The National Board of Revenue on Monday issued a standing order on customs valuation procedure for determining the value of imported goods to prevent duty evasion through misdeclaration and remove harassment of importers.
The procedure will bring uniformity in determining actual value of imported goods as there are severe inconsistencies in practices at different customs houses and among officials in determining the value, officials said.
The customs wing of the NBR issued the order to implement the Customs Valuation (Determination of Value for Imported Goods) Rules 2000.
Officials said that the order would come into effect from September 1 and the NBR gave one month to customs offices to take preparations in this connection.
Customs houses, land customs stations and their officials were asked to conduct customs valuation activities of imported goods through Asycuda World system in line with the rules from September 1, they said.
The new procedure, they said, would remove inconsistencies prevailing at different customs houses and LC stations in determining the assessable value of imported goods.
A senior NBR official on Wednesday told New Age that there were no specific and comprehensive guidelines or working methods on implementation of the rules causing various types of complexities, loss of revenue and harassment to importers.
Customs officials, in many cases, would follow their own interpretation in determining the value of imported goods causing differences in values, duties and taxes for the same products assessed by different officials and even at different customs houses, he said.
He said that customs officials could not detect the cases of misdeclaration such as under-invoicing and over-invoicing in absence of a specific valuation procedure.
An imported product would get assessed at different prices at different customs houses by different officials, he said, also creating uneven competition among traders for the same products.
NBR officials said that all customs houses, LC stations and officials would now follow the same procedure and the assessment value of an imported good would be the same at all entry points like Chittagong Customs House, Benapole Customs House and Dhaka Customs House.
Traders would not be able to make misdeclarations over the prices of imported goods as the accuracy of declared value would be verified at four layers and would be compared with the declared value at different customs stations by different importers, they said.
The incidences of misdeclaration will be detected in NBR’s internal online system Asycuda World as the valuation process will be completed through the system and all previous data regarding price, unit, specification, brand, country of origin and other relevant information will be preserved in the system.
Importers will also have to submit a price declaration form to the customs authority.
According to the order, importers will also have to provide detailed import documents, including letter of credit, invoice, bill of exchange, bill of lading and commercial descriptions of products.
Customs officials will verify the authenticity of the documents and the declaration.
They will also conduct physical examination of imported goods to collect data on the issues like value, quantity, quality, weight and country of origin.
Customs officials will follow four methods – actual transaction value, value of identical goods, value of similar goods and deductive value – in determining the assessable value of imported goods.
Customs houses will also conduct internal audit on randomly selected consignments after release.
The NBR also asked the customs commissioners to ensure speedy release of consignments after conducting customs valuation and completing the customs procedure.