Paul: K1m lost in soft drink imports

The National,Tuesday June 14th, 2016

CUSTOM Commissioner Ray Paul says nearly K1 million in revenue is lost every month because of the under-valuing of soft drinks.
Paul said audits conducted by Customs discovered that this had been happening in the past five years.
Customs has started a compliance drive via an amnesty process to encourage voluntary disclosure to recover revenue and to ensure soft drink importers declare their imports correctly in future.
Paul said the audits were conducted after Customs received complaints from the industry and public on the influx of alleged cheap, low-quality soft drinks imported into the country from Asia.  “For example a carton of soft drink may actually cost US$8 (K24.56) but some importers were producing another invoice at US$4 (K12.28) per carton for Customs declaration purposes, which means they pay less duty,” Paul said.
“We have a whole list of soft drink importers.
“We selected a handful of them and conducted post-clearance audit at their premises and found that dual invoices were actually generated and stored at their premises.
“The importers did in fact admit their wrong doing.”
He said this was not fair on both local manufactures and other soft drink importers who have been declaring correctly.
“Customs has allowed for a three-month amnesty period as of last week to all soft drink importers to review their imports for the last five years and must voluntarily disclose to Customs all shipment of soft drink that were incorrectly declared,” Paul said.
“At the end of this amnesty period, further audits will be conducted and those found to be non-compliant will be subjected to a reassessment of value and administrative penalties between 50 per cent and 200 per cent of duty short paid will be applied.”