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Increase in duty-free limit for online shopping still being contemplated

Published:Tuesday | April 5, 2016 | 8:35 AM

Jamaicans who shop online will have to wait a little longer to find out if there will be an increase in the duty-free limit, which currently stands at US$50.

Last September, Commissioner of Customs, Major Richard Reece said the Jamaica Customs Agency would look at raising the limit to US$100.

But speaking with the Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre last night, Major Reece said the agency is still reviewing data on the matter.

He says the department needs to see what effect an increase in the limit will have on revenue before it asks the ministry of finance to make a change.

Reese says Customs will be using data from the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) World, which came on stream on April 1, to determine whether to move ahead with the increase.


Commissioner of Customs Major Richard Reese

Major Reese says when the duty-free limit was increased to US$50, no data was reviewed and individuals found ways to purchase goods and avoid the duties, resulting in a loss of revenue to the Customs Agency.

ASYCUDA is a web-based programme designed to help customers declare items electronically and to prevent freight fraud, undervaluing and smuggling of goods.