Understand more about the process
If you are a manufacturer of processed foods, under the Processed Foods Act (1959) and the Standards Act (1969), your factory must be registered with the National Compliance Regulatory Authority (NCRA) before your products can be distributed on the market. This requirement is in addition to registering your factory with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS).
Prior to completing your application for registration and submitting it, the NCRA’s application process for registering your factory/food processing facility requires that you first complete several preliminary steps including the following:
• Label Assessment - done by the Bureau of Standard Jamaica’s (BSJ) Packaging Lab
- Every manufacturer must ensure that his or her product is properly labelled, providing basic, yet important information for the consumers. A label is any written, electronic, or graphic communication about the product on the packaging or on a separate but associated material. For Jamaica, the label must be in English, even if other languages are also included. For standards and guidelines.
• Product Sample Testing - done by the BSJ’s Chemical, Microbiology Food Lab
- The BSJ conducts related regulatory laboratory testing under its Standards Compliance/Import Monitoring Programme. Manufacturers are required to provide samples of all their products for testing prior to them entering the market.
• Testing Measuring Equipment - done by the NCRA
- The NRCA inspects and tests measuring equipment (e.g. scales, storage tanks, dispensers at petrol stations, weigh bridges) for accuracy. This is done during a factory visit.
• Food Handlers’ Permits - done by the Ministry of Health (MOH)
- In keeping with the Public Health Food Handling Regulation (1998), all persons (management/floor workers/security/office and ancillary staff) working in a food handling establishment, regardless of their position, need a valid food handlers' permit.
This activity will be done as a part of the application process.
• Factory Inspection - done by the NCRA
- Once your application has been submitted to register your factory, an inspection will be scheduled. During the factory inspection, the NCRA inspectors assess the following areas among others:
- general sanitation
- water supply (quality/source/etc.)
- screening of external openings (pest control)
- suitability of equipment for proposed use
- self-draining, impervious floors
- adequate lighting and ventilation
- impervious utensils and tables
Complete the relevant form(s) and provide any supporting information/documents
To register a factory, you may visit the Occupational Safety and Health Department (OSHD) of the MLSS to collect the application for registration/re-registration of your Factory. It is also available by email request and available for download on the MLSS’ website
Having completed all of the preliminary assessments and testing on your labels and products, your application for factory registration can be prepared and submitted. You will need to visit the NCRA to collect your application forms and provide all the relevant supporting documents/information.
If your manufactured food product does not appear on the “prescribed foods list”, the Standard Act application form is required. For prescribed foods, both the Processed Food Act and Standard Act application forms should also be completed.
For Registration of Factory/Facility:
- Application Forms to be completed - see list below.
- Complete Application for Factory Registration Form - available by email
- Complete Registration for Food Factories (General) Form.
- Complete Standards Act Application for Registration of an Establishment Form - available by email.
- Complete Form A (Regulation 3) The Processed Food Act Application for Registration of an Establishment - If your product is a prescribed food
- Deposit on Registration to be paid - visit the NCRA to pay the fee and collect your receipt.
- Metrology Information Report - (i.e. name; type; capacity of all weighing and measuring devices to be used) (if applicable)
- Pro Forma Invoice for metrological testing
- Product Labelling Report - approval from BSJ Packaging Lab
- Product Sample Report - approval from the Chemical, Microbiology Food Lab
- Valid Food Handlers’ Permits - must be presented for all employees
- Tax Compliance Certificate (TCC) - TCC for your company is required. How to get your company’s TCC? Find out more.
- Tax Registration Number (TRN) - TRN for your company is required. How to get your company’s TRN? Find out more.
For more information on the application requirements and process, visit the NCRA website.
Submit your completed application:
Once your application form and any relevant supporting information/documents have been completed, signed, stamped and certified where required; you will need to visit NCRA to submit your application for factory registration.
The address and contact information for the NCRA is indicated below:
The National Compliance Regulatory Authority
6 Winchester Road
Tel: 1 (876) 618-1534/632-4275 (BSJ Switchboard will direct your call)
Fax: 1 (876) 929-4736
Monday – Thursday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Friday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Pay the relevant processing fees:
The overall cost of registering your factory varies depending on the amount of time required for the assessments/factory visits. You will be required to pay a registration fee upfront and take into consideration other costs related to testing (both by the BSJ and the NCRA), assessments and inspections. Upon submission of your application and completion of the inspection visit(s), thereafter you will be billed for any additional cost.
Label Assessment Fee: varies with the target market
- JMD$4000 per label
- Plus, an additional JMD$1000 each for variants
- For 5-day express service - JMD$8000
(costs are for locals, varies for overseas applications)
Metrology Testing Fee: varies with the maximum weight
- JMD$1680 for scales with maximum weight of 50kg
- JMD$7000 per Hopper
- Other rates apply for storage tanks, tanker wagons, roller weights and weigh bridges
Factory Assessment/Inspection Fee:
- JMD$5000/hour for the first hour
- Plus, an additional JMD$1000/hour thereafter
You should also refer to the BSJ for information on any additional product assessments and tests required and the respective rates for them.
Please note: Fees are subject to updates.
Overall Approval - maximum of thirty-six (36) working days.
- Label Assessment - completed within fifteen (15) working days from application; rush service available for five (5) working days.
- Product Sample Testing - completed within twenty-eight (28) working days from application.
- Metrology Assessment/Inspection - completed within fifteen (15) working days from application.
- Factory Assessment/Inspection - completed within fifteen (15) working days from application.
- Your Certificate of Registration - issued (or refused) within five (5) working days from inspection.
Additional steps required for approval:
Once your application has been submitted, there are some additional steps that the NCRA will need to undertake as a part of their own due diligence processes. This includes the following:
- Review and assessment: carried out on the application and supporting documents.
- Factory Equipment Inspection - an inspection will be scheduled and conducted within fifteen (15) days, by the Legal Metrology inspectorate team.
- Factory/Building Inspection - an inspection will be scheduled and conducted within fifteen (15) days, by the Food Inspector.
- Registration Assessment completed – review of registration documents and final decision made.
- A Certificate of Registration issued - if the findings of the tests and the inspection(s) reveal that everything is in order.
If any inadequacies are noted with the plant or equipment during the inspection(s), the manufacturer is advised, and a time is agreed to correct them. The NCRA will then make follow-up visits at that time to confirm that the corrections have been completed. The NCRA allows for up to three (3) assessments under a single application.
Once the establishment is compliant, a Certificate of Registration is granted for the Factory/Facility. For all applicable manufacturers, registration is renewable on an annual basis.
Collect your approved document(s):
Once the review and assessment process has been completed and if your documents and factory assessments/inspections are in order, the NCRA will notify you that your factory registration has been approved.
At the end of the process you would have received the following:
- Your Approved Labels (BSJ), Product (BSJ) and Metrology (NCRA) Testing Reports
- A Certificate of Registration for your Factory