The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) recently conducted an assessment of its systems and fund that the arrangement in place for Permits for Immediate Delivery (PIDs) and Prior to Processing (PTPs) has to be fortified urgently.
GRA explained that under the Customs Regulation 50 (2), a PID may be issued by the Commissioner-General for perishable goods and any other goods for which immediate delivery can be permitted without any risk to the collection of duty. The Guyana Standard understands that the PID is issued to avoid the unusual loss or inconvenience to the importer or to the carrier bringing the goods to the port. The process is also one which helps to eliminate or reduce congestion on wharves, at airports or other places.
Further, GRA noted that importers are required to lodge a bond, as security for duties and taxes payable on the said imports. The revenue collection body said that once the importer receives the PID, he is required to ensure that goods released are entered within 10 days from the date of the PID being received.
The authority noted, however, that the lowest annual average reported for the perfection of this facility was 28 days while the highest was 53.
The revenue authority said that this demonstrates a blatant disregard for established procedures.
Although the legislative provisions are adequate in providing sanctions against defaulters, the agency acknowledged that enforcement is lacking. Guyana Standard understands that two sanctions available to the entity are denials of future PIDs to defaulters and the escheating of bonds that are lodged by taxpayers. Other penalties at its disposal range from fines to civil/quasi-criminal sanctions.
Management at the authority is of the firm view that these options have to be imposed in order to curb such practices that significantly delay revenue collections while affecting its ability to measure the performance of PIDs.