GRA outlines measures on the application of reduced freight charges
In keeping with His Excellency, the President’s directive on relief for freight charges to pre-pandemic levels in the calculation of duties and taxes on goods imported and sold locally, the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) advises that the relief to freight charges will be applied to imports of goods as stated below subject to the following conditions.
- This relief takes effect for a period of six (6) months from August 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022 (Not August 01, 2020 as inadvertently stated in the release from the Office of the President).
- The invoice must be on or after August 1, 2021, or after, and be within the period specified.
- This measure is for FREIGHT purposes used ONLY in the calculation of duties/taxes.
- The invoices must be at an FOB level, or the FOB position must be clearly stated on the invoice for valuation checks in keeping with the Fifth Schedule.
- The Relief is granted for the reduction of freight to the pre-pandemic level of March 31, 2020, and will only apply if the actual freight charges paid is higher than the pre-pandemic rate as outlined in the average freight rates below:
- Countries/regions not specifically mentioned above will be reviewed on a country basis when the declaration is submitted and/or when audit checks are conducted.
- Any other condition approved by the Commissioner General and communicated to the general public.
The measure is intended to provide relief so that the benefits can be passed on to the consumers. As such, the (FOB) values declared on invoices will be reviewed, cross-referenced, and applied by the Customs, Excise, & Trade Operations (CE&TO) based on the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Fifth Schedule to the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01 for consistency.
Should unscrupulous importers seek to manipulate the system for tax evasion, they will be penalized in accordance with existing legislation. In this regard, the Central Revenue Protection Unit (CRPU), Post Clearance Audit Unit (PCAU), and Law Enforcement & Investigations Division (LEID) driven by a Risk Management System will verify the accuracy and authenticity of declared particulars and taxes paid in keeping with law.
Those found non-compliant may be subject additional taxes/fines/penalties and six months imprisonment, and the possible removal of the relief being granted under the measure. Should further clarification be needed, please contact the CE&TO on telephone no: 227-6060. (GRA Press Release)