Information for Returning Residents
Thinking about returning to Jamaica to live? Are you finally finished with your studies, or simply tired of living away? Your island home is ready and waiting to welcome you. Before you begin packing your belongings, here are a few helpful facts:
Who Is a Returning Resident?
A returning resident is a Jamaican national who:
- has attained the age of 18 years
- has been resident overseas for not less than three years and
- is returning to Jamaica to reside permanently
The following special cases will be treated as stated below:
- An alien spouse of a female returning resident will enjoy the benefits extended to all returning residents
- Returning (adult) students who have been away for more than one year but less than three years will be given duty concessions which will be restricted to tools of trade and to normally dutiable items which students would have acquired in the course of student life – a personal computer, a printer, electronic equipment, e.g., a television, a VCR and a music system. These may be new or used.
- Jamaicans who gave up their citizenship (who can provide proof of that previous status) and who wish to return home will be granted the status of returning residents with the attendant benefits.
What Can You Bring Home?
Returning residents are allowed to import duty-free specified quantities of household effects (whether new or used), provided that they are not imported for sale or commercial exchange. A list of the household effects that are eligible for duty-free importation is available from the Jamaican government mission nearest you.
There is no longer any distinction made between residents and returning residents when arranging for the importation of a motor vehicle. Any person may import two motor vehicles (one commercial and one personal) in any three-year period. No car may be imported that is older than seven years.
Tools of Trade
A returning resident is entitled to duty-free importation of "tools of trade", that is:
"that type and amount of instruments, tools, equipment, devices and machinery as would be usually used in the normal course and scope of a person's profession, trade or occupation without utilising additional labour".
The quantity of tools of trade allowed in duty-free will be determined by whether the quantity can be used by the returning resident alone, without employing labour.
A returning resident may send his/her request to import tools of trade to the Special Unit in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade for verification before embarking for Jamaica. The unit, after consultation with Customs, will be able to state if the proposed tools of trade will be allowed into the country duty-free.
A returning resident will enjoy the duty benefit on household effects and tools of trade imported within six months before or after his/her arrival in Jamaica. If the time limit after arrival cannot be observed, Customs (with the assistance of the Special Unit) will exercise its discretion with regard to duty concessions.
– The Jamaican mission nearest you.
– The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade,
Returning Residents’ Facilitation Unit,
P.O. Box 624, Kingston, Jamaica
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com