Fabian Demicoli

GRTU in discussions with customs over change in procedure

GRTU has raised an issue with the Director General of Customs and the Commissioner for Inland Revenue related to sudden change in procedures implemented by Customs which has negatively affected enterprises, especially those importing goods from outside the EU and subject to pay duty charges.

Customs explained to the GRTU that they found themselves in a position where certain cheques were not being honoured and currently the law does not give customs effective ways to seek redress, because customs would have already released the goods, and the liability falls on the cashier that would have accepted the cheque in question. A recent such case has led to Customs changing policy with immediate effect to one where they will no longer accept cheques that are not backed by a bank guarantee and where the payment is required for the immediate release of the goods.

A number of other payment options are possible but these include cash, which presents its own risk and when the goods are released to a cargo haulier (burdnar) and it is not advisable for the cargo haulier to run around with such cash, as well as cheques and differed payments but these have to be backed by a guarantee. GRTU feels the options pose an additional cost and bureaucratic burden on enterprises, especially the smaller enterprises.

GRTU has insisted with Customs that they should start accepting electronic payments and will be presenting a set of proposals as to how the GRTU feels the Act regulating such instances, which is currently limiting us from enacting alternative measures, be amended.


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