File Name: introduction to customs administration and procedures .zip
This chapter outlines the type of organizational structure that is required to deliver effectively and efficiently a customs administration program: a decentralized structure consisting of headquarters, regional, and local offices. It then discusses current trends that are emerging in organizing customs and tax administrations.
- Customs administration during the state of emergency. COVID-19
- Changing Customs : Challenges and Strategies for the Reform of Customs Administration
- Customs Management Theory and Practice PG (7990.2)
Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting tariffs and for controlling the flow of goods, including animals, transports, personal effects, and hazardous items, into and out of a country. In recent decades, the views on the functions of customs have considerably expanded and now covers three basic issues: taxation , security , and trade facilitation.
Customs administration during the state of emergency. COVID-19
This chapter outlines the type of organizational structure that is required to deliver effectively and efficiently a customs administration program: a decentralized structure consisting of headquarters, regional, and local offices. It then discusses current trends that are emerging in organizing customs and tax administrations. As outlined in Chapter 3 , most customs administrations are decentralized, having headquarters, regional, and local offices.
Organizations of this type must clearly delineate responsibilities among the various levels to ensure that good service is being provided and that legislation and procedures are being applied consistently across the country. The primary responsibility of headquarters is to develop operational policy and procedures for the regional and local offices.
In addition, headquarters should develop performance criteria and monitor compliance with them. In addition, headquarters should interact with policymakers, in the ministry of finance and elsewhere, to agree on such matters as revenue targets and to provide input on the administrative impact of proposed policy options.
Another important responsibility of headquarters is the development of recruitment and training policies and plans. Customs legislation and procedures are complex and difficult to apply even after legislation and procedures have been simplified to the extent possible. Therefore, well-educated personnel must be recruited and training programs must be developed to ensure that staff are able to interpret and apply the legislation.
Headquarters organizational structures vary from country to country. Figure Notes: Internal Audit. Review financial, administrative, and operational systems, and monitor compliance with management policies.
Public Relations. Develop internal and external communications policies and procedures. Information Technology. Manage computer operations, maintain hardware and software, and develop application software. Corporate Services. Develop policies and procedures for human resource services including training , administration, finance, and corporate planning. Technical Interpretations. Develop policies and procedures related to valuation, tariff classification, exemptions, and origin determination, including contacts with the World Customs and World Trade Organizations and other customs administrations.
Customs Procedures. Develop policies and procedures related to import and export declaration processing, cargo reporting, transit, temporary admission, warehousing, and others procedures related to the processing of goods and passengers. Legal Services. Draft legislation, provide legal interpretations, adjudicate appeals, and advise on policies and procedures related to penalties and prosecutions.
Field Operations. Manage all regional and local offices, including monitoring operations against preestablished performance criteria. Develop policies and procedures for investigations and intelligence gathering and analysis. Typically, regional offices are responsible for supervising the activities of several local offices.
This would include ensuring that the offices are meeting the agreed-upon performance criteria and, when necessary, identifying the measures necessary to bring performance up to standards. In addition, the regions may carry out certain operational activities, such as responding to first-level appeals, processing and approving refunds up to a preestablished limit, and undertaking post-release verification activities, including valuation reviews.
Typically, the regions archive the declarations and supporting documents for their local offices. These offices are the primary point of contact between the trade community and the customs administration and, as such, staff must be well informed and well trained.
They are responsible for deciding on the level of verification that is required when processing a declaration and releasing goods. Of course, this decision should be based on guidelines that are established by headquarters and the regions. Nevertheless, in every customs administration, a great deal of discretion is in the hands of the local officials. In modern customs administrations, much of this discretion is removed as information from the declaration is processed in an automated environment; certain of the data are compared with information in the selectivity system to determine, for example, if the importer has a past history of undervaluation, the type of goods that are often misdescribed, exporters in certain countries that are known for false origin certificates, etc.
The system determines the level of verification that is required. The local office is accountable for meeting established performance criteria related, for example, to the time required to process a declaration or physically inspect goods. In some local offices, particularly at border locations, it is necessary to provide service for processing goods and passengers on a hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, days-a-year basis.
This requires preparation of staffing schedules that meet established traffic patterns flight schedules and the like. In addition, the customs administrations should be sensitive to the needs of traders for extended hours of service up to 24 hours a day at inland warehouses to process imports and exports. For example, a customs declaration can be sent electronically to the customs system before the arrival of the goods and, once accepted by the system, payment can be made by electronic funds transfer.
Upon arrival at the border, a comparison of the information in the computer and the goods container and seal number, for example can be undertaken and the goods released. The implication for the organization are clear—there needs to be a very close working relationship between the border and inland offices and fewer staff will be required at the borders. The preceding discussion has dealt with some of the day-to-day organizational issues that are encountered by customs administrations.
A more fundamental problem that many countries are now confronted with is how to organize tax and customs administrations to increase both efficiency and effectiveness.
These discussions have grown out of a realization that emerging trends, such as globalization, trade liberalization, the increased scope for transfer pricing, and the explosion of e-commerce have a significant impact on tax and customs operations.
In turn, this has led to discussions of how best to organize revenue administrations to respond to these and other new challenges. For any country that is engaged in the reform and modernization of its customs administration, changes in the organizational structure are often an important component of the reform.
The degree of autonomy given to the revenue departments is one of the key aspects to be dealt with in the context of a reform effort.
Two main arguments are often made to support these recommendations. First, successful revenue administrations in developed countries have traditionally enjoyed significant degrees of independence. The term autonomy has different meanings in different circumstances. Moreover, greater autonomy for revenue administrations is pursued for different reasons in different countries. In some countries, the main objective is to improve the quality of the resources devoted to revenue administration and to combat corruption.
In others, the purpose is to insulate daily operations, as much as possible, from political interference. As used in this chapter, the term autonomy represents the set of conditions that confers a reasonable level of independence from political influence and independence in the administration of human and material resources. Both dimensions of autonomy serve different purposes, and—as will be seen—an administration can enjoy different degrees of each. Restructuring revenue administrations to provide increased autonomy represents an attempt to satisfy the more stringent demands of a professional service while maintaining an adequate degree of accountability.
This is not always easy to achieve. Effective customs administrations display certain common characteristics—shown in Box In many countries, it has long been recognized that the customs administration should be a highly professional career service, where all positions are filled solely on the basis of competence, and continuity of tenure and promotion on the basis of merit are assured.
Customs administration has become a complex and specialized field where merit, training, and experience, protected by secure tenure, are essential. Effective customs administrations are expected to ensure that duties and taxes are collected as prescribed by the legislation, and to do so in the most efficient way and in a manner that is as free as possible from corruption and political influence.
The experiences of many countries point to some key characteristics that permit the customs administration to operate effectively:. Reliance on an effective civil service yields an additional measure of independence to government entities: a professional civil service avoids political appointments, which are often subject to political interference. This supports another key feature of effective customs administration, its lack of politicization.
The quality of the mechanisms against political interference built into the institutional system is very important. One of the key features present in many countries with effective customs administrations is the presence of an independent judiciary or magistrates who are authorized by law to undertake independent reviews of all tax matters, particularly cases of fraud and corruption. Thus, the most important questions are: How does a customs administration undertake a successful reform and achieve the characteristics described above?
And what degree of autonomy is required to ensure that they are implemented? Degrees of autonomy in a customs administration. As a starting point for an analysis of the possible degrees of autonomy of a customs administration, two basic dimensions should be addressed: the degree of centralization; and the type of external control exercised over the agency.
The degree of centralization given to government entities is a useful tool to analyze the many possible alternatives of organization found within the civil service structure. At the nucleus of the government are the most centralized agencies, which are usually hierarchical bodies headed by high-level civil servants or deputy ministers who are accountable only to a minister.
Traditionally, customs administrations fit this definition. In contrast with these more traditional, highly centralized governmental entities, there are other structures, distinguished by varying degrees of decentralization.
In practice, these structures may be constituted as boards, commissions, agencies, etc. The degree of decentralization in a particular agency depends on many factors and is subject to wide variation. In most cases, however, the permanent staff of the agency are directly answerable not to a minister, but to a board, a commission, or an individual office holder less directly connected with the government. Since the early s, several countries have restructured their revenue administrations, aiming at increased effectiveness.
Two distinct trends have emerged in connection with these efforts. The first has been the unification or merging of previously separate revenue agencies into an integrated tax and customs administration. Since the early s, this has taken place in, for instance, Denmark, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Guatemala, and Argentina in the latter, the administration of social security taxes was also merged into a new single agency.
The objectives of these mergers have been the improvement of services to taxpayers, by reporting to a single government agency and better adapting to new trends in international trade; increased efficiency, by combining common functions such as personnel and administration; and increased effectiveness, by the establishment of joint audit and investigation services.
Second, in many cases an attempt was made to increase the degree of autonomy of the revenue administrations for instance, Spain, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ghana, and Uganda. As mentioned before, autonomy for administrations is sought for different reasons in different circumstances.
Some countries with effective administrations see autonomy as a way of better adapting to new operational challenges while preserving independence from political influence. Countries with less effective administrations see autonomy as an instrument for liberating the administration from the limitations of underfinanced civil services and from inadequate personnel regulations.
This has been the case in many developing countries in recent years. The civil services of most of the developing world are characterized by an unsatisfactory level of development of human resources and inadequate resources. Systems theoretically based on competence and experience as criteria for hiring and promotion end up in practice being driven by political needs.
In such a context, continuity of tenure becomes more a means of protecting a person from being fired after a change in government than an essential ingredient of a professional civil service.
Furthermore, hiring practices that are part of the political patronage system imply that, most of the time, the main remuneration of employees arises from their ability to exploit their position within the administration for personal benefit.
There are few places in the public sector where there are greater opportunities for this than in customs administrations. All this leads to a civil service that is generally perceived as incompetent, inefficient, and corrupt.
In this environment, revenue administrations simply cannot be effective.
Changing Customs : Challenges and Strategies for the Reform of Customs Administration
For the purposes of this Chapter, “customs procedures” means the treatment applied by the customs administration of each Party to goods which are subject The introduction of information technology shall, to the greatest extent possible.
Customs Management Theory and Practice PG (7990.2)
If your work relates in any way to international trade, it is important that you understand the commercial and regulatory environment in which you and your organization operate. This course is intended to introduce you to the fundamentals of customs regulation and procedure. Whether you are new to the international trading environment or are seeking to undertake a more operational role in this field, this course is for you. While our more advanced courses will provide you with an in-depth knowledge of the various topics, this introductory course is designed to help you gain a general understanding and basic knowledge of the key concepts, relevant processes and terminology. Topics include:.
Introduction to Customs Administration and Procedures , 2nd Edition provides readers with a detailed overview of the requirements for importation and exportation of goods in Canada. The second edition has been thoroughly revised to reflect current legislation, regulations, and processes and includes discussion and commentary about recent treaty developments like the Canada—European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and critical topics like the Accounts Receivable Ledger, the CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management project, the Single Window Initiative, and Integrated Import Declaration. Also new to the second edition is a vibrant, full-colour design with photos; resequenced chapters for improved conceptual flow between topics; and new pedagogical features to enhance interest and understanding. New feature boxes include Did You Know? Revised end-of-chapter questions true or false, multiple choice, and short answer , which give students an opportunity to gauge their understanding.
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