Business

Standard operating procedures can resolve differences

Customs House Weekly

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

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The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is reminding customers, including importers, to use the agency's standard operating procedures to resolve any Customs-related matter, and to refrain from verbally abusing, physically harming, or obstructing Customs pfficials in carrying out their official duties, as they may be liable for prosecution.

This reminder comes against the background of an incident which took place at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston recently, involving the assault of a customs official by two females, following the assessment of Customs duty.

The women were subsequently charged for various offences against the officer when they appeared in the Kingston & St Andrew Parish Court.

The JCA therefore further reminds importers that, in keeping with the World Customs Organisation's standards, an importer has the right to request a review of any assessment done at any of our ports by requesting that a referral note be prepared (for the imported goods) and sent to the Valuation Verification Unit at the agency's head office – Myers' Wharf, Newport East, Kingston.

Customers who request a review must submit the relevant documentation to the Valuation Verification Unit to include:

• Store receipts

• Bank receipts

• Wire transfers

• Credit/debit card receipts

• Email correspondences (where applicable) and,

• Any other documentation relevant to the case.

If an importer is still not satisfied with the review done by the Valuation Verification Unit, that individual or entity can make a further appeal to the agency's Internal Review Committee.

VALUATION PRINCIPLES

The Valuation Principles outlined in the Valuation Schedule (Section 19) of the Customs Act, specify the rules of valuation for imported goods, the methods to be used, and the manner in which they may be applied. Rights and obligations in keeping with the Customs Act are as follows:

• Section 19 (2) – Customs has the right to doubt the truth or accuracy of the information submitted.

• Section 19 (3) – Customs is obligated to notify the importer of how the value was determined.

• Section 19 (4) & 19 (5) – Customs is obligated to inform the importer of the right to an appeal without penalty.

• Section 19 (8) – Customs has two years within which to change a previously accepted value due to new information gathered or any other reason garnered.

The valuation methods used by Customs are based on the World Trade Organisation's Valuation Agreement, of which there are six :

1. Transaction Value – Article 1

2. Transaction Value of Identical Goods – Article 2

3. Transaction Value of Similar Goods – Article 3

4. Deductive Method – Article 5

5. Computed Method – Article 6

6. Fall-back Method – Article 7

For details on the various methods and matters relating to valuation verification, you may visit: https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/20-val_01_e.htm.

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