIF Value of this item is ($100 + $90 + $1.90): US$191.90

Calculating Duties

Step #1

The first step is to find the CIF Value of the Item(s) being imported. Each duty, tax or fee is a percentage of, or is directly related to the CIF Value of the Items being imported. These duties, taxes and fees are collectively referred to as ‘Duties’. After the CIF Value is found, the next step is to find out which duties, taxes or fees apply to the item being imported. One way to do this is to classify the item(s), that is, to see where in the Common External Tariff the item falls. This will tell us the Tariff code and what rate of Import Duty applies, as well as Guide us in determining which taxes and fees apply to the particular item(s). The rate of exchange on the day the goods arrived in Jamaica is used to convert The CIF Value of the Item(s) into Jamaican dollars. All Duties are payable in Jamaican dollars.

Step #2

For this example the Item imported is a 42” Television The Television was purchased in the USA for US$450.00 The importer, John John, purchased the item online and had it sent by air to Jamaica. He paid US$120 to freight the Television to Jamaica First we find the CIF Value for this Item which is $450+$120+$5.70 = US$575.70

Step #3

Then we find where the item is classified in the Customs Tariff. When we find the item in the Tariff then we can know what duties, taxes and fees this item attracts. In this case this item attracts: Import Duty (ID): 20% General Consumption Tax (GCT): 16.5% (since it is a personal item) Standard Compliance Fee (SCF): 0.3% Customs Administration Fee (CAF): J$2500 Environmental Levy (ENVL): 0.5% Stamp Duty: J$100

Step #4

Next we find the rate of exchange (ROE) on the day the item arrived in Jamaica. Let say the ROE from US Dollars to Jamaican Dollars is 106.31; then the CIF Value in Jamaican dollars would be : 106.31 * US$575.70= J$61,202.67 Now let us calculate the total Duties: ID => 20% X J$61,202.67 = J$12,240.53 SCF=> 0.3% X J$61,202.67 = J$183.61 CAF=> J$2,500.00 ENVL=> 0.5% X J$61,202.67 = J$306.01 GCT => To calculate GCT, the ID, SCF, CAF & ENVL is first added back to the CIF (J$12,240.53 + J$183.61 + J$2,500.00 + J$306.01 + J$61,202.67 = J$76,432.82) GCT => 16.5% X J$76,432.82 = J$12,611.42 Stamp Duty=> $100

Step #5

The Total Duties would be the sum of all of the above (ID+SCF+CAF+ENVL+GCT+STAMP DUTY) = J$27,941.57 The Total Aggregate rate of Duty in this case is approx. 42%

Rates of Duties

Here is a list of some of the more common Personal Items and the Duties applicable. These Rates DO NOT apply to items imported in commercial Quantity. Commercial Items might attract higher or different rates.

ITEM ID GCT SCF ENVL STAMP CAF Total Duties
Clothing/Footwear 20% 16.5% 0.3% 0.5% $100 $2500 Approx 44%
Cell Phone 20% 25% 0.3% 0.5% $100 $2500 Approx 54%
Laptops/Computers (including parts & accessories) 0% 16.5% 0.3% 0.5% $100 $2500 Approx 20%
Jewellery/Costume Jewellery 20% 16.5% 0.3% 0.5% $100 $2500 Approx 44%
Television (greater than or equal to 32") 20% 16.5% 0.3% 0.5% $100 $2500 Approx 44%
Television (less than 32") 20% 16.5% 0.3% 0.5% $100 $2500 Approx 44%
Stereo Systems 20% 16.5% 0.3% 0.5% $100 $2500 Approx 44%
Groceries 20% 16.5% 0.3% 0.5% $100 $2500 Approx 44%
Auto Parts 30% 16.5% 0.3% 0.5% $100 $2500 Approx 55%