Commissioner of Customs, Major Richard Reese, is reporting that the Customs Department collected an additional $276.6 million in revenue from re-valuations during the first five months of the 2012/13 fiscal year.
Speaking at the weekly luncheon of the Kiwanis Club of Kingston at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel, on Tuesday (September 18), Major Reese said between April and August, some $172.4 million of that amount was generated from general cargo, while motor vehicles yielded some $104.2 million.
Despite these significant returns, Major Reese lamented the incidence of under-invoicing, which some importers continue to submit. This, he pointed out, was particularly evident with non-commercial goods imports, valued up to US$3,000. These, he noted, are primarily personal effects, inclusive of clothing, as well as adhesives, such as glues, along with motor vehicles.
"Under-invoicing continues to be a major challenge. Persons, having being discovered, sometimes they desist, or they appear again as (part of) another entity. But, we are monitoring specific products, primarily health care and personal care products. There are a number of items which are high volume items, which are subject to under-invoicing. We will also be reviewing the Customs Act to strengthen our measures (to penalise offenders), as it relates to under-invoicing,” he said.
The Commissioner informed that the current penalties include a mandatory payment by the offender of a sum amounting to three times the value of the duty on the goods.
Other measures which Major Reese said would be pursued to ensure compliance, include: increased penalties for importers with permit breaches; and heightened public education campaigns to enlighten stakeholders on customs procedures, requirements and sanctions.