Customs duties and other taxes are imposed on the CIF of packages

Dear Editor,

Kindly permit me space to respond to a letter published in the Friday August 30, 2013 edition of the Stabroek News under the caption, ‘Protracted process, high charges to retrieve package at GPO.’

The writer claimed that the cost paid to clear a package was high. The Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) in a subsequent response to the letter established that it charges a handling fee of five hundred dollars ($500) for all packages.

The Guyana Revenue Authority wishes to point out that the customs duties and other taxes are imposed on the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) of the items imported and are calculated on a compound basis. The rates of duties and taxes are listed in the Customs Tariff (Chapter 82:01), the Excise Tax Act No. 11 of 2005, and the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act No. 10 of 2005.

In relation to the package in question, it must be noted that there was no CP72 form (declaration from the exporter) attached to the package; hence, the Customs Officer examined and valued the items based on the description, and affixed the CIF using the identical goods method of valuation. The items were valued at four thousand Guyana dollars ($4000) and calculated at a rate of twenty per cent (20%) duty and sixteen per cent (16%) VAT.

A further break down of this amount is as follows:

Customs Duty $800

VAT $768

Total Duty and Taxes $1,568

When the GPOC’s handling fee of five hundred dollars ($500) was added to the total duty and taxes, the amount payable equalled two thousand and sixty-eight dollars ($2,068).

In the missive the writer also claimed that the package was opened by a Customs Officer. It must be noted that, at the GOPC, packages are never opened by Customs Officers. It is the function of the staff of the Guyana Post Office Corporation to do so.

At no point during the inspection did the writer query the cost or the procedure. Had this been done an explanation would have been provided. The Guyana Revenue Authority appreciates the opportunity to provide clarity to this matter. Additionally, persons who have queries can call our Tax Hotline on 227-6060 extensions 1201-1204.

Yours faithfully,
Khurshid Sattaur
Guyana Revenue Authority

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