GRA has been complying with requirements to accurately administer & record PIDs - Revenue not in jeopardy

Georgetown, Monday, October 29, 2018: The GRA wishes to respond to the October 25, 2018 Kaieteur News article of “Auditors have trouble verifying lawful disbursement of Permit for Immediate Deliveries (PIDs) worth over $12B”, and to make it pellucidly clear that at no time was the Authority at risk of any loss of revenue resulting from the late perfection of PID’s.

Under Regulation 50(2) made under the Customs Act, a PERMIT FOR IMMEDIATE DELIVERY (PID) may be issued by the Commissioner-General for perishable goods and any other goods for which delivery can be permitted without any risk to the collection of any duty and other monies payable upon the goods when immediate release of such goods is necessary to avoid unusual loss or inconvenience to the importer or to the carrier bringing the goods to the port, or to utilise more effectively the Customs personnel or to eliminate or reduce congestion on wharves, at airports or other places.

Prior to any goods being entered, the Commissioner-General or his delegate, the Head of Customs is authorised under Section 270 of the Customs Act, to permit the entry, unloading, removal and loading of goods, and the report and clearance of aircraft and ships in such form and manner as he may direct to meet the exigencies of any case to which the customs laws may not be conveniently applicable.

Importers are required to lodge bonds, as security for duties and taxes payable on the said imports released by PID’s, which will cover all duties and taxes payable. Hundreds of PID’s are issued annually, and mostly to facilitate perishable goods and drugs.

In some instances, the PID’s are not timely perfected within the 10day period which would lead to the defaulters being notified, the applicable taxes being demanded and the importer subjected to the relevant penalty, or sanctioned by the non-issuance of future PID’s to them.

The PID register is constantly updated. However, the details of perfecting the 28 transactions as stated in the Auditor General’s report were not entered at the time of audit since such information would have only been available at the perfecting of these transactions. Nevertheless, the said 28 transactions were thereafter updated and perfected, and the GRA is satisfied that the 2017 period has been accurately recorded. In addition, the recommendations from the 2016 Audit, inclusive of the recording of dates, were implemented.

It should be also noted that Customs Excise and Trade Operations followed protocol in ensuring that for each PID, bonds were secured to sufficiently protect the revenue. Therefore, the revenues outstanding were not in jeopardy as the newspaper article would have conveyed.

Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) wishes to make it clear that the system is not perfect, and the article rightfully asserted so. However, to assume that any loss may have occurred is without merit since the report did not so state. The Authority continues to diligently execute its mandate to ensure that accurate records are kept of these transactions, and the rightful taxes collected.

The register continues to be updated daily and the inclusion of dates for the perfected entries is ongoing. The details of each transaction are also available in electronically. The GRA is confident that with the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) software all transactions, PIDs inclusive will be monitored in a timely fashion.

- END -