The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has announced that it will now be randomly selecting personal effects for inspection and travellers through the CJIA with ‘Nothing to Declare’ will be profiled for 100% baggage examination.
The agency said these new procedures are in the interested of revenue protection and adherence to Guyana’s border laws and regulations. “Customers procedures have been revised to facilitate profiling of non-commercial cargo for examinations based on a criteria that seeks to avert smuggling of prohibited, restricted or undeclared goods,” the GRA said in a press release.
The examination will be done jointly by officers of the Customs and Excise and Trade Operations (CETO), Goods Examination Unit (GEU) and the Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) who will determine the degree of examination; i.e. 25%, 50% and 100% and prepare a report on all examinations to the Commissioner-General.
According to the GRA, prior to the new system, personal effects such as barrels, boxes, bins skids, pallets and other packages were not subject to inspections. They were released after a flat rate duty was applied. “However, with the frequency in attempts in recent years to use personnel effects as a smuggling guise, the modifications were seen as necessary,” the GRA said.
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.
The GRA also said passengers who voluntarily join the ‘Nothing to Declare’ line at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri will be profiled for 100% baggage examination by CETO and LEID and a report presented to the Commissioner-General.
“The GRA is confident that the 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,” the statement said.