Shipping motor vehicles to Montego Bay, Jamaica: All the things you need to know
Whether you are currently a resident who has been living abroad, you are on a temporary work transfer, or just enjoying a really lengthy vacation, you want to drive your car around Jamaica when you arrive. The only problem is that there is an ocean between you, and you obviously cannot drive your vehicle across the water. The solution is to ship it. Send it ahead to be ready to drive upon your arrival.
If you are a returning resident or individual, you are allowed to import one motor car and one light commercial vehicle, two light commercial vehicles, or one light commercial vehicle and a regular commercial vehicle, not to exceed a total of two vehicles within a three year span of time. Before you do anything else, there are four things you need to know about shipping motor vehicles to Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Prepare the proper documents and get approval to ship motor vehicles
Container shipping your vehicle
If you ship other household goods with your vehicle, you won’t have to prepare the car, and everything is then sealed inside a 20 or 40-foot container. The car is secured to avoid movement during shipment. The container method is considered the safest way to ship motor vehicles.
Know the steps to take to ship motor vehicles
First, apply for approval.
Before you will be able to ship your motor vehicle or motorcycle to Montego Bay, 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.
Gather the necessary documents for shipping motor vehicles to Montego Bay, Jamaica.
To get approval for shipping your vehicle, you will need to gather together the necessary documents. These include:
- Import licence
- The vehicle registration document
- Bill of Lading/Order from us
- Valuation for vehicle. This could be in the form of a receipt for a recently purchased vehicle, or aninsurance valuation.
- Bill of Sight
- Tax Compliance TCC
- Simplified Administrative Document (eSad) obtained from customs JA
- Motorcycles, Pick-up and Truck Cabs, as well as Pick-up Beds will also require a permit from the Trade Board, Ltd.
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 Jamaica. 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.
How is the Value of your motor vehicle determined?
Determining value and duty
Import Duty, special consumption tax and 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 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 of duty for importing motor vehicles. Those who qualify are 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.
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. Just make sure you stay mindful of the expenses when shipping motor vehicles to Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Limitations for importing motor vehicles
Does the age of the vehicle matter?
Generally speaking, the vehicle cannot be older than 4 years. If you are a resident of Jamaica who has been living abroad, you are allowed to import two vehicles within three years with proper documentation.
In order to be able to drive your vehicle on the island, 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 required before you can drive the vehicle away from the customs department. Light commercial vehicles, such as pick-ups, panel or window vans, trucks which seat between 9 to 14 passengers, and unladen weight less than 300 kg or 3 tons cannot be older than six years. Motor cars and motorcycles have a five-year limit.
Trucks used for transporting cargo weighing between 3,000 to 4,000 kg have a fifteen year limit, those weighing between 4001 to 8000 kg have a fourteen year limit, and those over 8000 kg have a twenty five year limit. Buses used to transport passengers have between twelve and twenty year limit depending on their seating capacity.
Limitations for importing motor vehicles
Motor vehicles that are damaged or are in salvaged condition are strictly prohibited for import.
Also, legally, you are prohibited from selling your 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.