flag Jamaica Jamaica: Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Jamaica is open to foreign trade, which represents 90% of its GDP (World Bank, latest data available). The country is a member of Caricom and WTO. Current negotiations and commercial issues affecting Jamaica include greater Caribbean integration, post-Cotonou negotiations, and Jamaican relations with the U.S.. In 2022, the country’s main exports were petroleum oils (37.6%), petroleum gas (16.5%), artificial corundum (13.1%), aluminum ores and concentrates (4%), and undenatured ethyl alcohol (3.3%); whereas imports were led by petroleum o (24.3%), petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons (6.2%), motor cars (3.9%), and medicaments (2.2% - data Comtrade).

Jamaica’s main export partners are the United States (60.7%), Russia (5.2%), United Kingdom (4.1%), Canada (4.0%), and Iceland (2.3%); while its main imports partners are the United States (41.7%), China (7.4%), Brazil (6.8%), Trinidad and Tobago (5.7%), and Japan (3.1% - data Comtrade 2022). Jamaica and other countries participating in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) have harmonized their import tariffs applied to third countries. Nevertheless, import duties on some agricultural products and certain consumer goods remain high to protect local producers. Some tax exemptions have also been eliminated, and the country benefits from certain assets, such as its marine harbors, seaports, high-quality transportation infrastructure, and uncomplicated custom regulations.

The foreign trade balance is structurally negative. According to WTO, in 2022, the country’s exports of goods were valued at USD 1.9 billion (+28.3% year-on-year) while imports stood at USD 7.7 billion (+29.4% y-o-y). With regard to services, exports amounted to USD 4.5 billion (+54.8% y-o-y), with imports totaling USD 3.2 billion (+2.3% y-o-y), making Jamaica a net service exporter. As per data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), the country spent USD 6,982.0 million on imports for January to November 2023, while earnings from total exports were valued at USD 1,862.7 million. During the eleven-month period, imports declined by 1.6% compared to the corresponding 2022 period, primarily due to reduced imports of "raw materials/intermediate goods" and "fuels and lubricants," which decreased by 5.0% and 13.9%, respectively. Revenue from total exports for January to November 2023 increased by 12.1% compared to the similar 2022 period, driven by an 86.5% rise in the exports of "crude materials (excl. fuels)". Domestic exports rose by 12.0% to USD 1,405.6 million, compared to USD 1,254.9 million in the 2022 period, while re-exports increased by 12.4% to USD 457.1 million.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 6,3894,7655,9717,7317,858
Exports of Goods (million USD) 1,6511,2511,4811,9012,107
Imports of Services (million USD) 2,6241,7143,1433,2170
Exports of Services (million USD) 4,3781,9992,9204,5220
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 4-271212n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 4-302615n/a
Trade Balance (million USD) -4,031-2,949-2,782-4,608n/a
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 90667373n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 52424645n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 38242828n/a

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2022
United States 60.7%
United Kingdom 4.1%
Canada 4.0%
Iceland 2.3%
Latvia 1.7%
See More Countries 27.1%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
United States 41.7%
China 7.4%
Brazil 6.8%
Trinidad and Tobago 5.7%
Japan 3.1%
See More Countries 35.3%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

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Main Products

1.9 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 37.6%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 16.5%
Artificial corundum, whether or not chemically...Artificial corundum, whether or not chemically defined; aluminium oxide; aluminium hydroxide 13.1%
Aluminium ores and concentratesAluminium ores and concentrates 4.0%
Undenatured ethyl alcohol of an alcoholic strength...Undenatured ethyl alcohol of an alcoholic strength of < 80%; spirits, liqueurs and other spirituous beverages (excl. compound alcoholic preparations of a kind used for the manufacture of beverages) 3.3%
See More Products 25.4%
7.7 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 14.9%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 9.4%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 6.2%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 3.9%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 2.2%
See More Products 63.4%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 

To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls

To go further, check out our service Import-Export Flows

 
 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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List of tariffs and local taxes that apply to your product on our service Customs Duties

 

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
International Economic Cooperation
Member of Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

Member of Free Trade area of America

Useful Resources
Jamaica Customs
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
The Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO).
 
 
 

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Latest Update: May 2024