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Advisory- Seizures & Penalties

Advisory- Seizures & Penalties

February 9, 2021

The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) would like to remind the general public that anyone caught attempting to smuggle uncustomed goods will be subjected to the necessary seizures and penalties in accordance with the laws of Guyana.

In accordance with Section 224 (1) of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01: “all aircraft, ships and carriages, together with all animals and things made use of in the importation, attempted importation, landing, removal, forfeiture, conveyance, exportation or attempted exportation of any uncustomed, prohibited or restricted goods, or any goods liable to forfeiture under the customs laws shall be forfeited”.

In this regard, the GRA is authorised, in accordance with Section 224 (2) of the Customs Act, to “make seizures or detentions” of “goods liable to forfeiture, and all persons liable to be detained for any offence, under the customs laws or under any law”.

Anyone who knowingly carries, removes, deposits, or conceals goods with the intent to “defraud the state of any import or export duties of customs, or of the laws, and restrictions of the customs relating to the importation, unloading, warehousing, delivery, removal, loading and exportation of goods,” shall be liable to a fine of treble the value of the goods or $10,000 at the election of the Commissioner-General. (Section 218 (d) and (e) Customs Act, Chapter 82:01)

Importers and exporters of goods are encouraged to acquire the relevant licences to conduct transactions and to remit the applicable Customs Duty and taxes calculated for the goods. These transactions must also be supported by relevant documentations such as bills/receipts to prove legal importation.

The GRA will continue to carry out anti-smuggling campaigns with the aim of eliminating this scourge while simultaneously conducting enforcement activities to uphold the country’s tax and trade laws.

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