How to Clear a Barrel at Montego Bay Jamaica

How to Clear a Barrel at Montego Bay Jamaica

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A lot of shipping takes place between the UK and Jamaica at Montego Bay, which makes it easy to ship cargo and barrels filled with clothing, toiletries, or food, including large containers for vehicles and furniture. When you need to pick up cargo or a barrel at the Montego Bay Port, you will find these helpful tips important to know about clearing barrels at Montego Bay Jamaica.

4 things you need to know about clearing a barrel at Montego Bay Jamaica

Before you arrive at the wharf or warehouse where your barrel is being stored, it’s helpful to know what costs to expect along with some important words of advice.

The following four tips will prove helpful to know:

  1. How to prepare and what documents and ID are needed
  2. How to make it through customs smoothly
  3. How to prepare for an inspection
  4. How to pick up your barrel before you leave

Remember, that the most important thing you can do to make clearing your barrel go smoothly is to arrive early and ready to pay with plenty of patience.
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Know where your barrel is being held and contact information

The only public wharf on Jamaica’s north coast is located at Montego Bay. It is on the north side of the island, located at the curve in the road where Bay Road and Pimento Way meet, to the northeast of the cruise dock, cruise ship terminal port 2 and Montego Bay Cruise Port at freeport.  It is a cargo distribution hub that mainly handles domestic barrels and provides cold and dry warehousing, liquid bulk, and containerised cargo as well as a berthing facility. The port also serves cruise passengers.

The wharf contact information includes:

Montego Bay Wharf, Montego Freeport at the Port of Montego Bay, Jamaica
Container Station Port Handlers + Tel: 876 979 8126 at Montego Bay Freeport Sea Board Customs House

The Collector of Customs Revenue Centre is located at 18B Howard Cooke Boulevard. Call them at  Tel: 876-952 3080.

Prepare properly

Know what documents and identification is needed

Preparing properly and arriving early will be the secret to clearing a barrel at Montego Bay smoothly. Gather all of the shipping documents that you will need. These documents are an Order or Bill of Lading, a valid ID and Taxpayer Registration Number TRN. An acceptable form of identification includes either a National ID, a driver’s license, voter ID, or a passport.

Arrive at the Montego Bay Wharf Building With ID in Hand Prepared to Pay

Take your Arrival Notice, Bill of Lading or Airway Bill along with an acceptable form of ID and show them to the freight agent who is responsible for receiving and handling your goods. The freight agent will process your papers and collect all non-customs related fees due. You will then be advised when and where, which wharf or warehouse, the packages will be available for inspection by Customs.

Go to Customs Manifest

The next stop is to go to the Customs Manifest office with all of your documents in hand. This is where your documents will be looked over and checked for processing. All of your
documents will be checked against Jamaica Customs information and procedures.

Be sure to bring the Customs Import Entry Form, C78X, if you have one. Bring all of your documentation with you, including the Invoice, Bill of Lading or Air Way Bill, and possibly a C86 or C78X form, which will not be required if items are not dutiable or their value is low, to the Customs Manifest Branch at the wharf or warehouse, including your TRN Taxpayer Registration Number.

If everything looks good, the Manifest Clerk or Officer will stamp the baggage declaration form and return all of the documents to you. Your documents will be validated with a Customs Stamp. If there is a problem, your documents don’t match up, or a change is required, the Customs Officer will ask you to comply with additional instructions.

Once your fees have been assessed and documents validated, you will receive a customer service number. You will need this when you get to the next stop. Also, be prepared to go through a security check at the entrance by having your proper ID out and ready to show.

If the barrel that you are attempting to clear is filled with personal goods or household items that do not exceed a specific Cost Insurance and Freight CIF value then you will be able to proceed to the wharf or private warehouse where you will clear your goods.

Get ready for the next stop, the Warehouse

Head to the Warehouse for Crate or Barrel Inspection and Duty Payment

Once your documents have been validated, it is time to head over to the warehouse where your barrel is being stored for one final inspection and payment of duty after which you will be able to pick up your crate or barrel. This is where you will pay the storage charges and handling fees.

When you show up at the appropriate warehouse, your documents will be looked over once more. Listen for your customer service number. Your barrel will be located and brought out for inspection. You will receive all of the necessary directions at the Customs Inspection Area.

A Customs Officer will inspect the contents of your barrel, so be prepared to open it up for examination.

After the contents of your barrel have been examined, the customs officer will place a value on the goods. After this inspection process, if your items have cleared, you will be given a duty payment amount. Pay this to the Customs Cashier, who will give you a Customs Release Form. If it is determined that no duty is payable, the Customs Officer will issue a Customs Release.

Get a Gate Pass to Pickup Your Barrel Before Leaving

After you have paid, you will take the release order to the warehouse operator who will issue a gate pass to you. Be prepared, once again, to show your driving license or proper form of ID, and go to the delivery area with the gate pass and collect your cargo or barrel.

Also, have in hand all of your documents ready to show to the Security Officer who will inspect them when you arrive at the Warehouse to collect your barrel. Once you have your barrel in your possession, acknowledge the receipt of goods by signing the necessary form. Now it’s time to pick up your barrel before leaving by proceeding through the exit gate in your vehicle.
Hooray! You have properly cleared a barrel at Montego Bay. You’re done, and you’ve been successful in clearing your barrel. If you arrived in a vehicle, you are on your way. If you showed up with no means of transportation, however, you will now need to figure out how to get to your hotel, home, or office with your barrel full of goods. There are usually trucks and vans waiting outside of the port who are willing to transport your barrel for an agreed-upon charge. Be savvy with your price negotiations.

Pricing and More Helpful Words of Advice

What price should I expect to pay?

Obviously, each barrel is packed with different items, so the costs associated with it will differ accordingly. However, non-commercial or barrels that contain personal items, such as food, toiletries, household items, or clothing, will clear at a flat rate of JMD $6,500.00 per barrel. In UK money, this equates to around 38 Pound sterling.

Expect possible Landing Fees, which are paid to the clearing local agent and may be approximately JMD $3,700.00. Handling and Storage Fees, paid to Montego Bay, might cometo around JMD $4,630.00. Additionally, Import Fees, such as customs duties, paid to Montego Bay, might cost about JMD $6,500.00.

Additional tips for clearing a barrel at Montego Bay

It hopefully goes without saying that it’s important to keep it legal. All contents in your barrel will be scanned and inspected at the port. Some items require a special permit to be brought into the country, such as meat and plant material. Prohibited items include narcotics, indecent or obscene photographs, cinematograph films, prints, and paintings, as well as a few other illegal items.

The C27/Yellow Form may be helpful in lowering the amount of taxes. All unaccompanied baggage clearance declarations, C27/Yellow Form, is now digital, so you no longer pick up the form to fill out upon arrival.

Now, you have to attend Montego Bay customs with your UK passport and the flight number that you arrived on. All customs duty discounts will be applied at this time. When you arrive at the wharf, find the line for “the yellow form”.

If you are clearing cargo on someone’s else behalf, you will need to present a letter of authorisation which has been signed and stamped by a JP, Justice of the Peace. You will also need to present the consignee’s TRN card and a valid passport to the Customs Official.

Bring proof of purchase receipts so your goods will be properly valued.

At any point, if you are having trouble finding your way around, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance from a Security Officer.

The keys to successfully clearing barrels at Montego Bay Jamaica, is to arrive early, allow plenty of time especially during holidays of Christmas and Easter, and be ready to unpack and repack everything contained in your barrel for inspection.

Always keep in mind that patience is a virtue, so take a deep breath and do all you can to maintain composure, respect, and kindness.

For more information on clearing personal effects through customs. Please, refer to the Government guidance on this matter.