Archives For customs regulation

Ivory Coast SEW2As Customs and Border regulatory authorities ramp up their commitment to international agreements, such as the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention, SAFE Framework of Standards and the more recent WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, more countries will offer a single point of entry through which traders, international carriers and logistics providers can access and comply with the resident customs and other government regulatory regimes.

The concept of a Single Window is borne out of the fact that traditional import/export and related regulatory requirements pose a barrier to market entry for international goods. There are many derivatives of Single Window in operation globally. Perhaps the best resource for this can be found on the UNECE’s interactive Trade Facilitation Implementation Guide webpage. One can navigate to the case studies page to read up on a country-by-country experience on various trade reforms including Single Window developments.

Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) is one of many African countries who have introduced Single Window as a facilitation measure whereby international trade can interface with Customs in a number of ways. It consists of a web-based trade portal (operated by Webb Fontaine) which interfaces with AsycudaWorld (AW), Côte d’Ivoire Customs’ management system. The portal allows traders to key-in advance import/export information within an electronic document called TVF (Trade Virtual Folder). Customs declarations are then subjected to tariff classification  and valuation, thereafter routed for commercial/risk assessment and revenue accounting on AsycudaWorld, or Sydam World as it is known in Côte d’Ivoire.

Commercial banks use the TVF within the Single Window to endorse the settlement of each import; the Ministry of Commerce subsequently authorizes the overall transaction through the system.

The Single Window provides an entry point for traders and supply chain operators to accomplish various Customs formalities such as –

  • Customs Declaration processing – allowing importers and exporters to electronically file clearances.
  • Manifest operations – used by all carriers to upload their XML manifests and register the same through the trade portal directly into AsycudaWorld. The facility also allows the amendments of waybills (e.g. excess and shortages) and automatically synchronizes the operations with the AW system. The Port Authority IT systems, including the Port of Abidjan and the Port of San Pedro, automatically receive and integrate the manifests submitted by carriers.
  • License module – allows traders to request import/export licenses (regulatory permits) that are later on approved online by the relevant ministries. Each license comprises a list of regulated products, quota allowable amount based on a predefined scheme (gross mass, net mass, FOB, Unit of measurement or unlimited quota). Further developments will include the automatic write-off of license quota by declarations using the Declaration module.

Source: Webb Fontaine

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China Customs EmblemImportant information regarding customs valuation in respect of imports and exports in the People’s Republic of China.

The General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (“GAC”) issued two new regulations on customs valuation, both effective from 1 February 2014. GAC Order No. 213 (“Order 213”), entitled Measures of Customs of the People’s Republic of China for the Determination of Dutiable Value of Imports and Exports, will replace the existing regulation with the same title issued under GAC Order No. 148 on 28 March 2006 (“Order 148”). In addition, GAC Order No. 211 (“Order 211”), entitled Measures of Customs of the People’s Republic of China for the Determination of Dutiable Value of Domestic Sales of Bonded Goods, is an entirely new regulation specifically providing for the valuation of bonded goods sold within the territory of China.

Briefly, the abovementioned Orders cover the following issues –

  • Customs may consider the circumstances of a sale in determining the acceptability of transaction value between related parties.
  • Calculation of international freight for imported goods.
  • Commissions in the valuation of exported goods.
  • Bonded materials or finished goods (including defective and substandard goods) sold by a contract manufacturer located within the territory of China.
  • Bonded waste and scrap materials, by-products and residue after accidents sold by a contract manufacturer located within the territory of China.
  • Bonded goods transferred under deep processing and sold by the transferee.
  • Bonded materials or finished goods sold by a manufacturer located within a customs bonded area.
  • Bonded scrap, defective or substandard products and by-products sold by a manufacturer located within a customs bonded area.
  • Bonded goods imported into a customs bonded area for logistics, inspection and exhibition purposes and sold within the territory of China.
  • Bonded goods for Research and Development (“R&D”) in a customs bonded area and sold within the territory of China.

 For more details, read the full analysis at Baker & MacKenzie’s website.