With less than two weeks to go before Christmas, and with the anticipation of the last minute rush, Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) as is customary has moved to extend its opening time to include this Saturday, December 16 and next week Saturday, December 23.

Manager, Marine Wharves at the JCA, Alicia Christian Scott said while Customs House will be open on both weekends, persons using other warehouses should check to ensure the relevant ones are opened.

She also reminded customers who are collecting barrels and packages that they have 14 days within which to collect them without attracting an additional storage charge.

Currently, persons are required to pay shipping fees to the shipping company, handling and storage fees as well as fees to customs for the duties applicable.

There is also a concessionary rate of $6,500 each for barrels containing personal items such as clothing, food, toiletries and small household appliances.

Additionally, persons travelling to Jamaica are allowed US$500 worth of personal effects as unaccompanied luggage being collected within two months of travel.

Christian Scott informed that persons accepting packages should bring along a valid identification card; tax registration number (TRN) as well as the C27/Yellow Form collected when travelling.

She further advised that any person clearing a barrel on behalf of a party in whose name the container was shipped, must have written authorisation from the individual that is signed and stamped by a justice of the peace (JP) or a notary public, as well as a copy of their identification, also certified by a JP.

Meanwhile, Christian Scott, who was speaking with JIS News, is appealing to customers using the ports to exercise patience, as the process will take a little longer during the busy season.