‘Buyers Beware of Scammers’ – Warns Jamaica Customs

The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is reminding persons interested in purchasing goods on auction, including motor vehicles, to comply with the Agency’s standard operating procedures, in order to prevent being scammed by persons purporting to be able to sell vehicles on Customs auctions to them.

Persons are advised to report the matter to the police, if they believe they are victims of a scam.

The public is asked to note the following guidelines:
• All public auctions are advertised in the newspaper thirty (30) days before the date of the auction (section 88, sub-sections 1 & 2 of the Customs Act specify the process by which goods deposited within a Queen’s Warehouse shall be sold).

• The JCA only sells goods on auctions and will not sell any item outside of the guidelines laid out in the Customs Act and its Regulations. Any item placed on public auction, such as a motor vehicle, which is not sold at that auction, will only be resold at a subsequent auction.

• All motor vehicles are sold through competitive bidding, and no individual bidder is accorded special treatment or privilege.

• The Agency will not use email or telephone to offer items for sale and all payments are only to be done at the Jamaica Customs Agency’s Cashier, on the day of the auction. Cheques must be written in the name: ‘Collector of Customs’.

Registration for an Auction
Persons wishing to participate in an auction must register through the JCA. Registration takes place at Queen’s Warehouse – 230 Spanish Town Road; Queen’s Warehouse – Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA); Queen’s Warehouse – Sangster International Airport (SIA); Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Registration of bidders closes at 3:00 p.m. on the day before an auction.

Applicants are required to submit the following:
• Two (2) passport sized photographs
• Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) Card
• Valid Government Issued Identification (Driver’s Licence, Passport, Electoral ID)
• Bidder’s Registration Fee of Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00). The bidder will be given a Bidder’s Registration Card which expires on December 31 each year.

The Agency also takes this opportunity to remind consumers that due to the onset of COVID-19, that the Agency has suspended the hosting of public auctions, until further notice. Auctions done by Private Treaty, are however still being undertaken. Persons may call the Agency at 876-922-5140-8 for details.