As a result, VAT-registered exporters can claim any VAT paid on inputs used in the manufacturing of local products that will be exported or on any VAT paid on imported goods that will subsequently be exported.
Exporters claiming these VAT input tax credits would be given an immediate refund once the Comptroller of Inland Revenue Division (IRD) is satisfied that the goods in question were exported in keeping with the requirements of the applicable Customs laws.
Therefore administrative capacity and procedures are being strengthened sufficiently to monitor and verify exports so as to capture the relevant data that IRD will be requesting in order to process registered exporters’ refund claims on a timely basis. The following are the customs procedures to be followed by registered exporters wishing to meet the requirements for VAT refunds:
At least 48 hours prior to packing their goods for export, the exporter must complete six (6) copies of the shipping bill (export declaration) and attach any commercial invoices that correspond to the information provided on the declaration to the original, duplicate, and triplicate copies of the declaration.
At least 48 hours prior to packing their goods for export, all copies of the declaration must be presented by the exporter to the Customs Export Desk for processing. This desk will retain the duplicate copy of the declaration and return the original and other four (4) copies to the trader. The Customs Export Desk and the exporter will agree on a time for an officer to be present during the entire packing process. In the case of large shipments, the officer can be scheduled to attend at the VAT exporter’s premises. Inspection procedures for small export shipments are similar, but can be carried out at the customs office of export when the goods are presented to a Customs officer in unsealed cartons or other packing materials.
When the officer arrives at the exporter’s premises the packing can commence. The officer will verify that the goods on the declaration and invoice are the same goods and in the same quantities as those being packed. Once the packing is complete, the container will be sealed. The officer will certify on the back of the original and four (4) copies of the declarations that the goods have been properly packed for export and will include the seal and container numbers in the certification. The goods can now be moved to the place of export. In the case of small shipments, the officer will carry out a similar verification and certification at the customs office of export with the goods being secured and initialed on the tapes by the officer.
When the goods are ready to be loaded on the ship or aircraft, a Customs officer will verify that the seals on the container or that the tapes on the package are intact and that it is the same container or package that was certified by the Customs officer during the packing process. Once that is verified, the officer will so certify on the back of the original and the four (4) copies of the declaration.
The shipping agent or Customs clearance officer will ensure that the master of the vessel or the commander of the aircraft also certifies on the back of the original and copies of the declaration when the goods have been loaded on the vessel or aircraft. One of the copies is then attached to the manifest (content). At this point, the original and two (2) copies of the export declaration are returned to the Customs Export Desk and the exporter is provides with the two (2) copies.
The Customs Export Desk will ensure that the original matches the duplicate copy held on hand and will file same.
It is very important that exporters retain a certified copy of the export declaration for later verification by officers of the Vat Unit of Inland Revenue and/or Customs and Excise Division.
Sorce:Custom and Excise Division