Preclearance Programme

The Jamaica PreClearance Programme was initiated in 1984 to certify agricultural produce entering into the United States. The programme has been co-sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries in conjunction with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA) for the periods 1984-1995 and 1995-2001 respectively. Since April 2001, the Ministry has independently funded the programme.

A preclearance list of 52 horticultural commodities has subsequently been formulated and revised. Fruits, vegetables, root crops, and flowers are inspected and/or treated to ensure that they are pest/soil/disease free for export.

Preclearance Process

  1. Present washed and packaged produce in new, clean, adequately labelled bags and/or boxes for inspection at the two export complexes, One Stop shops. (Goods must be packaged in approved packing houses).
  2. Items are inspected by Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
  3. Commodities undergo necessary treatment(s) as recommended by the Inspectorate. This may involve fumigation which is offered at both export complexes.
  4. Items are stamped treated and approved for release by Jamaica’s Plant Quarantine Officers or USDA.
  5. Produce are loaded, containerized and sealed by APHIS, the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Rejected Export Produce

In the event that commodities are denied clearance for export, a form is issued stating the issues of concern, reasons for denial, as well as the action to be taken by the exporter and/or the Plant Quarantine unit. The exporter may be advised to implement any of the following measures:

  1. Recondition the items, by either cleaning or reprocessing; then return the products.
  2. Dispose the goods. Exporter is responsible for the removal and disposal costs.

The Plant Quarantine unit creates a log of all rejections. The company, quantity, and origin of goods, as well as the frequency of rejections faced by a company are noted. This will determine whether field and/or packaging inspection is required.