An examination of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) by the Auditor General, Deodat Sharma, in his 2012 report, has found that there were 734 seizures during the period 2005 to 2010 but as of June 2013, these files still remained outstanding.
It was recommended by the audit office that GRA should continue its efforts to locate and present all outstanding files for audit scrutiny. It was also noted in the report that the delay in processing seizures can result in the deterioration of goods which would in turn result in lost revenue.
The report highlights that in 2012, amounts totaling $65.4M, $19.55M and $42.7M were collected as additional duties and taxes, fines & conveyances and sale of seizures respectively.
Files are required to be opened and closed for all incoming vessels within 42 days.
If files are still opened at a transit shed after 42 days, a report has to be prepared stating the reasons for the incompletion.
An audit examination of the Ships’ Rotation Book which is kept at Customs House revealed that in 2012, 1,185 vessels came into Port Georgetown, but only 916 were completed and submitted to the filing room. Some 269 files have to be completed and similarly, there were 176 files not closed for 2011.
The Administration had indicated to the AG that in 2011, 487 ship files were opened and 311 were not closed. It was explained that these files were not closed for various reasons which are included in reports.
It was also noted that a bond worth $60M which was established for King Solomon Enterprises in January 2001 with Globe Trust & Investment Company Ltd. for the purposes of the warehousing of goods without payment of duty on the first entry had expired.
According to the report, a physical inspection revealed that the thirty-two vehicles kept in the warehouse since 2001 were exposed to the rigours of nature (sun and rain) and were in a deplorable state.
“The windscreens were broken, engines rusted, tires removed and chassis numbers either missing or unclear” the report stated.
In addition, there was no active bond which was in force to cover for the vehicles, since, the Bank went into foreclosure. The taxes payable on these vehicles were estimated at $58.2M and no yearly warehouse license fees were taken out by the warehouse keeper for more than four years.
The Guyana Revenue Authority in response to this said that they were currently working with Law Enforcement to dispose of the vehicles in accordance with Section 123 of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01.
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