Jamaica: Finance Ministry asked to review duty-free limits for travellers

Jamaica Customs Agency

(Jamaica Gleaner) The Jamaica Customs Agency says it has sent to the finance ministry recommendations from travellers for an increase in the duty-free limit.

It has also sent recommendations for a review of the duty-free limit for shipped items.

At present, returning adult passengers are not required to pay any duty on items procured overseas worth up to US$500.

Duty is also waived for shipped items valued up to US$50.

The US$500 limit was imposed more than two decades ago and has not been adjusted despite inflation and devaluation.

“We would have posited to the Ministry of Finance and Public Service the concerns to look further into the matter,” said the CEO of the Jamaica Customs Agency, Velma Ricketts Walker.

The Customs boss was speaking on Monday at ‘Customs Meet the Community’, the diaspora edition online.

During the online forum, several viewers on social media raised concern that the duty-free amounts were inadequate.

Ricketts Walker said, however, that the Jamaica Customs Agency did not have the power to adjust the limits, as it could only act based on the policy directive of the finance ministry.

Contacted yesterday, Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke said he was not in a position to respond to the issue at this time.

In the meantime, Ricketts Walker said she understands some of the complaints about the application of customs duties to shipped items below the allowable limit of US$50.

However, she said each complaint has to be individually assessed.

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