The second largest city in Jamaica, Montego Bay is the capital of the St. James parish. The city is the gateway to the tourists into the country and is a popular Caribbean destination. Apart from that it is a major port for cruise ships and there are plenty of resorts and hotels, adding to the travel industry.
With plenty of employment opportunities, there are many people that plan on moving to Montego Bay on a temporary or long term basis. Irrespective of whether you are a returning citizen or retiree looking to settle in Jamaica, having your personal vehicle can be an asset. However, before you ship to Montego Bay, it is important to know that there are some restrictions and limitations by the Jamaican Customs Department. There are tax certifications and documentation that is needed before the vehicle clears customs. To begin with, it makes sense to work with an experienced auto shipping service like our company, A1 Auto Transport service. It is important to know that the custom levies are high in Jamaica and you have to pay nearly 67% of the cost of the car as custom duty. The cost increases when the value of the car is more.
Regulations dealing with auto shipping
There are plenty of rules and regulations dealing with importing a car to Montego Bay. Some of te stringent regulations include:
- The vehicle cannot be older than 4 years
- If you are a resident of Jamaica but were living abroad, you are allowed to import 2 vehicles within 3 years. However, documentation is needed.
- International driving license is valid for 1 year and after 12 months; you are required to get a local Jamaican license.
- Jamaican car insurance is needed before you can drive the vehicle out from the customs department. A1 Auto Transport service will be of assistance in helping you procure the local vehicle insurance.
Getting your car to Jamaica
Before you are able to ship your vehicle to Montego Bay, you will need to have the tax registration number issued by the Tax Administration Jamaica. You will need to get this done before you even plan on shipping your vehicle to Jamaica, whether as an individual or a company. Additionally, as per law in Jamaica, you are prohibited to sell your vehicle for at least 1 year after it has been imported. In case the vehicle gets damaged after shipping, you will need to wait for about 3 years before you are allowed to sell it. Some of the documents that you need include:
- Passport of the owner
- License to import vehicles
- Car title deed
- Purchase invoice
- Tax compliance certificate
Roll On/Roll Off is the most common way of importing a vehicle in Jamaica. The car is driven on the board and secured, and then it is driven off the ship. However, there are some limitations that need to be adhered to before you can ship with RORO. You will need to strip the car of all accessories and personal items. While if you intend shipping your household goods along with the car, this works better. You don’t have to prep the car but everything is sealed within the 20 feet or 40 feet container.
It is best to connect with the Embassy of Jamaica to get the latest information on import laws and about importing the vehicle to Montego Bay.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.