Authorities have announced plans to tighten up inspections of personal items being shipped to ensure that the country does not lose out.
According to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), the new measures are in the interest of revenue protection and adherence to the nation’s border laws and regulations.
GRA explained that its Customs procedures have been revised to facilitate profiling of non-commercial cargo for examinations based on criteria that seek to avert smuggling of prohibited, restricted or undeclared goods.
“The examination will be done jointly by officers of Customs Excise and Trade Operations, (CETO) Goods Examination Unit (GEU) and Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) who will also determine the degree of examination…”
Whether a 25 percent, 50 percent or 100 percent examination will be done, at the end of the day, a report will be forward to the Commissioner-General, Khurshid Sattaur.
Prior to the new system, personal effects including barrels, boxes, bins skids, pallets, and other packages, were not subject to inspections. They were released after a flat rate duty was applied. GRA said that the incidents where personnel effects were smuggled have necessitated the changes.
“Chief among the violations are attempts to declare commercial cargo as non-commercial cargo by shipping them in barrels, boxes, bins skids, and pallets. Consignees who make false declarations will be subject to a fine implemented by LEID.”
In the past, there have been reports of guns and other prohibited items being smuggled into the countries in barrels, a popular way that families overseas have been sending stuff to the loved ones in Guyana.
GRA had relaxed the checks, but a number of businesses have been taking advantage, bringing in items for resale.
Meanwhile, at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, passengers who voluntarily join the “Nothing to Declare” line will see their baggage being profiled for 100 percent baggage examination by CETO and LEID, and a report will be presented to the Commissioner-General.
GRA said it is confident that new system will strengthen its capacity to detect discrepancies in classification and valuation of goods, ensure the customs duty and taxes are remitted, and improve compliance from importers/exporters resulting in increased revenue collection.”
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