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Tourism Accommodation Incentive

The Fiscal 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 Input Relief (PIR) scheme. Special categories have been created for companies in the manufacturing, agriculture, tourism (accommodations, attractions and ground transportation) and health sectors, along with companies within the creative industries

An application is necessary to access benefits under the Productive Input Relief Scheme.  Tourism accommodations (i.e. hotel, resort cottage, guest house, villa, apartment) can benefit from the PIR, if the entity is in possession of a Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB)license (as per  Section 23A the Jamaica Tourist Board Act (1955) or new and considered licensable by the JTB (new meaning  in building phase, newly constructed or newly owned).

For more information about accessing this incentive see the next step of this business process guideline.

How to access Tourism Accommodation 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 Hotel PIR , as the benefits cannot be applied retroactively. Where goods are imported prior to the grant of the hotel/attraction status, you will be required to pay all the applicable border taxes. 
  2. The PIR allows for:

    • Duty-free importation on certain dutiable inputs on a prescribed list of goods that would have normally attracted customs duties when being imported for use in the operation of a licensed hotel or resort cottage.  The following goods/equipment shall be exempt from customs duty:  The Third Schedule to the above mentioned Resolution refers to a list of goods, which to the satisfaction of the Commissioner of Customs, are imported solely for use in a hotel or resort cottage within the meaning of section 2 of the Tourist Board Act, the operation of which is, or upon completion is intended to be licensed by the Tourist Board under the Tourist Board Act, shall be exempt from customs duty. See Resolution - Amended for a table with the list of items.

    • Additional Stamp Duty (ASD) exemption, under the Revised Stamp Duty Act, where companies can benefit from relief from the additional stamp duty on raw materials and non-consumer goods, when these are being purchased for productive use.

  3. The relief is subject to the proviso that imported items are not available in adequate supplies from a local manufacturer or from a manufacturer within the CARICOM Common Market area or are not otherwise prohibited from benefitting from this relief.
  4. Companies should note that the PIR only covers the import duties and the Additional Stamp Duty. Companies from the tourism sector are required to pay all other port charges and fees. Key among those are the:
    • Customs Administration Fee (CAF): is a schedule of applicable fees based on the item being imported
    • Value Added Tax (or General Consumption Tax (GCT)): the tax varies between two rates, i.e. 16.5% or 21.5% (For hotels that operate under the Omnibus, GCT rate is 10%)
    • Standards Compliance Fee (SCF): 0.3% of the CIF value of the imported item
    • Environmental Levy: 0.5% of the CIF value of the imported item
    • Special Consumption Tax (SCT): Applied to few items including alcoholic beverages, most tobacco products and some petroleum products
  5. 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.
  6. It is recommended that all importers contact a licensed Customs Broker to assist with information for items being imported for use in the tourism industry.
  7. An entity related to the creative industries and tourism sectors, which continues to benefit under a repealed incentive law (“Grandfathered Beneficiary”) cannot simultaneously enjoy the terms and conditions under the Omnibus incentives scheme. In order to receive the new tax incentive credits and other benefits under the reformed incentive regime, they must first elect to give up their current entitlements.

For more information, contact MOT at or 1 (876) 920-4926/30.