Overview of the different labeling and marking requirements, including any restrictive advertising or labeling practices and where to get more information.
The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) administers the Standards, Processed Food, and Weights and Measures Acts, to which products entering Jamaica are subjected. It is the responsibility of importers and distributors to ensure that goods sold in Jamaica conform to the labeling standards. The BSJ stringently exercises its legal authority and is known to block the entry and sale of goods that are not properly labeled. Chief among the labeling breaches are incorrect date formats and non-English language. A full description of labeling requirements is available in Labeling Standards JS1 Parts 1 to 29.
The smallest individual unit of a pre-packaged good should be labeled in English and should include the proper name of the product, an accurate declaration of the contents, an accurate description of the ingredients, a date mark or date of minimum durability, as well as the name and traceable business address of the processor, manufacturer, packer, importer or distributor and the country of origin. Manufactured, expiry, and other date marks must conform to the traditional European “dd/mm/yy” or ISO’s “yy/mm/dd” date formats. The United States’ conventional “mm/dd/yy” or the five-digit Julian “day-of-year year,” “year day-of-year” or other such modifications of the Julian system are not accepted for the purpose of trade and commerce in Jamaica. Jamaica has not developed a definitive standard for the labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and Living Modified Organisms, but current directions favor adopting language developed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.