Shipping a car to Jamaica has restrictions and is a long and expensive process. Returning residents, contract officers, work permit holders and employees of certain businesses, like government or companies incorporated in Jamaica, are allowed to ship cars to the country. Cars must not be more than three years old and all the correct paperwork must be filed with the freight company and customs.
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Things you need
- Tax Registration Number
- Picture ID
- Invoice, Bill of Sale or Certificate of Title
- Motor Vehicle Import License
- Shipping agent or freight forwarder
Acquire a Tax Registration Number. You must have a TRN before beginning any of the paperwork for shipping. A TRN is available free with a valid passport from the Jamaican Tax Administration. This can be done in person or by mail.
Apply for a motor vehicle import license. This can be done by mail or online. The license is cheaper if purchased online --- approximately £32. You must provide proof of ownership in the form of a title, bill of sale or invoice if the car is new, two valid forms of picture ID and a TRN. Import licenses restrict the owner from selling the vehicle for one year after shipment, or three years if it is shipped damaged.
Hire a shipping agent or freight forwarder. An agent or forwarder is responsible for getting your vehicle to Jamaica once all the paperwork is in place. They arrange for a container for your car, or, if the car does not fit in a container, they will find a freight company that accommodates drive-on vehicles. Once all the documentation has been submitted, the agent will get a Bill of Lading.
Pay the duty fees at customs. Before you can take possession of your car in Jamaica you must pay duty and have the bill of lading stamped. A shipping agent will negotiate the cost for you. Cars with motors under 1,000cc usually require duty fees of 67 per cent of its value. The cost goes up as the motor size increases.
Tips and warnings
- You can drive on an overseas license in Jamaica for one year before law requires a Jamaican driver's license.
- Purchase a car from a Jamaican used or new car dealer if shipping your car is too expensive or restrictions make it impossible.
- You cannot drive your car away from customs without proper car insurance in Jamaica.
- You cannot ship more than two vehicles to the country every three years.
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