KATHMANDU, May 23: The government has begun strict implementation of the mandatory provision of filling up brief customs declaration forms for the import of goods priced between Rs 100 and Rs 5,000 through customs offices across the country.
The Department of Customs (DoC) of Friday issued a circular to this effect to all customs offices, including Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) Customs Office.
The Customs Regulations has made it mandatory for importers to fill business customs declaration forms while importing goods worth Rs 5,000 or more.
“From Sunday onwards, no one will be allowed to import goods worth over Rs 100 without filling customs declaration forms at customs offices. People holding daylong pass to Khasa are required to fill brief customs declaration forms at Tatopani Customs Office,” Tanka Mani Sharma, director general of DoC, told Republica on Sunday.
Though the government had tried to implement the provision in 2007, it had failed due to strong pressure from local people.
The department decided to strictly implement the Customs Regulations after a high-level team led by Sharma found mismanagement and rampant smuggling through all major land customs during its recent onsite inspection.
The government mobilized Rs 74 billion customs revenue against imports amounting to Rs 274 billion during the first 10 months of the fiscal year 2010/11. The government has set a target of collecting Rs 98 billion as customs revenue. It targets to collect total revenue of Rs 216 billion during 2010/11.
The department has already begun enforcement of the provision at Tatopani, Birgunj and Biratnagar and TIA customs, where smuggling of goods is rampant as compared to other customs offices. DoC officials have instructed Tatopani customs officials to strictly collect customs duty from persons who import goods by misusing ´green pass´ - a special document given to Nepalis and Chinese citizens to travel within 30 km from border points.
Nepal has 31 main customs offices and 143 small customs offices along its border with China and India.
Sharma expects collection of more than Rs 300 million from Tatopani customs alone.
The department has also started to keep records of import bills worth more than Rs 100 and even petty imports. It is estimated that more than 500 persons are involved in import of goods in small quantities through all major customs every day.
Officials said strict implementation of the regulations would help increase revenue collection, keep record of movement of people through customs, raise awareness among people to pay customs, strengthen domestic market and identify smugglers and those going to India for shopping.
“Given the existing mismanagement at customs offices, we are hopeful that our new move will be instrumental in check illegal trade via customs points,” he added.
Meanwhile, the DoC enforced new customs declaration prices on the basis of transaction of goods imported from overseas market from Sunday. The DoC had enforced new declaration prices on goods imported from India on the basis of transaction value on May
“We have instructed all customs offices to implement new declaration prices for goods imported from overseas market from Sunday,” said Sharma.
Nepal imports more than 3,000 varieties of goods from across the world.