Post Clearance Audit

In an effort to facilitate trade, Post Clearance Audit (PCA) has been introduced as a process that will enable Customs and Excise Division to verify declarations made by importers through examination of their records, books, and other data.

Post Clearance Audit focuses on persons involved in the movement of goods. It is an effective tool for Customs and Excise Division control because it provides a clear and comprehensive picture of the transactions relevant to Customs as reflected in the books and records of traders.

Post Clearance Audit (PCA) is conducted to assure that businesses subject to Customs and Excise controls comply fully with all relevant legislation and requirements.

Procedures of Post Clearance Audit

  • Review Customs rulings to ensure that they were valid at the time of accounting and cover the goods under review.
  • Review the tariff classification of the imported goods by obtaining information such as:
  • Manufacturer’s literature which describes and illustrates the imported goods.
  • A complete parts list that illustrates each of the imported parts and shows how each is integrated into a complete unit.
  • Any previous classification opinions issued by Customs on these goods.
  • Copy of relevant purchase order(s) and commercial invoice(s).
  • Review the disposition of the goods to ensure the goods were used in accordance with the end-use or end-user provision described in the wording of the tariff.
  • Classification claimed at the time of accounting.
  • Request and review end-use certificates to ensure their validity.
  • Review the system for recording and reporting diversions to ensure that it is adequate.
  • Review the recording and reporting of diversion to ensure that they are done so within the limit specified in the laws.
  • Record results to be included in a final Audit Report.

Post Clearance Audit Objective

Post Clearance Audit aimed at obtaining sufficient and appropriate evidence to determine with reasonable confidence whether revenue declarations and other activities under regulations and legislation are free of material error.

This should contain a clear record of why the audit was undertaken, what checks were carried out, what was found, what action has been taken and any recommendations for future control activities.

Risk Management Unit

Risk Management essentially means we evaluate risks to the physical and revenue security environment. Once risks are determined through a structured analysis of the data and information on imports, importers’ behavior in complying with the procedure patterns of non-compliance etc., then we could focus intensively on those risk areas.

Some of the risks Customs is faced with are the possibility of events and activities occurring that may prevent us from achieving our objectives, which are, our aims to provide the local and international trading community with proper levels of facilitation, transparency and fairness with all the stakeholders.

One of our main concerns in Risk Management is facilitation control which entails a combination of research and intelligence to provide an objective and comprehensive picture of the risk posed to our mandate by internal and external threats.

The objective is to facilitate trade through preferential treatment to the compliers while tightening the controls to achieve greater compliance from the non-compliers and habitual wrong-doers. Compliance and intelligence are our two key components that will work together for our main focus which are Revenue Collection and Expediting Facilitation.

Compliance and intelligence are our two key components that will work together for our main focus which are Revenue Collection and Expediting Facilitation.

License Section

The following are the types of Licenses issued. Please also not that the Customs and Excise Division must be notified whenever a business is closing or re-opening.

Types of Licenses Cost in the city Cost in the country side
Tavern License $400.00 $300.00
Bottle License $500.00 $500.00
Retail License $300.00 $150.00
Beer License $200.00 $100.00
Importers License $750.00 $750.00
Hotel License Depending on the room amount Depending on the room amount
Club License $500.00 $500.00

Procedure to Obtain a License

  • An application is made through a lawyer via Magistrate court. Specifying what type of License you wish to obtain.
  • After the license is granted by the Magistrate Court, a certificate is then issued.
  • Bring the certificate to Customs and Excise Division where a license will be issued.

Registry Section

In any Organization, whether Private or Government, the Storage and retrieval of information is paramount. The Registry Section within the Customs and Excise Division is no exception. Often described as a “storehouse of information”, this area, among other things facilitates the recording of all incoming and outgoing correspondence.

Other official documents namely, “Power of Attorney/Letters of Authorization and Tax Compliance Certificates are stamped and approved here for further processing by the Tariff Sections.

Additionally, forms pertaining to the importation of goods, the yachting and Shipping Industries can be obtained. They are sold for a small fee of $1.00 per form.
The Section also offers copying services for minimum fee of $1.00 per copy.

The affable staff of the Registry Section is always willing to serve you.

Information and Technology (IT) Section

  • The IT Section within Customs and Excise Division is an important factor in the daily activities of the department.
  • The IT Section performs duties which are essential for the daily operations of the Customs and Excise Division; many of the functions performed in house are as a result of Information Technology.
  • The following are some of the functions carried out by this section:
  • Providing application support to Customs Officers using the Customs Automated Services (CASE), The Antigua and Barbuda Cashier System(ABCS) and The Regional Clearance System (RCS)
  • Providing application support to the trader community using the Warrant Preparation and Submission System (WPSS).
    Maintenance of the hardware and network infrastructure.
  • Preparing Reports as requested in house and by outside Ministries.
  • Create and update the Declaration Processing System with new Customs Procedure Codes (CPCs).
  • Amend and update Tariff Codes in Declaration Processing System as per Gazetted Cabinet Decisions.
  • Responsible for keeping the Broker community informed of Cabinet Decisions that will result in changes being made the Tariff and CPCs.
  • Stamping of Tax Compliance Certificates.
  • Registering of Importers/Exporters/Brokers.
  • Entering the daily exchange rates into CASE.

Accounts

The Accounts Unit is a small unit within the Customs and Excise Division but has big responsibilities in making sure that the financial aspects of Customs are in order.

The Accounts Unit is responsible for:

  • Preparing daily financial Reports for use by the Treasury Department.
  • Preparing Monthly financial Reports for use by the Ministry of Finance and Treasury Department
  • Balance and Revenue Statements.
  • Expenditure Reports.
  • Collecting Customs Officer Fees.
  • Duty-free shop License.
  • Stores.
  • Procurement Reports.
  • Return Cheques and Preparation of refund vouchers.

Tariff Section

The Tariff Section is responsible for the processing of declarations, also referred to as warrants. This section is responsible for revenue collection.

The following taxes may be applicable when a declaration is processed by the Tariff Section

  • IMDUTY = Import Duty
  • EXDUTY = Export Duty
  • RRC = Revenue Recovery Charge
  • ABST = Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax
  • DLEVY = Disposal (Environmental) Levy
  • NSW = National Solid Waste Levy
  • TLEVY = Throughput Levy (fuel products)

All Customs Taxes are applicable on the Customs Value of the imported item, that is, the sum of the cost of the item, cost of transportation to the first port of arrival and the amount of any insurance premium paid. Items such as tobacco products may attract specific rates of duty, that is, duties calculated on the basis of their volume.

Approved undertaking
This unit is responsible for:

  • Keeping records of locally made goods that are being exported.
  • Keeping records and signing documents for fuel and spares for yacht in transit and ship spares.
  • Signing CARICOM Certificate of Origin and ensuring that the goods are of Antigua origins.

Bonded Warehouses and Duty Free Stores
This unit is responsible for monitoring the inventory and related revenue liability for goods stored in warehouses to ensure adequacy of bonds and other sureties and taking all appropriate remedial actions required.

Transit Sheds

  • Account and secure cargo and other goods imported into the state
  • Verify customs declarations by documentary and physical inspections
  • Complete inspection procedure for all declarations as required
  • Examine and assess duty of non trade cargo consignments
    maintain records of activities

Boarding and Outstations
This section is responsible for boarding vessels and completing ships clearance formalities. Providing clearance to yachts at outstations by receiving reports inward and outwards for vessels, reviewing traveller declarations, and physically inspecting ships’ stores and personal effects based on risk criteria.

Petroleum Monitoring Unit
This unit was created to enhance the petroleum management procedure and related procedures to better control and monitor the shipments and importation of petroleum products to ensure full compliance and protection of revenue.

Duty Free shop Reform implementation
Reform and modernisation of the duty free shops process to ensure better control and compliance in accordance with customs procedures and regulations.

Research & Development
The Research and Development unit is responsible for co-operation and communication between regional and international institutions. The unit liaisons with the Customs & Excise public relation team to relate changes within the customs operations. They develop job descriptions for key positions and for all staff and provide training to customs officers and ensures that the broker community is informed of customs policies and procedures.

Airport Baggage Section
All persons entering the country are required by law to declare to Customs anything contained in their baggage, or carried with them, which has been obtained outside of Antigua and Barbuda. Passengers are also required to answer all questions asked by the Customs Officer relating to their travels, baggage, its contents and other items being imported.

The combined Immigration/Customs declaration forms are distributed at ports of entry and exit, airline and ships agents, and their offices. It is advisable to fill out your declaration in advance of your arrival in order to expedite Immigration and Customs clearances. Passengers are asked to be honest when filling the declarations and co-operative with the customs baggage officers. Misinformation can result in delays and penalties.

Enforcement & Intelligence Unit
This unit is responsible for investigations of under evaluation, false invoicing, and smuggling (Cargo for trade/contrabands). Develop and maintain intelligence database. A unit committed to facilitate increased compliance to customs procedures and policies by both staff and the general public.