Learn about barriers to market entry and local requirements, i.e., things to be aware of when entering the market for this country.
While trade liberalization has made it easier to import into Jamaica, some technical barriers, particularly sanitary and phyto-sanitary restrictions, remain. Jamaica is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). Some goods imported from outside CARICOM are subject to a common external tariff (CET). Goods certified to be of CARICOM origin tend to enjoy duty-free status and are not subject to customs duty. However, these and other goods may be subject to additional taxes in Jamaica, including a 15 percent General Consumption Tax (GCT), Customs Administrative Fee (CAF), Standards Compliance Fee (SCF), and/or Special Consumption Taxes (SCT) in Jamaica.
High electricity cost is also a major impediment for businesses, although Jamaica has modernized and diversified its generation infrastructure. The country has reduced its dependency on petroleum, shifting to LNG and renewables. In early 2020, the government issued its long-awaited Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which proposed over 1.5 GW of new generation capacity by 2037. Renewable energy will account for almost 80 percent of the new capacity, with 400 MW to be implemented by 2024. This timeline has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with requests for proposals (RFP) expected later this year or by early 2023. Obtaining work permits for foreign workers can be burdensome, as employers are expected to describe efforts to recruit locally to prove the requisite skills do not exist in Jamaica. However, the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) does not readily have data available to determine if the requisite skills exist in Jamaica, sometimes delaying decision making.