All You Need To Know About Shipping A Barrel To Jamaica

The practice of packing and shipping barrels to Jamaica from migrants to their loved ones has been common place for years . But how many people stop to think that there is actually right way to pack and prepare a barrel, and what is entailed in clearing that barrel once it gets to its destination .

So if you are shipping a barrel to Jamaica, continue reading because we have prepared  a little insight into what is involved in the entire process which we hope will be useful to you.


Packing the barrel

    1. First it is a good practice to sort all items according to their type. This will allow you to get a better idea of the quantity and how you need to pack them, ensure fragile pieces are wrapped and protected.


    1. Although its common sense to pack all canned goods and firmer items at the base, (this includes hard cardboard boxes), many people forget how important this is. Its important to build that strong base that can withstand goods loaded on top. Any food stuff  can now be wrapped securely preferably in plastic  and packed on  this firm base


    1. Items packed in plastic containers is preferred to items packaged in glass so always try to get items packed in plastic to limit the chance of breakage. All bottles caps should be wrapped with tape ( so as to minimize the chance of the cork unscrewing and spilling its contents) placed in plastic before placing them  in the barrel.


    1. Additionally if you have to have have no choice but to have glass then you may use towels and soft items such as tissue paper and any other soft, cushioning materials, to pack around the bottles giving them that extra protection


    1. Now its always a good idea for clothing and other fabric to  be placed at the top of the barrel, preferably in plastic bags to prevent damage from spillage.


    1. Scented items, such as bath soaps, should be placed on top, away from dry goods and food items,  Can you imagine eating your rice meal tasting like Chanel?. If you are shipping more than one barrel, or if you have small boxes  you can separate these items, putting them in separate containers.


Finally your choice of barrel is very important fibre-board barrels though cheaper, cannot hold very heavy loads effectively, so if you plan to load up with many large heavy commodities its best you use the plastic barrels as fibre-board barrels bottoms can and do break when packed with heavy items.


How to label your barrel

Now lets look at another important aspect to shipping your barrel and that is labelling. When you take the time to label your barrel correctly it eliminates errors and speeds up the entire shipping process. Incorrectly labelled cargo may result in shipment delays not to mention create problems with handlers and Customs at destination.

In order to properly identify your barrel or shipment put your receiver's name and address clearly on the barrel/shipment. This should ideally be done both on the top and on the sides of barrel, so that they are clearly identifiable. Also write your name and address as the shipper of the barrel/shipment. You can do this similar to how  you would address a letter.

Fill out a "Shipper Letter of Instructions" sheet and include a detailed packing list, keep all your purchase receipts until your shipment has safely arrived and delivered to its final destination. Double check that the information that is on your documents is the same as on the actual barrel/shipment.

Remember to seal your barrel with the seal you will receive from your shipping agent. Note that there is a serial number assigned to this seal so make a note of it on your dock receipt, you will need that information later

Boxes should be properly reinforced and taped and pallets should be shrink wrapped and preferably strapped for protection of the cargo.

It is a requirement that all wood packaging material destined for Jamaica must be Heat Treated and ISPM 15 certified.


Planning your shipment

Always plan ahead for your shipping so that your shipment arrives at destination in a timely manner to meet your needs, e
specially during peak periods .

Have shipment delivered or picked up in time to make the scheduled sailing. Avoid waiting for the last minute. The earlier goods are received it stands to reason that the earlier they will be processed to be shipped.  

The busy months for shipping are March/April (Easter), June/July/August (festivals/Carnivals/Independence/back to school) and, the busiest season of all, Christmas. Plan wisely for these shipping times so that you are never caught in the last minute rush.

Make your Purchases in the weeks and months before you are ready to ship. It is always a good idea to choose a target arrival date (at destination) and from there choose the shipping date. By keeping in mind these simple suggestions you will give yourself and your family ample time to get the items shipped.

When shipping or air freighting your goods from abroad make sure that:
• shipping/airline documents are obtained from the shipping/airline agent abroad;
• you know the freight agent in Jamaica who is responsible for handling your goods when they arrive.
Be sure to take the Bill Of  Lading , Airway Bill so as to clear your goods through customs


If your goods are personal and household effects and do not exceed a Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) value of US$3000 or the Jamaican equivalent, then you may proceed to the wharf, airport or private warehouse to clear your goods.

Take all your documents such as Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN), valid identification (driver's licence, passport or voter's ID), Invoice, Bill of Lading or Air Way Bill, C27 form,C78X form (not required if items are not dutiable or value US$100 or less) or C86 to the Customs Manifest Branch, at the clearance point. The Manifest Clerk or Officer will process and stamp the baggage declaration form and return the documents to you.

Present all documents to the Customs Officer on duty and await his/her instructions. You should be ready to open your baggage for inspection when told to do so.

If, after inspection, it is determined that no duty is payable, the Customs Officer will issue a Customs Release. If it is determined that duties are payable the Customs Officer will direct you to the Customs Cashier to pay the necessary duties and fees. On your return after paying the duties and fees, the Customs Officer will issue the Customs Release.

Persons to whom barrels have been sent from overseas:

Take your Arrival Notice, Bill of Lading or Airway Bill and identification to the freight agent who is responsible for receiving and handling your goods.

The freight agent will process your papers and collect all fees due to them (not customs fees) and advise you when and where (wharf or warehouse) the package(s) will be available for inspection by Customs.

Take your documents (including Customs Forms C78X and C86 to the wharf or warehouse at the appropriate time and present them to the clerk in the Customs Manifest Branch .

After you have collected your shipping documents from the shipping agent and paid the relevant handling and/storage fees proceed to the warehouse where your barrel or package is stored.

If you have an unaccompanied baggage form c27 (yellow form) from the airport  you must present it along with your TRN and your passport to the customs officer

At the warehouse you must present your shipping documents ie your bill of lading and your arrival notice to the security and wait for your barrel to be located and brought out for inspection.
Once located, the Customs Officer will instruct you to open and unpack the barrel or package for inspection.

You will then be directed to the customs cashier to make payment.After you ha After you have paid you then take the release order to the warehouse operator who will then issue a gate pass to you.
If your barrel contains only personal effects and non commercial items then a flat rate of $6500 is applicable.


If You Are Clearing A barrel For Someone

If you are clearing a barrel for someone you must present

  • an authorization letter which is signed and stamped by a justice of the peace

  • Along with the consignee”s tax registration number (trn) and a valid passport .

Once you have all of these, you can go ahead and present them to Customs.


Ok so now that you have cleared your barrel how do you get it to your destination?

Well there are usually trucks and vans on the outside of the port who will be more than willing to transport your precious cargo but be sure to be willing to negotiate the best price as often times you price will depend on how you look and your perceived ability to pay .

Guess by now you are anxious to know how much it will cost to ship your barrel ,just click the link Request A Quote For Your Barrel and we will be sure to get back to you soon.


168 thoughts on “All You Need To Know About Shipping A Barrel To Jamaica”

  1. Hi , how much it cost to ship barrel from Israel to Jamaica up to 50 kg , or who should i contact , i can’t find any information online about that

        • Hi again Sadie ok the fee to clear the fridge would be approximately US$85 I am not sure wher it will be delivered to so I cant give you a price to deliver.Bear in mind you will alsom have agency fees, port fees and customs duties to deal with I do not know what those are as I do not have enough information

  2. Hello, I sent a barrel to Kingston consisted of school supplies and food n drinks. The items are for a back to school Charity event that I’m having. I’m not a non-profit yet however, I did not pay for any of the supplies they were donated. Last year I worked with a company and they shipped and cleared it for me. This year I’m trying something new. I want to know what do I have to do for them not to charge me or just charge me the flat rate fee to clear my commercial bin.

    • Hello Sue sorry for the late response we were having technical issues. To answer your question Stationery and educational apparatus and equipment(including those used for games and physical training) which are for use by educational institution approved by the Minister responsible for education and which are intended solely for educational purposes are zero rated therefore you generally be asked to pay customs duties. I am not sure what exactly you have in your bin so I cant be more specific than that.

  3. Greetings,
    I am trying to send three barrels to Jamaica from Brooklyn ,ny and would like to know how much it costed. Also how long will it take and do you have services that drops the barrel right at the front door? Any help with these matters will be greatly appreciated. ( all items in barrel are non commercial)
    Thank you

  4. Hi there, I would like to know if it is any at all possible to ship barrels from Detroit to Jamaica. If not from Ohio to Jamaica? If so, What would the process be?

  5. I Sandra. Had payed Laparkan shipping Company in NY $230USD to ship and cleared one barrel. The barrel was cleared and I was told to have the recipient to pickup the barrel and bring $37.000 JMD that they payed Customs for fee. Two days after. I got another called stated Customs did a re assesment for the same barrel they previously cleared for $65000 JMD. Please let me kw if Customs can cleared one barrel Twice. I think I’ve already know the answer. Awaiting your response. Thanks..

    • Hello Sandra,
      Sorry for the delay in responding but we have been having technical issues. Now to answer your query
      Based on the information you provided this represents a very strange occurence. I see where you said you paid $37,000 initially, what did you have in the barrel was it only non commercial items clothes and food items? because these items attract a flat fee of $6,500 . However if you had commercial quantities of any item/s or if the contents does not fall under the description of “personnal effects” then duties would have been assessed according to the CIF value of the goods. As it stands I dont have enough information to understand exactly what is the case. Secondly once the customs duties , warehouse fees etc are paid a release is generated and you are free to leave with your barrel so I am not understanding a reassessment by customs. If you want you can send a private email to and we can discuss further.
      Hope I helped in some way.

  6. Hello there Orandy,
    I would like to know if you offer barrel packing services for customers who are not within the continental USA. Basically I would purchase my items online. Ship them to you in a timely fashion (probably no more than 3-4 vendors). Your company packs the barrel and I pay for your services. Do you offer this?

    • Hello Nick
      Sorry for the delay in responding , the answer is yes we do that . we will allow 30 days for you to prepare and send your items .we will pack and prepare and ship them when you are ready.

  7. I would like to know if we need to do something specific to ship 6 barrels to Jamaica. We come each year on a Mission Trip bringing school supplies and children’s shoes and socks. How can we make this process smooth. Last year we had a bus load of 23 people waiting for hours for us to get the barrels to deliver to the schools. Please help. Thanks.

    • Hello Ejaye sorry for the delay in responding we were having some technical issues I will have some contact you to discuss your particular situation. In the meantime. without a full knowledge of your particular situation, I would suggest sending your barrels early so they can clear customs in time. What we actually is clear the shipment and store it at our warehouse free of cost to eliminate those extra storage cost that the port would charge, its a simple act of picking us your barrels when you arrive .

  8. Hi Orandy how much to clear a barrel with car parts how much to clear a container with car parts how much to clear a 2018 Toyota CHR Thank you in Advance

  9. Last year I pay a little over $30k to ship one barrel with Hunter shipping from N.Y. to king &i go to pick up immediately as they call me the custom officer see old clothes &used carpet yet she charge me $23kmash ,I need a private wharf please

    • Hello sorry for the delay in answering .Firstly mot sure why you would pay $30,000 to ship your barrel.Additionally the customs duties is $6500 so if you paid $23,000 then perhaps you did not have just food and personnal effects or perhaps the volume of items was considered commercial quantities, I cant say.Finally I dont understand what you mean by private wharf.

  10. PTL want to send a barrel to Kingston Jamaica mostly clothes shoes tolietries some food we’re is a shipping dock near Columbus Ohio or Detroit Michigan

  11. Hi, I would like to send a barrel or box (with mostly clothing and stationery items) from South Jordan, Utah to Jamaica. Do you know where I can get a barrel to do so? Additionally, is it cheaper to send a box or barrel? Thanks in advance.

  12. Does it matter what type of goods are in the Barrell/box? Is it searched? I want to ship my PC parts and how would customs treat that case?

    • Hi Samuel. Whether you ship a box, barrel or a full container, the contents do matter. You may ship your PC parts but you need to declare the specific battery information if the battery is included in the shipment. The customs agency has the right to search/examine any shipment (import or export). After the examination, you would be advised of any duties or other assessments.

  13. I see other people asking the same question, but I do not see sny answer? $6500 for custom clearance in Jamaica…This must be J$ ?? Jamaican dollar. But in the information section, you do use the proper J$. Confused! Christine

  14. Hello , I want to know where do I go to purchase a barrel that I can send to Jamaica. I live on Long Island where is the closes place to me . If u can give me the address and phone # thank u jana

  15. Hi,

    What would be needed to ship appliances bought online to JA.
    Can you estimate the total cost if said appliance was valued at 450.00 USD?

    • Hello Marie,
      I am not quite understanding the question as to what is required to ship items bought online.As to the second part of your question I am not sure if you are speaking about the duties to be paid, if so I wouldnt be able to say with the information you have given .All I can say now is that the duties are calculated on the CIF value of the item .That is the Cost of the item plus the freight cost(shipping cost) plus insurance which is calculated at 1% or 1.%% depending on whether you ship the item by ocean or air.Your best option is to send us an email at or call us at 876 933 4110. Sorry we couldn’t help further

  16. Thank you so much for the information. Can you provife me with lidt of shipping companies that ship barrels from Toronto to kingston, Jamaica. I live in Halifax Nova Scotia but they dont send barrels from here

  17. What is the the total cost in USD currency to ship a barrel from New York to Walkers wood Saint Ann. door to door

    • Hi Chandela
      i am afraid i wont be able to answer that question here additionally wwould need more information than what you have given. I will forward your comment to our shipping department and they will be in touch with you shortly.
      Have a great day now.

  18. Hello,
    I do not have any Jamaican ID, TRN or JA Document just my US Passport and drivers license. Can I still send a barrel in my name and collect the yellow form when I get to the airport to clear my goods? or will I need to send it in someone else’s name with Jamaican documents/IDs.example a family member?
    thank you for your help.

    • Hi DC
      There is a requirement for you to provide a Jamaican ID and TRN to receive the duty concession available to importers of barrels.Your best option is to consign it to your sister or friend as you indicated
      Good luck

  19. Hi my name is kashima a first timer receiving a barrel from England I would like a rough estimate at the cost am looking at to clear it in mobay

    • Hi Kashima
      Well if you have reasonable quantities of items in the barrel then the customs duty should be a flat rate of $6500.
      I cant tell you about handling or storage fees that the agent may charge you as the amount varies. Usually though you are given a few days to process the clearance of your barrel before the agent will start charging fro storage. Ask them.
      Hope that helped.

  20. How do I go about shipping a barrel from California? Sacramento and San Jose to be exact. First timer seeking some info.

  21. Why do we pay more at customs to clear a large box compared to clearing a barrell even though both would contain food and hosehold items.

  22. Where in Montego Bay do I go to pick up my Barrel? It’s my first time doing it. About how many barrels a year do people ship to Jamaica?

    • Hello Shavoy usually the barrel will be in the bonded warehouse of the shipper. I dont have enough information though to give you a more precise answer. In regards to your second question, i really dont know. how mmay barrels people ship to Jamaica . The Jamaica Customs would be able to provide that information.

  23. Will I be charged more if the barrel I’m sending from Florida to Jamaica is mostly filled with merchandises such as electronics or cosmetics instead of food and clothes? and how much will I be charged?

    • Hi Amanda regarding your question you will pay more if what you have is considered commercial quantities. I dont know what you have in the barrel so i cannot say exactly how much you will pay over and above the basic rate
      Hope that helped.

    • Hi Jeanette
      Well firstly you would have to register your company with the company’s office as a freight forwarder.
      You may also need to get a police record (dont know if that is still the case) . Why dont you send a private email to so we can assist you better.
      good luck

  24. I shipped a barrel from the UK th Jamaica to be delivered door to door only personal items is in the barrel no electrical appliances all duty was paid from the UK. It landed in Jamaica on the 23/12/2017 on January 6th I called the wharf to see when I could expect delivery no reply I called back only to be told that I have to pay an extra $6.000.. This is my third shipment same thing all duties paid in the uk I didn’t have to pay any extra I don’t understand can someone explain please thanks.

    • Hi Valerie as far as i know duties are not usually paid at the exporting country but are paid in the importing country which in this case is Jamaica. If you import a barrel and you have only personnal items in reasonable quantities then all you would pay is $6500 for duties (this does not include handling charges etc) . What you have said is a litte strange so i would ask you to send us some more information so we can delve deeper into the issue. You can send a private email to and we will try to help you further.

  25. I am in Canada, wanting to ship a medium barrel to Kingston to be delivered to Mandeviille. The Bonded Warehouse would work for me. Is there one in Mandeville. Do you do pick ups in North York Toronto. How much should I be budgeting for. Pick up now.

  26. How can someone in Florida send a barrel to a specific shipping company in Jamaica like for instance (one stop customs clearance centre in Kingston)

    • Hi Marcellus,
      One Stop is a bonded warehouse. In order for you shipment to go there, you would have to send it to one of the agents that have operations at that facility. One of those agents is United Freight Handlers. You would, however be required to name the consignee and notify party for the clearing process

      • Your very professional and informative loves your presentation.. Vam foods clothing be ship in boxes how much would it cost to ship with you …vsn I get jumbo barell for$25 …how much to ship that from miami

        • hello Ambrozine thank you for the compliment . with regards to your question yes food and clothing can be shipped in boxes in regards to your barrel from Miami we would need a little more information as to where exactly in Miami you would be picking up from, do you need door to door, door to port etc

  27. Hello,I have a lot of homemade jams,pickles,salsa,beets all in glass mason jars and labeled, would they be excepted into Jamaica in the barrel I am sending,I hate to waste them.Thanks

    • Hi,
      To answer your question . Most is not all barrels come with a locking ring in which you can place a small padlock to secure the contents .
      It is also a good idea to have a packing list so if something goes missing at least you will know and make a claim . Usually though your seal is not broken until the customs officer is ready to inspect your items, in which case you or the consignee will be on spot.

  28. Is shipping a barel from Los Angeles California to Montego Bay substantially more than from Miami? I’ve been told it’s likely twice as expensive.

  29. When shipping barrels or any other item(s), it is important to remember that the freight cost is only one part of the entire cost of the shipment. You should also consider
    -the customs and port fees at the origin port
    -customs, port, agency and handling fees at the destination port
    -clearance and delivery fees, if using a clearing agent. (If the value of your shipment, including the freight, insurance and value of the items, totals more than US$5000.00, you will be required to use a customs broker to clear).

    • Hi Simone.
      The wharf or port fees are different from the private shipping company fees. Kingston Wharves, Kingston Freeport Terminal (KFTL), Montego Bay Freeport and the airports each set their fees for using their terminals.

      The private shipping companies (freight forwarder, broker, etc.) charge fees to carry out the various documentation and clearing processes for you to get your shipment.

      The fees that are paid to the ports and to the private companies are separate and apart from the customs duties, taxes and admin fees. The customs fees that you might be charged are the same at all ports, depending on what you are importing.

  30. Will be coming to collect a barrel at the whaft.kingston.that my mom sent .I would like to know about how much money should I walk with .its personal item (foods).and what identification should I bring.also can u tell the steps.first I will be coming to the whaft.thank u.

    • Hi Nicole
      You need a government issued photo ID. You will also need to have the shipping documents in your name. You will not be allowed on the port without proper ID, nor on the berth if the documents are not in your name. Anyone accompanying you must meet the same criteria. There is a waiting area outside of the berth for those who cannot go on.

      At the wharf, you will need to go to the Kingport Building to get your documents checked and stamped. If there are any issues, you will be notified there. After that is done, you would proceed to the berth (usually berth 5 or berth 6). It is advisable to wear cool, proper clothing and comfortable shoes.

      You will go to the berth office and present your documents an officer who will give you further instructions. What usually happens then is that your barrel will be located, stripped, examined and repacked. In most cases the consignee (you) will be asked to carry out the physical work. Afterwards the officer will make an assessment which will determine your duties and taxes, if any.

      Without knowing whether or not your items are dutiable or taxable, I can only suggest that you prepare for about $10,000.00 per barrel. The average fee payable is $6500.00 per barrel. Please keep in mind that this does not include transportation cost.

    • hi
      well to answer that question we would need more information like how many barrels (thats if you are talking about barrels) and which warehouse your barrels are shipped to . storage rates differ

  31. if you fly in to montego bay can you pick up your custom form in montego bay to clear your barrels in kingston?

    • Hi Donald. You may pick up your allowance form (yellow) from any airport of arrival. If you shipped your barrels with a particular agent, you will need to pick up your bill of lading from that agent’s local office, wherever they are located.

  32. I’m so enlightened on this subject ! Thanks for this useful information ! I can now proceed to get my barrel off .

    • Hi Ava That fee is a flat rate that customs charges to clear your barrel, however the bonded warehouse and the shipper will have their own charges.These are separate from the customs duties.


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