The lowdown on sending parcels to Jamaica
Despite popular belief, there's more to Jamaica than Rastafarianism, great food, world-beating athletes and reggae music. Comprising more than 4,200 square miles of land, this Caribbean country is the third largest of the Greater Antilles and sits around 145 miles from its much bigger neighbour, Cuba.
Jamaica has plenty of historical links with the UK, having been under its rule until the early 1960s. These days, the main tie lies in its status as a member of the Commonwealth, meaning the two nations share a monarch in Queen Elizabeth II.
Tourism and emigration also bring the UK and Jamaica closer, with around 150,000 Brits visiting every year to enjoy the sights and sounds of this paradisiacal island. What's more, around 26,000 have made the trip without coming back - many of whom have settled in the lively capital, Kingston.
So when the time comes to send a parcel to friends or family members in Jamaica, or maybe even customers, what things do you need to consider?
A Commonwealth nation it may be, but Jamaica isn't part of the EU. So, before anything, you'll need to make sure the items you send are accompanied by the correct customs documentation. If the package's contents are worth more than £270, you'll need to complete and attach form CN23. Anything else should be sent with the white form CN22.
Restrictions and prohibitions
The Jamaican government has worked hard to boost its economy in recent years. As part of the ongoing drive, the procedures and processes around importing items into the country have been simplified and relaxed to minimise confusion. That's not to say you can just send anything you want, though.
At the top of the specific 'no-go' list is obscene material of any kind. This includes pornography and any other indecent literature. The country's customs agents don't take kindly to materials that promote cultism either; the restriction documentation even goes as far as to mention, by name, the publications of Chicago occultist and spiritual writer L.W. de Laurence.
Aside from the above - and of course the usual offenders (arms, narcotics, perishable foods etc.) - you're pretty free to send what you want! That said, it might just be worth checking the official Jamaican Customs site before going ahead.
There are more than 4,600 miles between Jamaica's Kingston and its British namesake, just southwest of central London - that's a long journey for anyone to endure, let alone an inanimate and potentially delicate parcel. This is why it's so important to spend time packaging your items properly. Start by finding a box that is slightly larger than your product, and then fill any gaps around it with soft materials like sponge or bubble wrap. Finish by taping up any openings and writing the address clearly on the front, with 'JAMAICA' as the last line.
With all of the above taken into account, your package should arrive in Jamaica quickly and safely!
You can find information on sending parcels to Jamacia here.