Can I bring Food to Jamaica?

by Chandler
(Atlanta, GA, USA)

Question:

Exactly what foods can I bring to Jamaica and also can I bring my alcohol and beer with me, and can this food be packaged in my cooler or can I ship steaks (beef) ribs to Jamaica...?



Answer by W.Gayle, Jan 31, 2009

Interesting question Chandler!

Seriously though, if you are coming for a vacation, you really don't need to bring any food with you, unless you have a very strict or special diet.

All of that is here, including beers- and world class ones too!

Isn't that's the whole idea of the vacation though? To taste the local flavour and culture?

Comments for Can I bring Food to Jamaica?

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 26, 2014
inging meat NEW
by: Anonymous

you can only things which are already in the tins

Aug 26, 2014
ing gifts NEW
by: Anonymous

no you don't need to only if you are bringing electric goods fresh foods GOOD LUCK

Aug 25, 2014
Gifts NEW
by: Queenie

I am travelling to Jam in February & would like to know if I am allowed to bring in gifts for a family I know. Items such as clothes, toys, jewellery and other things, nothing of great expense. Do I have to declare this on the card we fill out on the plane? Will I have to pay a great amount of tax??
Please answer soon. Appreciate any help.

Jan 20, 2014
LULA NEW
by: Anonymous

Were you able to take in the meat to Jamaica? Please let us know. Thanks.

Jan 20, 2014
Corn Dogs NEW
by: Angela

Re: Corn Dogs. I am no expert but have travelled extensively. If the Jamaican government says "no meat". Please "no meat". They mean no meat, cooked or not cooked. There are also Hi-Lo and MegaMart in Montego Bay. If they don't have them there, then she will have to eat all the corn dogs while she is away.

Jan 13, 2014
FOR LULU NEW
by: Margaret K

LULU..... After going through the hassle of getting a permit, they will still find a reason to confiscate any raw meat products. Trust us ..we are Jamaicans and we should know what is restricted and what is not. You write with such authority as if our comments are useless. Remember this post when they take your stuff at the airport !

Jan 13, 2014
Clarification needed NEW
by: Anonymous

I went on vacation and on my return trip I brought corn dogs and not pockets, which my little girl loves alot and I can not get them in the supermarket here, so I am still not clear if on the form if they are referring to raw meat or cooked meat can someone clarify for me please why these items were confiscated ?

Aug 31, 2013
Carrying Meats to Jamaica NEW
by: Lula

I am planning a nine day trip to Jamaica in November 2013 I will be there for nine days and I plan to take my own food especially meat. I tried finding information on the web as to whether I can bring meat into that country only to find information from this sight which was ONLY assumptions. I will attempt to provide accurate firsthand information for those who like myself who don’t want any problems in customs. I will begin by saying that there are NO meat restrictions leaving the US. TSA requires that all meat products are frozen solid when going through the security check point. You can pack the meat in your check bag, carry-on bag or a cooler. It is NOT necessary to have ice packs but they are permissible. TSA advise against dry ice for carry on because it has to be able to escape or ventilate. It has to be an EXACT weigh no more, no less EXACT.
Now the information regarding carry meat products into Jamaica. I contacted the Ministry of Agriculture at Sangster International airport in Montego Bay Jamaica at 1-876-977-2492 regarding bring meat products into that country. I was told you can import up to 99 pounds of meat products. NO PORK OR CHICKEN PRODUCTS ARE ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTRY. Allowed meat products include turkey products, beef, fish, shrimp and other sea foods. You MUST also apply for an Import permit at www.moatrade.gov.ja/MOA you will create an account and wait 24 hours and then log in to see if you are granted the permit. If you are granted the permit you will have to pay a permit fee which is $1,000.00 JM which is $10.00 US currency that is paid online. Once they receive your payment you will get a confirmation email and a copy of such permit. The permit is ONLY good for 90 days so keep in mind you travel dates as to NOT apply for early for the permit. I was also told that meat products HAVE to be declared on the declaration page you get on the plane. I hope this information clears up some questions as to what types of meats are permitted when traveling to Jamaica. Safe travels.

Aug 31, 2013
Carrying Meats to Jamaica NEW
by: Lula

I am planning a nine day trip to Jamaica in November 2013 I will be there for nine days and I plan to take my own food especially meat. I tried finding information on the web as to whether I can bring meat into that country only to find information from this sight which was ONLY assumptions. I will attempt to provide accurate firsthand information for those who like myself who don’t want any problems in customs. I will begin by saying that there are NO meat restrictions leaving the US. TSA requires that all meat products are frozen solid when going through the security check point. You can pack the meat in your check bag, carry-on bag or a cooler. It is NOT necessary to have ice packs but they are permissible. TSA advise against dry ice for carry on because it has to be able to escape or ventilate. It has to be an EXACT weigh no more, no less EXACT.
Now the information regarding carry meat products into Jamaica. I contacted the Ministry of Agriculture at Sangster International airport in Montego Bay Jamaica at 1-876-977-2492 regarding bring meat products into that country. I was told you can import up to 99 pounds of meat products. NO PORK OR CHICKEN PRODUCTS ARE ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTRY. Allowed meat products include turkey products, beef, fish, shrimp and other sea foods. You MUST also apply for an Import permit at www.moatrade.gov.ja/MOA you will create an account and wait 24 hours and then log in to see if you are granted the permit. If you are granted the permit you will have to pay a permit fee which is $1,000.00 JM which is $10.00 US currency that is paid online. Once they receive your payment you will get a confirmation email and a copy of such permit. The permit is ONLY good for 90 days so keep in mind you travel dates as to NOT apply for early for the permit. I was also told that meat products HAVE to be declared on the declaration page you get on the plane. I hope this information clears up some questions as to what types of meats are permitted when traveling to Jamaica. Safe travels.

Jul 08, 2013
Clarification of cooked foods allowed in Jamaica
by: Nads

Why was my deli ham and bologna taken away by custom? Is this not cooked/processed food?
When I take roast breadfruit and fried fish to the USA, it is not confiscated,

Please make it clear to visitors as to what foods we can take.

Another thing, I as a Jamaican feel that we need to get things right, there are many other Islands where
visitors can go for vacation.



Nov 23, 2012
taking cooked food to Jamaica
by: JLui

I was so sad, I evev cried when I had my food taken away. I still can't understand why cooked rice, steamed vegetables and vegetarian meat was taken. I asked back for my container and was allowed to put the food in a ziplock bag I had. First of all since they are concerned about the bacteria in the cooked food, I should have never been allowed to open it. The container wasn't washed so technically I brought the bacteria in the country. Secondly, why didn't the customs lady use a pair of gloves and place the food in a special container to disposed of it right away?
I understand about bringing inprocessed foods but itn't cooked food processed.

The customs lady also seemed uncertained about what she is doing. Customer service was poor. Then at the end she told me sarcastically to have blessed day.

Aug 21, 2012
@bringing food - anonymous
by: Anonymous

You can carry in canned foods, boxed foods (unopened) and salted codfish (I checked this with the embassy) into Jamaica. No fresh meat, etc., vegetables or fruits. I carried in salted cod fish but I wrapped it properly in several layers of saran wrap and put it in a plastic bag. I put all of these things in my suitcase not in my carry-on. I did tick off food on the slip that you will receive for immigration / customs purposes and was asked what I was bringing in. If you read my input above you will see that I did mention "tins of salmon and tuna and a few things (did not detail just said a few things) that I needed for my diet and some pens, pencils and crayons for kids". That is all that I mentioned. The only thing that I was asked was if they cost more than $500 US. I said, No. After reading the official website I wondered if she meant $500 JAM but she did say US. I don't think that you should go into any lengthy detail and you should not write things in detail on the immigration/customs slip either but make sure that you tick off food in case you are searched. If you do not you could either be fined heavily or they could confiscate your things for lying. I was not searched on this trip. Another thing about immigration officers is some have to prove themselves and some don’t.

On my last trip in 2009 (and I was staying at a resort and did not have food) – because my main suitcase was overweight, I had to put some of my things in my hand luggage and sent it through as a second suitcase and I stuffed the rest of things in 3 handbags. Yet all I was really trying to do was get my suitcase down to 50 lbs to avoid paying $100.00 in Canada for overweight. Of course, I was searched because I should have told them why I stupidly wrote that I had 3 pieces of hand luggage. You live and learn.

I hope this helps future readers.

Aug 20, 2012
bringing food
by: Anonymous

i am going to Jamaica in November 2012 self catering my flight is late evening. I want to bring some tin foods oat porridge and salt fish the Jamaica custom broad said that in can bring salt fish. what I want to know do you of to declared these food

Aug 19, 2012
Customs
by: Angela

I meant "tactful".

Aug 11, 2012
Customs
by: Angela

I had no problems with customs. I ticked off the food check box on the Immigration form that they give you on the plane. When I was asked what I was bringing in I mentioned "canned salmon, tuna and a few other things for my diet". I did carry in a bottle of decafe coffee but did not mention that. No problems. She only asked me if they cost more than $500 US (I don't know if she meant to say $500 Jamaican which is really nothing) I said no. I saw a great improvement with the Immigration officers this trip.

The only thing that I did not care for when baking was the cheddar cheese that I bought at MegaMart. It was great for eating but it was too strong for my macaroni pie. I will try to see if I can take in the cheddar cheese that I buy here next time. You don't have to say every single thing in detail once you don't carry in meats, vegs and fruits, I don't think that you have to worry. Just be tackful.

Jul 12, 2012
@Margaret
by: Angela

Margaret:

Thanks for all your help. You were able to provide information that we always need when travelling to Jamaica. With the weight restriction, I can now leave some of the things that I was planning to bring at home and buy them in Montego Bay. The cheese at that price is quite reasonable.

Jamaica here I come.


Jul 12, 2012
@ Angela
by: margaret kidd

Hi again Angela,

Many different packaging of cheddar whether pre-shredded or in a block or sliced. I would say cheddar maybe about US$ 6 .00 per pound. As for penne, all kinds of pasta are available. i live in kingston but major supermarkets in Mobay will have these items.

Bye again !

Jul 11, 2012
Margaret
by: Angela

I forgot to ask you. Can I get penne (italian pasta) in Jamaica? Please let me know. Thanks. Any trouble bringing in pasta?

Thanks again.

Jul 11, 2012
Margaret
by: Angela

Thanks for such a quick response. I think that I will bring some salmon and Tuna. Do you know what a pound they charge for the cheddar? Is this allowed through customs? If you could answer by tomorrow, it would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Jul 11, 2012
To Angela
by: Margaret Kidd

Hi Angela,

To answer your question ---- all beans and peas are available at any regular supermarket in MoBay. Salmon and tuna are also readily available with salmon being the more expensive of the two at maybe abot US$4 - $5 per tin. All kinds of cheese is also available and are not very expensive. Hope this info helps.

You may throw a couple tins of salmon and tuna in your luggage if you wish.

Please enjoy your visit to Jamaica !

Jul 11, 2012
Are these things available in Montego Bay
by: Angela

I am going to Jamaica on July 17th. I am into beans. Please let me know if I can get lima, lentils, split, blackeyed peas. Do they have chick peas in the tin. I will be near to Montego Bay. I also plan on doing a dish that uses cheddar cheese. Is cheddar expensive and can I bring that in. Please let me know. Thanks. What about tuna and salmon in the tin. How much do they cost and are these things available all the time. Thanks.

Jul 11, 2012
Are these things available in Montego Bay
by: Angela

I am going to Jamaica on July 17th. I am into beans. Please let me know if I can get lima, lentils, split, blackeyed peas. Do they have chick peas in the tin. I will be near to Montego Bay. I also plan on doing a dish that uses cheddar cheese. Is cheddar expensive and can I bring that in. Please let me know. Thanks. What about tuna and salmon in the tin. How much do they cost and are these things available all the time. Thanks.

Jul 05, 2012
what can i carry to jamaica like foodstuff from canada
by: Anonymous

margarine ketchup bodywash

Jan 29, 2011
bringing food to jamaica
by: Anonymous

The only time i bring food to jamaica is when i stay at my fiance house it cuts down on the money i spend at the supermarket which never have sales always full price only the rice is cheap.

The only problem i had was bringing a pack of oscar myer beef franks oh yea when i got to montego bay they quickly snatched that up they do not sell beef in Jamaica like ground beef, beef franks, turkey ground or corned beef hash also i like to bring corn-dogs and albacore tuna in the can you cannot find that food in Jamaica supermarkets trust me there's a lot of foods we eat they don't sell that you might like to eat while on vacation like you can bring your cereal you might pay $2 to $3 in walmart but in jamaica plan on spending $5 for a box of cereal.

i been going back and forth for 2 years and i always bring can foods, cereal and anything i know i cant find in the supermarkets out there or that cheaper here just travel on an airline that gives you free luggage like jet blue.

You check 1 bag 50lbs free or air jamaica is even better 2 bags 50lbs each free one can be food and other clothes but trust me when you get to Montego bay they will check your bags if you have more than 1 and make you pay a fine if you get one that has an attitude.

If you stay at an all inclusive resort don't worry about bringing anything but your bathing suit have fun.

Oct 22, 2010
foods u can bring to jamaica
by: Margaret Kidd

Hi,
You cannot bring any kind of raw meat product, fruits, fresh vegetables etc.

You may bring your cereals(as long as approved by airline in US),baby formula,packaged kids snacks,biscuits, power bars, canned stuff like vienna sausages, Spam etc.

All sodas,juices and beverages can be bought in Jamaica.

You should not expect to have any hassle once you get here. Just honestly tell the Customs Officer what you have and that it is for your personal use while here on your first trip to the island.

Have a wonderful stay !

Aug 05, 2009
food
by: Anonymous

I've never been on a plane and will be taking my first plane trip from the U.S. this weekend to jamaica.

I was planning on bringing an unopened container of oatmeal, and maybe a banana and protein powder just in case i get hungry and need something quick on the beach.

My question is,are these things allowed and if i throw this in my regular luggage, will they check it upon entering the country? like i said i have never been out of the country and have no idea how this stuff works. I don't want to get fined either!

May 10, 2009
Bring Food and Drink to JA!!!!
by: Jean

Firstly, why on earth would you want to bring food and drink to JA and why would you want to take up valuable luggage space/weight!

Secondly, JA Customs are very strict and if they search you it will be confiscated and probably fined. Anything that stops you spending in JA they are not happy with.

I have been taxed for bringing in a couple of children?s books! As far as baby food is concerned you really need to check with your airline (the problem is getting it on the plane).

Next to Scotland, Jamaica is the porridge capital!!
You can get oats, original and instant in all flavors. All kinds of juices, milk, cheese, bacon etc etc etc....

Mangoes are in season at the moment so you can mash it up and babies love it.
You can buy anything you want and cook up a storm!

Last week I had a huge plate of peppered steak, rice and gungo peas with steamed veg for 350JA$ (£2.92/4US$) sat overlooking the sea.

MMmmmmmm wish I was back there now.



Mar 19, 2009
What foods can I bring to Jamaica
by: Hendrix

I too am curious about what I can bring into Jamaica. We will be bringing 18 month grand baby with us and will need to bring some food that we know she will eat.

This is just to be on the safe side. Instant Oats, Juice, Hotdogs, also my wife has special diet needs.

Feb 25, 2009
A bit strange.
by: Alex

OK!
But ... , You didn't answer the question!

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