Embassy of Jamaica Tokyo, Japan

Motor Vehicle Trade

Importation of Motor Vehicles into Jamaica

The Government of Jamaica has introduced various policies since 1989 to liberalize the trade in motor vehicles and to ensure compliance with the necessary regulations and standards. Since then, there has been a steady increase in the demand for Japanese vehicles, which have won a reputation in Jamaica for good quality and affordable prices.

Japanese used motor vehicles are currently exported to over 160 countries worldwide, including Jamaica, where they account for over 90 percent of the vehicles on the road. In 2005, over 9,000 used motor vehicles were imported into Jamaica from Japan by registered dealers and individuals.

There is now a comprehensive Motor Vehicle Policy in place to regulate the trade in new and used motor vehicles. Jamaican traders and their Japanese counterparts are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with this policy.

For detailed information on the Jamaica Motor Vehicle Import Policy, please visit the following site: http://www.mct.gov.jm/motor_vehicle_unit.htm

Regulations and Procedures for Importing Motor Vehicles to Jamaica
Based on Cabinet Decision No. 45/11, dated November 21, 2011, the Motor Vehicle Imports Policy has been amended to allow for the extension of the maximum age for importation of motor cars and light commercial vehicles to 5 years and six years, respectively.
The ages of these vehicles will be calculated using the current methodology for determining the age limits on motor vehicles (ISO, JIS or Age Verification Manual) as stipulated in Section 8.0 of Ministry Paper No. 73 dated June 2004 (Motor Vehicle Imports Policy).
The amended age limits took effect on Thursday December 01, 2011.

Any individual or company who intends to import a motor vehicle to Jamaica must first apply to the Trade Board for an Import Licence and then wait for the licence to be granted before making the arrangements for the shipping of the vehicle to Jamaica. Import licence applications are normally processed by the Trade Board within one day, provided that the application form has been properly completed and all the relevant supporting documentation, as well as company seal and authorized signature, where necessary, have been submitted.

Please note that it is a breach of Customs Regulations to import a motor vehicle without first obtaining an import permit. This can result in the confiscation of the vehicle and/or the imposition of fines of up to three times the value of the vehicle.

Once the import licence has been issued the importer may commence arrangements for the shipping of the vehicle.

When the vehicle is imported into Jamaica, the importer must seek the services of a licensed customs broker to clear the vehicle through customs. The broker will advise the importer of the information and documents required, the procedure to be followed, the port and wharf charges, the amount of duty to be paid to customs, as well as the fee to be paid to the broker for their services.

After the documents have been processed and all duties, charges and fees are paid, the broker may proceed to clear the vehicle from the port of entry.

The following documents will be required:

  • Import Licence issued by the Trade Board;
  • Title issued to the owner of the vehicle by the Government of the country where the vehicle was purchased;
  • Bill of Lading obtained from the shipping agent, with information about the particulars of the vehicle, the date it landed in Jamaica and the port of entry;
  • Invoice from the supplier;
  • Bill of Sight – This is a document on which details of the motor vehicle being imported are recorded. It is prepared and signed by the Customs Broker and certified by Customs. This is required for a new or used vehicle, if the vehicle has not been properly described on the invoice;
  • Tax Payer Registration (TRN) Number;
  • Tax Compliance Certificate,  which may be obtained from the Tax Compliance Certification Unit, 12 Ocean Boulevard, Kingston and also at various Collectorates across the island;
  • Import Entry – C78 – This is the main document on which all particulars of the motor vehicle, the name of the importer, shipping information and duties paid are recorded. It is normally completed by a licensed Customs Broker and submitted to Customs.

Individuals or companies seeking to import buses into Jamaica must first obtain the approval of the Ministry of Housing, Water, Transport and Works.

For detailed information on import licences, customs procedures, charges and Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI) for Jamaica, please visit the following sites:

Certified Motor Vehicle Dealers
A list of Certified Used Motor Vehicle dealers in Jamaica may be obtained from:  http://www.tradeboard.gov.jm/tblweb/MVDealerMain.php

Consumers who experience difficulties in relation to used motor vehicles purchased in Jamaica may contact the Fair Trading Commission https://jftc.gov.jm and/or the Consumer Affairs Commission http://www.consumeraffairsjamaica.gov.jm  to obtain information on the avenues available for redress.

A list of registered Japanese used motor vehicle dealers may be obtained from the site of the Japan Used Motor Vehicles Exporters Association at https://www.jumvea.or.jp

Jamaican importers are urged to exercise caution and due diligence in relation to any purchases of used motor vehicles over the internet.