Shipping to Jamaica From the US
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Jamaica has a projected annual growth rate of 16.75% (CAGR 2022-2025) and is expected to have 1.2 million ecommerce users by 2025. For a US business looking to amass new customers, this growing Caribbean country makes for an exciting start.
Its geographic proximity to the US, stable democracy, favourable business climate, and the people’s preference for US goods, make it even more of a promising choice.
Whether you’re a business or an individual shipper, it’s good practice to update yourself with the shipping regulations and norms before sending packages to Jamaica. This will help you avoid last minute surprises.
In this guide, you will find information on how to cost-effectively and safely ship to Jamaica from the US, including delivery options, rules and regulations, and more.
Cost & delivery speeds for shipping to Jamaica from the US
Ensuring that goods reach international customers timely and safely is critical to any ecommerce business looking to sell across borders. This holds true even for individual shippers looking to send articles to loved ones abroad.
When shipping internationally, it is therefore paramount to pick a shipping carrier that is reliable and aligns with your shipping needs.
USPS, UPS, FedEx and DHL are among the top international carriers that ship to Jamaica from the US.
Given below is a list of the shipping options available from them. The rates shown here have been calculated using each carrier’s unique pricing calculator.
For the purpose of securing approximate costs, we have considered a fictitious sample of a package of 2 lbs. The rates as of April 2022 have been used for calculation and the final costs are subject to change.
|1-3 business days
|Priority Mail International
|Priority Mail Express International
|3-5 business days
|3-5 business days
|2-4 business days
|1-3 business days
Note: We calculated the following rates using each carrier’s pricing calculators for a consistent example of a 2.2 lbs package in April 2022. Exact prices are subject to change. These are general options for consumers’ shipping orders.
ShipBob’s exact rates for customers will vary as we charge an all-in “total fulfilment cost“ that includes picking, packing, and shipping, among other factors. To know what ShipBob offers when shipping to other countries like Jamaica, please request a quote here.
How to choose a shipping carrier
Shipping goods internationally can be a challenge. It’s therefore good practice to assess the pros and cons of best carrier options to make an informed decision.
Below is a list with details that will help you evaluate and choose the right carrier for your shipping requirements when shipping to Jamaica from the US.
Shipping to Jamaica from the US with USPS
USPS ships to 180 countries internationally, including Jamaica. It has an extensive network across the US making parcel drop-offs easier.
Global Express Guaranteed (GXG) is the fastest and most expensive available when shipping to Jamaica. This service also comes at a cost premium.
Priority Mail International is an economic shipping option from USPS. However, it takes longer to deliver.
When to use USPS to ship from the US to Jamaica
If your need is to get packages delivered in a cost-efficient manner but time is not of the essence, USPS might be suitable for you.
It even has flat rate options that make sending packages of up to 20 pounds relatively affordable.
Shipping to Jamaica from the US with UPS
UPS delivers to over 220 countries and territories including Jamaica. It is a worldwide logistics leader and is also among the world’s largest customs brokers.
When to use UPS to ship from the US to Jamaica
When shipping to Jamaica, UPS Worldwide Expedited is its more affordable service. However, this too is steep when compared with other carriers such as USPS. It however commits to delivering within 5 business days.
Choose UPS when you are looking for a hassle-free experience but are willing to spend for it. Its customs support and assistance, small business solutions, timely deliveries, international shipping helpline, etc. are some of the reasons to trust your shipments with UPS.
Shipping to Jamaica from the US with FedEx
FedEx ships internationally to over 220 countries and is a leading logistics company.
FedEx offers solutions such as the International Shipping Assist Tool that simplify the shipping needs of small businesses.
When to use FedEx to ship from the US to Jamaica
If you like your shipments insured and want time-guaranteed deliveries, fast, FedEx should be your go-to carrier.
The options offered by FedEx to ship to Jamaica from the US are priced significantly higher than other carriers. But this comes with a trustworthy service that is trackable to the last mile.
Shipping to Jamaica from the US with DHL
DHL is a German carrier that has a vast international presence, a trustworthy reputation, and a network to ship across 220 countries including Jamaica.
When to use DHL to ship from the US to Jamaica
Although it may not compare well in terms of its network within the US vis-à-vis other carriers, its door-to-door service is a sure relief for both customers and businesses.
DHL is also committed to adopting green initiatives.
If you are a business looking for free pick-up service, want timely deliveries and are seeking a dependable name, DHL could be your carrier of choice.
Additionally, its green initiatives can be of value to businesses that endorse or engage in environmentally-conscious environment-conscious practices.
Duties & taxes when shipping to Jamaica from the US
Jamaica’s Customs Agency is an important revenue stream for the Jamaican government. It collects a whopping 40% of the taxes. However, the government is gradually practicing a reduction in duties.
The tax-free threshold/Free on Board (FOB) value for imports in Jamaica is set at US $50 for most shipments coming from the US. However, for goods over this value customs are charged on the full value. Exceptions for certain categories of goods may apply.
As a member of the Caribbean Community and Commons Market (CARICOM), Jamaica can apply a Common External Tariff (CET) to all imports from all countries outside of CARICOM. The CET is charged within a range of 10-20%.
Additionally, there is a stamp duty charged on goods. For products under the CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) value of five thousand five hundred Jamaican dollars ($5,500), postage stamps worth five Jamaican dollars are to be affixed to the receipts. However, goods over this value are to carry stamps worth one hundred dollars ($100).
In the interest of local producers, Jamaica also levies heavy import duties, especially on agricultural products and consumer goods.
Some product categories like alcoholic beverages and tobacco, beef, pork, and chicken products, etc. carry an Additional Stamp Duty (ASD) and are also charged with Special Consumption Taxes (SCT).
A General Consumption Tax (GCT) of 21.5% is levied on most goods imported in commercial quantities. But some categories attract both GCT and SCT.
On behalf of the Jamaica Bureau of Standards, a Standards Compliance Fee (SCF) of 0.3% is levied by Jamaica Customs. The Bureau is appointed to verify labelling standards etc.
An Environmental Levy of 0.5 percent is also charged on imports to Jamaica. This is charged at a rate of 0.5% on the CIF value of imports.
Jamaica customs information
Once your international shipment arrives in Jamaica, necessary documents are to be submitted to the Jamaican Customs Agency.
Some of the documents required for imports are:
- A supplier invoice
- Certificate of origin
- Bill of lading
- Airway bill
- A declaration of value
- An import license* (if necessary)
- A phytosanitary or sanitary certificate (selected products and categories)
*An import license or permit to export to Jamaica is required for a variety of products. For example: meats, coconut products, soaps, milk powder, refined sugar, certain chemicals, motor vehicles and parts, plants and parts of plants for perfume or pharmaceutical purposes, arms and ammunition, edible oils, etc.
A license from relevant authorities (Trade Board, Veterinary Services Division, Plant Quarantine Division) to import these products is to be procured before import and sale.
For the import of personal goods through the post office, the Central Sorting Post Office oversees customs clearance on behalf of the recipient and arranges deliveries.
Packages below the threshold or FOB value of US $50 do not attract customs. Therefore, an invoice must be presented to customs for proper assessment of items.
In the event a package is detained and any additional documents are sought, the customs department will issue an advisory via the post office to the recipient.
If personal goods are imported through a courier agency, necessary duties can be cleared by the courier agent on behalf of the importer.
Alternatively, customs clearance can also be done by the importer at the warehouse where goods are stored.
In either route, before the goods are released, relevant custom duties will need to be paid. There may also be a requirement to present a tax compliance certificate and a Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN).
To know more about Jamaica’s customs department and its processes you can visit the official website.
Prohibited items when shipping to Jamaica
Every country bans or restricts the import of certain items. It is only wise to review this list before dispatching goods to avoid delays and hiccups.
Below is a list of such items that are prohibited from import in Jamaica:
Items you can’t ship to Jamaica from the US
|Animals and carcasses of animals prohibited under the Animals Diseases and Importation Act
|Certain brands and crayons from China and Thailand
|Arms and ammunition, except with an export license from the U.S. Department of State and an import permit from the Ministry of National Security
|Opium and dangerous drugs
It is good practice to check the official customs website before shipping. This is as the restricted and prohibited items list is subject to change.
What ecommerce businesses need to know about shipping to Jamaica
Jamaica has one of the highest mobile phone penetrations in the world. This Caribbean island nation also has a robust telecommunications infrastructure.
While internet access is increasing, it is expected that the pandemic would have caused a significant jump as most Jamaicans were working from home.
The ecommerce market here is growing and so is the user penetration which is expected to reach 38.9% by 2025.
If you are looking to gain a foothold in the Caribbean region, Jamaica could make for an exciting choice.
Here are some insights for US ecommerce businesses looking to expand to the Jamaican market.
1. Use the American badge of honor
The US is Jamaica’s prime trading partner accounting for 40% of its total trade. This robust partnership is a result of longstanding business relationships between the two countries.
Jamaican customers and businesses both trust US goods because of their continued quality and reliability. Businesses from the US are also considered to be reputable and honest.
If you are an ecommerce business looking to sell to Jamaicans, use the ‘US goods and business’ tag to your advantage not only with customers but with partners and traders alike.
2. Local after-sales framework is important
If the promise of US goods’ quality is met with a robust after-sales network, it could ascertain your ecommerce business a competitive edge in the Jamaican market.
For an enhanced customer experience, you could liaise with agents or distributors to maintain a trained service staff and ensure an adequate inventory of spares.
3. Build adequate security measures
Corruption and crime are serious matters of concern for businesses looking to expand to Jamaica.
While the Jamaican judiciary has a tradition of being fair, the time to resolve a case could span anywhere from years to even sometimes decades.
To avert the aforementioned, be prepared and build the expense of appropriate security measures in your cost of doing business.
4. Get a 3PL expert like ShipBob onboard
A challenging market such as Jamaica requires extensive learning and understanding. When expanding, it is therefore essential to focus on the core aspects of your business such as product development, marketing, etc.
Adapting to the local market is another important area that must be dealt with carefully.
To ensure you make the most of your time, you can outsource some aspects of your business such as logistics and warehousing that demand in-depth industry knowledge.
Partnering with a international 3PL expert like ShipBob can help you stay updated on leading trends.
Partner with ShipBob, an international 3PL
ShipBob’s global omnichannel fulfilment solution helps you scale your business and serve more customers across the world.
ShipBob not only take care of picking, packing, and shipping your orders to Jamaica, we also offer upfront fulfilment costs that include customs, duties, and additional taxes.
Working with ShipBob can actually turn logistics and warehousing into a revenue driver because you can increase sales and offer the shipping options, transit times, and delivery speeds that customers want.
With ShipBob, you can:
- Ship to other countries with ease, using standard and expedited shipping options.
- Leverage ShipBob’s global presence with fulfilment centres in the US, the UK, Europe, Australia, and Canada.
- Improve cross-border transparency with DDP shipping capabilities to eliminate surprises at checkout.
“There’s a pair of Ombraz on every continent, so international shipping is very important to us — not only in terms of costs but also the customer experience. When I found out ShipBob was expanding, I knew we wanted to expand our physical footprint with them. This would offer us the ability to reduce taxes and tariffs that come with international shipping.
The process of getting inventory sent to ShipBob’s fulfilment centre location was very streamlined. ShipBob has helped us extensively throughout the process and we look forward to accelerating our growth outside of North America.”
Nikolai Paloni, Co-Founder of Ombraz Sunglasses
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Shipping to Jamaica FAQs
Read on to find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions on shipping from the US to Jamaica.
What’s the cheapest way to ship to Jamaica from the US?
USPS’s Priority Mail International is the cheapest way to ship to Jamaica from the US. It aims to deliver within 6-10 business days.
What’s the cheapest way to ship large packages to Jamaica from the US?
USPS has some affordable flat rate options to ship to Jamaica. Although you can only send packages of up to 20 pounds per box. Delivery is expected to happen within 6-10 days of shipping to major markets.
What’s the fastest way to ship a package to Jamaica from the US?
USPS Global Express Guaranteed (GXG) and USPS GXG Envelopes both aim to deliver shipments from the US to Jamaica within 1 to 3 business days.
Do I have to pay customs duties and fees when shipping to Jamaica from the US?
Packages below the threshold value of US $50 do not hold customs duty. For packages over this value, a number of duties/taxes and fees are levied. Some of the major duties/taxes levied are Common External Tariff (CET) charged within a range of 10-20% and General Consumption Tax (GCT), charged at 21.5% on commercial imports. These may vary depending on the product category.
Some goods may attract additional duties/taxes and fees such as stamp duty, Additional Stamp Duty (ASD), Special Consumption Tax (SCT), Environment Levy, etc.
What’s the easiest way to ship something to Jamaica from the US?
USPS has an expansive presence in the US which makes dropping off parcels rather easy. Coupled with services such as free pick-up and flat rate shipping, it definitely makes for a convenient option when shipping to Jamaica from the US.