The Jamaica Customs Department will be introducing a $2 million limit on cash transactions for the payment of duty as of November 2012.
Commissioner of Customs, Major Richard Reese, who made the disclosure while addressing the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce's JCC) annual customs seminar on Thursday (Sept. 27), said all cash payments for duty in excess of this amount will need to be accompanied by a report to state source of funds.
This has become necessary, he said, "because of the large volumes of cash that are being tendered and we have to be mindful of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). Therefore, if persons exceed the limits that we will be imposing, they will have to make the necessary declarations."
Major Reese further informed that the limit of $2 million will be reviewed at a later date with the aim of reducing the figure to meet international standards.
In the meantime, the Commissioner informed that the department will be conducting a review of the Customs Act in an effort to crack down on under-invoicing.
Major Reese said the problems of under-invoicing and false declarations are ongoing, and pose a threat to legitimate trade. He stated that in an effort to protect industrial and commercial trade "we will be monitoring (this) closely".
He informed that during the first five months of this fiscal year (April to August), the Customs Department collected an additional $276.6 million after re-valuing under-invoiced imports. Of this amount, $172.4 million was generated from general cargo, while motor vehicles yielded some $104.2 million.
Persons, who are found to have under-invoiced their goods, can be charged a mandatory sum amounting to three times the value of the duty on the goods.