missing item at customs in Jamaica

by Wayne Stewart


Wierd! That was my first thought when Wayne sent this question about a missing item at customs in Jamaica (via Facebook).

Here is the question...

I had posted a question on the site to see how many people have lost their items at the custom agency when returning to Jamaica. I have not see anything. I may not have done it correctly.

My wife and I are returning residents. I wanted to know how many others experienced loss of items during the shipping process.

Our brand new 65" Samsung smart TV disappeared from our container and neither the shipper nor customs can tell me what happened to it.

Thanks Wayne.

ANSWER: by Wellesley

Hi Wayne,
First, my apologies for the experience.

Per your request, I am using this medium to ask persons who might have had similar experiences to share their experiences below.

That should give us an indication of the magnitude of the issue and possible learnings from that.

I went further though Wayne.

I reached out to the customs department. They advise that the issue would be between the shipper and the warehouse as customs doesn't store goods, they simply value to determine the duties, if any.

They ask that you reach out to,first, your shippper, they should be accountable first.

If they can confirm that the item was loaded unto the container, then it would be the responsibility of the warehouse that stores it and take it for customs to value (at pickup).

In Montego Bay, I understand that the warehouse might be Seaboard Marine.

You would need to write to THE WAREHOUSE MANAGER and outline the issue. The shipper may also guide you in this process.

I hope this clarifies this weird occurrence.

You may also be interested in the duty free allowance for Jamaica.

As usual, I welcome your comments here.


P.S. We've answered HUNDREDS of questions, click here and here to get even more answers.

Comments for missing item at customs in Jamaica

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Oct 09, 2019
Returning resident - loss of shipped items
by: Wayne Stewart

This is an update to my missing TV from my container at the wharves in Kingston. My broker recommended issuing a formal complaint and claim to the Kingston Wharves Limited. To my surprise, even though they say they are confident that the TV was not in the container they decided in our favor in their response, "in the interest of good customer service, we are prepared to reimburse the cost of the missing television." I listed the TV in shipping papers and provided a photo of the TV in the original box loaded at the back of the container. Somebody took it and that is fact.
I am in the process of reimbursement.

Sep 17, 2019
I've been warned
by: Anonymous

It is sad to hear about missing items coming to Jamaica. I would love to send items via mail but many of my friends have asked me not to because they never make it to them.

That is sad, I think Jamaica is a lovely place and this is an issue that needs to be addressed by the government.

Jamaica has become one of the most visited locations in the Caribbean but yet there remains simple issues like not being able to get a package to citizens because they are taken by whomever before they make it to their destination.

Sep 17, 2019
Experience shipping to jamaica
by: Angela

Belated happy birthday to your daughter Wellesley

Experience shipping to Jamaica?!!!! This May I shipped a painting intended for the National Gallery of Jamaica to my cousin because NGJ will not accept direct deliveries.

The painting was for temporary display in the Summer Exhibition at NGJ. I sent it by FedEx & insured it for C$2000. Jamaica Customs Agency held it up for a long time until my firends told me it had not arrived & I tracked it down.

It had arrived in 7 days & was sitting there at FedEx. My cousin was told they would not release it unless I sent an invoice for C$2000.

I downloaded an invoice form and wrote on it that the painting was not for sale, was for temporary exhibition at NGJ and would be returned to me in Canada after the show. Jamaica Customs agency charged 67% customs duty!!!!! J$122,654.11 (C$1,383)!!!!!

After lengthy email communications with JCA they still refused to refund me the money and allow it to go in under the Temporary importation rule.

Needless to say I am trully upset with Jamaica Customs Agency. The Jamaica National Gallery could, & should, have a protocol (with paperwork) arranged with NGJ for paintings by diaspora Jamaican artists entering Jamaica temporarily for exhibition. God alone knows why not.

But it is interesting that NGJ states on its webpage that works are NOT to be sent directly to the gallery or any member of staff.

FedEx eventually offered me a "one time only customer satisfaction" refund and sent me the shipping cost. I am still waiting while FedEx confers with its Jamaica FedEx team for refund of the customs duty amount.

Jamaican artists abroad wishing to exhibit at Jamaica National Gallery should know of the difficulties with Jamaica Customs Agency and..

a) NOT insure their work in transit (it will be basis of duty charged); and
b) address the package to the Jamaica National Gallery c/o whoever they choose to deliver it for them; and
c) write on package "requesting Temporary Importation Rule." Diaspora Jamaican artists should know.

Thanks Wellesley. You will be doing us artists a favour & a kind service.

Sep 12, 2019
by: Wayne Stewart

My broker confirmed the container seal was intact when it was delivered to customs inspection bay. The container was not opened until then.

Sep 12, 2019
Tips for Returing Residents
by: Wellesley

For returning residents, I highly recommend they read this response post on tips for returning residents.

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A patriotic Jamaican who adores his culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.  

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