JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is urging the public to use licensed customs brokers when importing or exporting goods.
  • Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner of Customs, Major Richard Reese, in an interview with JIS News, said the Agency has received several reports of individuals who have been scammed by persons claiming to be licensed brokers.
  • Currently, 199 broker licences have been approved.

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is urging the public to use licensed customs brokers when importing or exporting goods.

Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner of Customs, Major Richard Reese, in an interview with JIS News, said the Agency has received several reports of individuals who have been scammed by persons claiming to be licensed brokers.

“We do have instances where individuals purport to be brokers or broker clerks and importers end up getting fleeced, primarily with motor vehicle imports. There are a number of investigations underway with the police and they have been successful in apprehending these scammers,” he said.

Major Reese said the public should check the gazetted list of licensed customs brokers before entering into any agreement with a customs broker to import or export.

In the meantime, he is encouraging customs brokers to complete their licensing applications within the prescribed time.

“Each year we find a few brokers who fail to submit their applications on time with the requisite documentation, or we may have brokers with outstanding matters with JCA. These outstanding matters primarily relate to revenue,” he said.

Currently, 199 broker licences have been approved.

The Commissioner also sought to clarify the definition of an importer as persons have to be “accountable and responsible for what they do”.

“An importer includes the owner or any other person for the time being possessed of or beneficially interested in any goods from time to time. It also speaks to signing of documentation,” he highlighted.

Major Reese further said that if a customs broker signs a customs entry on behalf of an importer, both the importer and broker will be deemed importers and as importers there are certain obligations that are required to be satisfied by both parties.

“We have suggested to the broker fraternity to enter into an agreement with their clients specifying the obligations of each party so that if there is a breach in any way it is clearly understood who is responsible. If it is that a broker does not wish to be held liable for an import entry it would simply mean that they should have the importer sign that entry,” he said.

Major Reese also appealed to brokers to not process transactions for which they are not responsible.