Shipping Motor Vehicles to Kingston, Jamaica

4 things you need to know about shipping motor vehicles to Kingston Jamaica

So, you have a car that you want to send ahead so it’s ready to drive when you arrive at Jamaica. Or, you are a resident who has recently returned to Jamaica and need your motor vehicle to follow. Regardless of your reason why, the fact is that you need to know how to ship a motor vehicle to Kingston, Jamaica. Before you take another step, follow these four things you need to know about shipping motor vehicles to Kingston, Jamaica.

Shipping Time for a Barrel to Reach Jamaica from UK

How will my car be shipped?

RORO, Roll On/Roll Off Method of shipping

A very common method used to ship a vehicle is the RORO Roll On/Roll Off method. This is the most cost-effective method of shipping to Kingston. The way it works is that the car is driven on the board of a ship and secured. Then, it is driven off of the ship. In order to ship this way, you will need to remove all accessories and personal items from the car prior to shipping. Due to the way that customs work in Jamaica, it is advisable to ship your car empty and free of contents. Try not to be tempted to fill the space in the boot or inside the vehicle with household goods. These are valued by a separate department of customs. Normally a detention notice will be placed on the goods inside the vehicle and these removed for separate valuation. This can lead to loss of your goods as they will not be kept in a sealed storage unit. Usually they are palletised and removed to a separate berth on the wharf for valuation of duties.

Though a bit more costly, the container method is considered the safest way to ship motor vehicles. It is especially useful if you want to use a container to ship your vehicle and perhaps have other household goods or items you want to send along with your vehicle. Your car and other cargo is sealed inside a 20 or 40-foot container. The car is secured to avoid movement during shipment.

Prepare the proper documents and get approval to ship motor vehicles

The first step is to apply for approval

Before you will be able to ship your motor vehicle or motorcycle to Kingston, Jamaica you will need to apply to the Jamaica Trade Board for an Import Licence and receive approval. Do this through the Jamaica Customs Agency. It is also a good idea to check with the Embassy of Jamaica to obtain all of the most up-to-date information about import laws for motor vehicles to Montego Bay.

If you require further assistance you can contact the Jamaica High Commission in the UK prior to export of your vehicle.

Prepare the necessary documents

How much does it cost to ship a package to jamaica and what paperwork is neededTo get approval for shipping a motor vehicle, you will need to gather together the necessary documents. The documents required will not only show proof that you own the vehicle but that it is acceptable to come into Jamaica and will be used to assess taxes through customs. Prepare the following documents to have on hand:

The import licence will be issued by the Trade Board Limited. It will authorize you to import your motor vehicle. To gain approval, you will need to show proof of ownership by presenting the vehicle registration document. This title must be issued by the government of the country where the vehicle was purchased and the VSC or vehicle title will be required at the port of entry.

The Sea Waybill or original Bill of Lading/Order must be obtained from the local clearing shipping agent with detailed information about the vehicle as well as the date it landed on the island and the port of entry.

The invoice needs to come from the supplier and is required for all vehicles being shipped.

The Bill of Sight is a document with details about the motor vehicle that is being imported and is prepared and signed by the broker and then certified by Customs.

The Tax Compliance TCC will be obtained from Tax-Adminsitration Jamiaca. This has to be from a main Tax office in a Parish of Jamaica.

Finally, the Simplified Administrative Document (eSad) is an electronic document that can only be completed by a licensed Customs Broker. It lists all of the particulars of the vehicle, the importer’s name, shipping information and the Customs duties are recorded. It is completed by the Customs Broker and submitted to Customs.

You will need to locate a suitable customs broker in Jamaica when you attend. There are plenty of agents to chose from and these persons are frequently located at the wharf, or you can locate a list of verified brokers from UK Jamaica high commission.

Cost value of your motor vehicle musts be assessed

Costs calculation shipping vehicles and motors to Jamaica Kingston Montego Bay from UK

Determining value

Custom’s levies in Jamaica are high, so expect to pay as much as 60 percent or more of the cost of the car as custom duty.

You can view list of calculated duties on this link

To clear customs in Kingston, import Duty, special consumption tax and a GCT is compounded. A processing fee and environmental levy is tallied and included in the aggregate Duty. Customs will assign the value to the motor vehicle in order to determine the duty.



The WTO Agreement states that invoices should be presented to Customs so the proper value of your motor vehicle can be derived. There are special circumstances that may allow concessionary rates of duty on vehicles, such as when the importer holds a job or position that entitles them to a concessionary rate, farmers, senior teachers, and government traveling officers. The Ministry of Finance must grant these concessions upon approval of an application submitted through the proper governmental channels.


Limitations for importing motor vehicles

Limitations on Shipping Vehicles from UK to Jamaica

Two vehicle limit every three years

If you are a returning Jamaican resident, you will be allowed to import one motorised vehicle for private use as well as one light commercial vehicle every three years. These two vehicles could be two light commercial vehicles or one light commercial vehicle and a regular commercial vehicle. Either way, they are not to exceed a total of two vehicles for shipment within the three-year span.

How many years old can my vehicle be for shipping?

When shipping motor vehicles to Kingston Jamaica, the vehicle cannot be older than 4 years. Of course, this breaks down to specific categories. If you are a resident of Jamaica who has been living abroad, you are allowed to import two vehicles, as described above, within a three-year period so long as you provide all of the required documentation.

Light commercial vehicles, such as pick-ups, panel or window vans, or some trucks cannot be older than six years. Motor vehicles have a five-year maximum limit. Trucks used for transporting cargo must be less than fifteen years old, while those over 8000 kg have a twenty five year limit. Buses used to transport passengers must be less than between twelve and twenty years old depending on their seating capacity and other criteria.

Is my licence valid to drive in Kingston, Jamaica?

Once the vehicle has arrived, to be able to drive on the island, it’s important to understand that your International driving license is valid for one year after which time you will be required to attain a local Jamaican license. Jamaican car insurance is also required before you will be allowed to drive the vehicle away from the customs department.

Prohibited motor vehicles

Motor vehicles that are damaged or have been salvaged are strictly prohibited for import at any time. Also, you are prohibited from selling the vehicle for at least one year after it has been imported. If it is damaged during shipping, you will need to wait about three years before selling.

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