Due to customs regulations, there are some items which are prohibited and some which are restricted. Prohibited items refer to articles that are banned and cannot be shipped under any circumstance. Restricted items are goods that require permits / licenses to enter the island and can be shipped but require prior approvals.
Restricted items require import license
Milk and other Concentrated Products
All dairy products imported into Jamaica must be accompanied by an import permit issued by the Director of Veterinary Services (VSD) of Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) and an export certificate from the competent authority.
Powdered milk and milk-based products require an Import permit and import license from Veterinary Services Division and Trade Board.
Fresh Produce, Rice and Cornmeal
An importer of fresh produce, rice and cornmeal must obtain a Phyto-sanitary certificate from MICAF. The required documents include a letter stating the items, quantity, country of origin, Phyto-sanitary certificate from country of origin and import permit. On arrival, the shipment is inspected by the Bureau of Standards and the Prevention of Infestation Unit along with Customs during the customs clearance process.
Pre-packaged food should not be described or presented on any label in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive, or is likely to create an erroneous impression regarding its character in any respect.
All plants and plant parts exported to Jamaica must be accompanied by an import permit issued by the Plant Quarantine Division of MICAF and a phytosanitary certificate issued by the competent authority of the exporting country.
The Plant Quarantine and Plant Protection Division in MICAF is responsible for issuing permits for the importation of plants, plant products and by-products, produce, and grains. Plants and parts of plants (include seeds and fruits) of a kind used only in perfumery. In pharmacy or for insecticidal fungicidal or similar purposes, fresh or dried. Whether or not cut, crushed or powdered.
Other plant part for perfume and pharmaceutical purposes, eg., cannabis and cocoa leaf .
Reference to be made to MICAF.
Drug permit to be obtained from the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Lac: Natural gums, resins, gum resins and balsam (only those Hs. Nos. listed below)
Cannabis resin. Drug permit to be obtained from the Ministry of Health.
The MOH is responsible for issuing permits for processed foods and beverages.
Fruits, vegetables, plants, plant products and by-products
Import permit from Plant Quarantine and Plant Protection Division MICAF, USDA phytosanitary certificate.
All coconut derivatives, oil-producing seeds and edible oils require a permit from the Coconut Industry Board.
Import permit from Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) and USDA phytosanitary certificate.
Pharmaceuticals, chemicals and herbal teas require a Pharmaceutical Services Division certificate from MICAF. An application for a permit to import pharmaceuticals into Jamaica is submitted to the Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs Division to enter the country along with an application for the registration of the product, product information and sample.
Raw and refined sugars require an Import license from the Trade Board.
Cane and beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in solid form.
Also, alcohol in bulk requires a Spirit Pool Permit from the Spirit Pool Association.
Portland cement, aluminous cement, slag cement, Super sulphate cement and similar hydraulic cements, whether or not coloured or in the form of clinkers,
Building Cement (grey) require an import license.
Chemical and Gases
Hydrogen, rare gases and other non-metal
Sulphuric acid; oleum.
Sulphuric acid: other. Drug permit to be obtained from the Ministry of Health.
Meats, Fish, Poultry, etc.
Meat, animal products which all require a Permit or Phyto Sanitary Certificate from MICAF. An importer requires an import certificate from the Veterinary Services Division, MICAF to import meats, poultry, fish, etc. The required documents include a letter which includes the details of country of origin, a completed application form and the payment of fees.
Veterinary Services Division (VSD) in MICAF is responsible for the application of regulations regarding the importation of live animals, fish and fish products, meat, poultry, animal products, and by-products into Jamaica.
Red meats, poultry meats, animal products and by-products, eggs and egg products require an Import permit from Veterinary Services Division, MICAF, USDA health certificate.
Compressors mounted on wheeled chassis / trailer for towing
Cranes and forklift, other work trucks fitted with lifting or handling equipment /
other moving, grading, leveling, scraping, excavating, tamping, compacting, extracting or boring machinery for earth, mineral‘s or ores; pile-drivers and pile-extractors; plough and blowers,
Concrete Drop Hammers, Mobile Commercial standby generators, mobile hydrolic (propane, gasoline, diesel) of an output exceeding 75Kw.
All motor vehicles and motorcycles over 700 CC require an import license from the Trade Board.
Public transport type passenger motor vehicles,
Motor cars and other motor vehicles including station wagons and racing cars
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods,
Special purpose motor vehicles, other than those principally designed for the transport of persons or goods (for example, breakdown lorries, crane lorries, fire-fighting vehicles, concrete-mixer lorries, road sweeper lorries, spraying lorries, mobile workshops, mobile radiological units),
Chassis fitted with engines (for motor vehicles,
Bodies (including cabs) for the motor vehicle (excluding cabs for pick-ups),
Parts and accessories of the motor vehicles,
Other (Motor vehicle parts – Front and Back Clip),
work Trucks self propelled, not fitted with lifting or handling equipment of the type used in factories, warehouses, dock areas or airports for short distance transport of goods; tractors used on railway station platforms.
Motor cycles (including mopeds) and cycles fitted with an auxiliary motor, with or without side cars
• Trailers and Semi-trailers; Invoice / Bill of Sale.
• Registration Certificate or Certificate of Title (for used Vehicles).
An importer must apply to the Pesticide Control Authority to import pesticides and similar products. The product to be imported must be registered under general safety provisions. An application for an import permit for pesticides must be approved prior to the date of ordering the goods. An Import permit will be issued stipulating terms and conditions that must be met. The importer must present the invoice, bill of lading and import permit during the clearance process.
An import permit is required from the Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs Division of Ministry of Health to import fertilizer. An application is submitted to the division along with a product information package for review.
It also enforces the acts related to pesticides and toxic chemicals through the Pesticides Control Authority (PCA).
The Pesticide Control Authority (PCA) was established to regulate and control the importation, production, registration, approval, prohibition, packaging, distribution, disposal, use and other critical processes associated with pesticide handling in Jamaica.
Guns and other Explosive Weapons
All firearms and accessories, explosives require permit and licence from the Ministry of National Security and the Trade Board. Military weapons other than revolvers, pistols and the arms of HDG No. 93.07.00. Other Arms (Rifle, Air/Spring Gun, Pistol, etc.) including those with HDG No. 93.07.00. Revolvers and pistols other than those of HDG Nos. 93.03 or 93.04.00. Parts and accessories for Of 93.01 – 93.04
Bombs, grenades, torpedoes, mines, missiles, similar ammunitions of war and parts thereof, including shot and cartridge wads, Approval from the Firearm Licensing Authority, The Ministry of National Security (MNS).
prepared explosives other than propellant powders,
safety fuses, detonating fuses, percussion or detonating caps, igniters, electric detonators
Fireworks, signaling flares, rain rockets, fog signals and other pyrotechnic articles.
Permit from the Commissioner of Police; Same to be stamped and signed by the Collector of Customs; Ministry of National Security & Justice to grant approval.
Other (toy guns, recreational including water pistols. Approval from the Firearm Licensing Authority &The Ministry of National Security (MNS).
This information provided is only exemplary and is not a substitute for consulting with the export regulations of origin country and the import regulations of destination country. The pre-importation process involves obtaining the relevant permits, approvals and licenses from government regulatory agencies. Ideally, permits should be obtained prior to purchasing and shipping the item. Importing a restricted item without having first obtained a permit may attract breaches for which you will face penalties and fines. You, as the importer of record into Jamaica is responsible for ensuring that any and all items that you export from foreign countries satisfy all laws and regulations.
Prohibited items are absolutely forbidden from entering Jamaica, some of which include:
Indecent and obscene prints
Indecent and obscene prints, paintings, photographs, cinematograph films, lithographs, engravings, books, cards or written communications or any indecent or obscene articles whether similar to the above or not and any parcels, packages or packets having thereon, or on the cover thereof, any words, marks or designs which are grossly offensive or of an indecent or obscene character.
The following and similar publications:
1. All publications of de Laurence Scott and Company of Chicago in the United States of America relating to divination, magic, cultism or supernatural arts.
2. All publications of the Red Star Publishing Company of Chicago in the United States of America relating to divination, magic, cultism or supernatural arts.
Coin-base or counterfeit coin of any country.
Counterfeit money, whether coin-based or otherwise from any country.
Camouflage clothing (which are only used in the Jamaica Defence Force).
Black Mosquito Destroyer and any other items that are not approved by Jamaica's health authorities.
The Customs authorities will periodically update their prohibited and restricted items list.
Jamaica Single Window For Trade
The Jamaica Single Window for Trade (JSWIFT) serves as an electronic platform, which allow traders to submit transactional information through a single access point. The web based portal provides services to support the regulatory requirements for cross-border trade in Jamaica. Traders will electronically submit applications for Licences, Permits, Certificates and other regulatory requirements (LPCO), to facilitate processing by requisite Cross Border Regulatory Agencies (CBRAs) and Participating Government Agencies (PGAs).