The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) will be taking a no-nonsense approach to those who fail to comply with its tamper-proof Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) System which will be fully implemented in the second quarter.

During a press conference held today at his Camp Street Office, GRA’s Commissioner General, Godfrey Statia said that companies and Customs Brokers will be graded for their compliance with the system. In this way, he said that “citizens and in-house people will have a register which they can use to see all the delinquents.”

The tax chief added, “You will be able to know who are ‘A’ brokers and ‘B’ brokers and that kind of thing.”

In addition to this, Statia complained about the struggle he is experiencing to implement the ASYCUDA system. He recalled that the programme was supposed to be up and running by the end of the first quarter. He revealed that this would not be possible.

Statia said, “We are getting a push back from everyone including our staff members. We have people here who are accustomed to doing things a certain way so they are pushing back the changes in the system. There is also push back from companies because they know that as long as the ASYCUDA system is in place, and you have to file a cargo manifest electronically and in an advanced way, then there is no room for corruption.”

The GRA Head added, “We are also getting push back from our Customs Brokers and the Government Institutions… What we have also seen is that when brokers are being trained in ASYCUDA, they leave the company they are working with and go and work at ExxonMobil and that is also one of the reasons why there is a lag in implementation…But come what may, this system will be running by the end of the second quarter.”

Further to this, Statia said that GRA has upgraded its trading codes to be in line with those of the World Customs Organization (WCO).

“So that is what we are going to be using in ASYCUDA. That will bring us in line with worldwide standards. So you will get consistent treatment in tariffs,” the tax chief stated.


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