Friday, January 31, 2014 Georgetown: The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) is introducing its Random Selection of Imports for Examination System. With the objective of improving transparency, members of the public will be involved in the selection of consignments of commercial imports for one hundred percent manual examination. What this means is that members of the public will be called in an ad-hoc manner, on selected days to assist in the picking of consignments, using a lottery draw system.
Initially five consignments will be selected from a ticket cage containing the names of consignees from the previous day’s declarations lodged at the Customs and Trade Administration.
The primary objective of this Random Selection system is in keeping with GRA’s commitment to achieve greater transparency and efficiency in the selection process for consignments to be examined. The system which will commence for the first time on Tuesday February 4, 2014 was designed to involve the key stakeholder, that is, the general public.
Commissioner-General of the GRA noted that “the Random Selection for Examination system is designed to protect the Authority and the integrity of its Officers.” He posited “if the GRA were to bring some level of scrutiny to the examination process, it will increase confidence in that process as well. Additionally, the more systems become transparent, the higher the compliance level by Importers.”
The main component of this system is the fact that the selection will be done by the public. Importers whose names are drawn will be informed and examination will be done in a timely manner. Participants in the draw will have the option of witnessing the examinations at the relevant wharves at their own expense. However, this process of selection will not be done in the presence of any Customs or Intelligence and Risk Management personnel. Also, there will be no parallel selection system, thus the selection by the public will be final. These measures are being taken to significantly reduce, if not totally remove the perception of collusion between GRA’s officers and the importers.
It should be noted that any irregularities found during the process will be addressed immediately in accordance with the Customs Laws and Regulation