Agriculture Incentive

Under the Omnibus Incentives Regime, the Customs Tariff (Revision) Resolution is geared towards the productive sector, and provides for the duty-free importation of capital equipment, raw materials and other industry-related consumer goods. The key benefit is the introduction of the Productive Inputs Relief (PIR) scheme. Special categories have been created for companies in the manufacturing, agriculture, tourism and health sectors, along with companies within the creative industries.


While there is no application necessary for you to access the benefits under the Omnibus Incentives framework., an individual or entity seeking to benefit from the Productive Inputs Relief (PIR) system must first register with the respective regulating Ministry for status as a bona fide ‘Producer’.   The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MOAF) is the regulating Ministry for the Agriculture sector.  For more information about accessing this incentive continue to the next step of this business process guideline.

 

How to access Agriculture Incentives.

The Process
Process Quick Tips
  1. Items that are imported and landed in Jamaica prior to the final “Status” designation being awarded to your company, will not be covered by the agriculture fiscal incentives, as the benefits cannot be applied retroactively. Where goods are imported prior to the grant of the farmer/producer status, you will be required to pay all the applicable border taxes.
  2. The relief is normally for a period of ten (10) years in the first instance but may be extended another five (5) years by the Minister with responsibility. Criteria taken into account in granting any further relief include: i) the potential foreign exchange earnings/ savings, and ii) the viability and profitability of the enterprise.
  3. It should be noted that approved Farmers/Producers are required to keep separate books of accounts relating to their prescribed agricultural activities and must still file returns by March 15 each year.
  4. In the event that any of the terms and conditions imposed are breached, the Minister may revoke the Order, but not before the approved farmer has been given the opportunity to explain the circumstances of his failure to comply with those terms and conditions.
  5. Companies should note that as indicated above, the PIR only covers the import duties and the Additional Stamp Duty. Registered farmers also benefit from a 50% discount on the Customs Administration Fee (CAF) and a deferment on the GCT.
    1. In order to benefit from the GCT deferment facility, the farmer must apply to Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ). This application should be submitted to the TAJ subsequent to the company’s qualification for Productive Inputs Relief. It must be highlighted that the GCT deferred on imported inputs is not an exemption, and, therefore, must be paid within the time specified by the GCT Act.
    2. The 50% discount on CAF is currently applicable to certain inputs only. The inputs are specific to raw materials, intermediate goods, and packaging materials. This is indicative that full CAF is payable on the consumables and machinery and equipment (including parts thereof).
    3. Duty-free Importation of Equipment and Machinery, as well as revised tariff rates ranging from 0% to no higher than 20% (with some exceptions).
    4. Concession on specific vehicles, farmers registered with RADA, are able to access a concession on specific vehicles for farming purposes once in every five (5) years. General information on this concession is available "here".
  6. Some items are exempted from the PIR, i.e. goods listed in Part I of the Fourth Schedule of the Customs Tariff (Revision) (Amendment) Resolution 2013 and goods that the Commissioner of Customs is satisfied can be obtained in adequate supplies from a local manufacturer or from within CARICOM.  This list of ineligible goods is not exhaustive, and a complete listing can be found in the Customs Tariff.
  7. It is recommended that taxpayers contact a licensed Customs Broker to assist with information for items being imported for production or farming.
  8. For more information, contact MICAF at agriculture@micaf.gov.jm or 1 (876) 968-8595.