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Formalities connected with importation, exportation and transit

  1. 10.1 Formalities and Documentation Requirements
  2. 10.2 Acceptance of Copies
  3. 10.3 Use of International Standards
  4. 10.4 Single Window
  5. 10.5 Pre-shipment Inspection
  6. 10.6 Use of Customs Brokers
  7. 10.7 Common Border Procedures and Uniform Documentation Requirements
  8. 10.8 Rejected Goods
  9. 10.9 Temporary Admission of Goods and Inward and Outward Processing
  10. ⚫⚫ Article 10 Resources

Formalities and Documentation Requirements

What activity does this measure regulate?

Import, export and transit formalities and documentation requirements.

What authorities are directly concerned?

  • All border agencies

What are the new requirements?

  • Members must periodically review formalities and documentation requirements with a view towards simplifying or reducing them
  • Documentation requirements or formalities should be as fast and efficient as possible.  They should not be adopted if a less trade-restrictive solution is available. They should be eliminated or modified if no longer necessary.

1.1       With a view to minimizing the incidence and complexity of import, export, and transit formalities and of decreasing and simplifying import, export, and transit documentation requirements and taking into account the legitimate policy objectives and other factors such as changed circumstances, relevant new information, business practices, availability of techniques and technology, international best practices and inputs from interested parties, each Member shall review such formalities and documentation requirements and, based on the results of the review, ensure, as appropriate, that such formalities and documentation requirements are:

(a)        adopted and/or applied with a view to a rapid release and clearance of goods, particularly perishable goods;

(b)        adopted and/or applied in a manner that aims at reducing the time and cost of compliance for traders and operators;

(c)        the least trade restrictive measure chosen where two or more alternative measures are reasonably available for fulfilling the policy objective or objectives in question; and

(d)        not maintained, including parts thereof, if no longer required.

1.2       The Committee shall develop procedures for the sharing by Members of relevant information and best practices, as appropriate.

Acceptance of Copies

What activity does this measure regulate?

Presentation of supporting documents for import, export or transit formalities

What authorities are directly concerned?

•          All border agencies

What are the new requirements?

•          Border agencies shall endeavour to accept copies of supporting documents that may be required for import, export or transit formalities.

•          If the original document has been provided to one government authority, other government authorities shall accept a copy authenticated by the agency holding the original.

•          Neither an original nor a copy of the export declaration issued by authorities in the country of export shall be required for importation of the goods.

2.1      Each Member shall, where appropriate, endeavour to accept paper or electronic copies of supporting documents required for import, exportor transit formalities.

2.2      Where a government agency of a Member already holds the original of such a document, any other agency of that Member shall accept a paper or electronic copy, where applicable, from the agency holding the original in lieu of the original document.

2.3      A Member shall not require an original or copy of export declarations submitted to the customs authorities of the exporting Member as a requirement for importation.[1]

 


[1] Nothing in this paragraph precludes a Member from requiring documents such as certificates, permits or licenses as a requirement for the importation of controlled or regulated goods.

Use of International Standards

What authorities are directly concerned?

  • All border agencies

What activity does this measure regulate?

  • Import, export and transit formalities and procedures

What is the new requirement?

  • Members are encouraged to use "relevant international standards" as the basis for their import, export and transit formalities and procedures.
  • Members are encouraged to take part in preparation and periodic review of standards through the "appropriate" international organizations.

3.1       Members are encouraged to use relevant international standards or parts thereof as a basis for their import, export or transit formalities and procedures, except as otherwise provided for in this Agreement.

3.2       Members are encouraged to take part, within the limits of their resources, in the preparation and periodic review of relevant international standards by appropriate international organizations.

3.3       The Committee shall develop procedures for the sharing by Members of relevant information, and best practices, on the implementation of international standards, as appropriate.

The Committee may also invite relevant international organizations to discuss their work on international standards.  As appropriate, the Committee may identify specific standards that are of particular value to Members.

Single Window

What activity does this measure regulate?

Traders’ submission of documents/data to multiple government agencies to allow import, export or transit of a goods shipment.

What authorities are directly concerned?

  • All border agencies

What is the new requirement?

  • Members shall endeavour to establish a "single window" to which a trader can submit all documents and/or data required by customs and all other border or licensing authorities for the import, export or transit of goods, and from which the trader will receive all notifications.
  • "One-time submission:" where a trader submits required data and/or documents to the single window he/she shall not be asked again for the same information other than in exceptional cases.
  • Members shall use ICT to the extent possible and practicable.

4.1 Members shall endeavour to establish or maintain a single window, enabling traders to submit documentation and/or data requirements for importation, exportation or transit of goods through a single entry point to the participating authorities or agencies. After the examination by the participating authorities or agencies of the documentation and/or data, the results shall be notified to the applicants through the single window in a timely manner.

4.2 In cases where documentation and/or data requirements have already been received through the single window, the same documentation and/or data requirements shall not be requested by participating authorities or agencies except in urgent circumstances and other limited exceptions which are made public.

4.3 Members shall notify to the Committee the details of operation of the single window.

4.4 Members shall, to the extent possible and practical, use information technology to support the single window.

Pre-shipment Inspection

What activity does this measure regulate?

Use of pre-shipment inspection firms to carry out customs-related controls on imported goods

What authorities are directly concerned?

•          Revenue Authority

•          Customs

What is the new requirement?

•          If a Member presently requires pre-shipment inspection of imports in relation to tariff classification or customs valuation, it shall end such requirements

•          Members are encouraged not to introduce any such pre-shipment inspection requirements in the future.

5.1       Members shall not require the use of preshipment inspections in relation to tariff classification and customs valuation.

5.2         Without prejudice to the rights of Members to use other types of preshipment inspection not covered by paragraph 5.1, Members are encouraged not to introduce or apply new requirements regarding their use.[1]

 


[1] This paragraph refers to preshipment inspections covered by the Agreement on Preshipment Inspection, and does not preclude preshipment inspections for sanitary and phytosanitary purposes.

Use of Customs Brokers

What activity does this proposal regulate?

The use of customs brokers in import, export or transit operations

What authorities are directly concerned?

•          Customs

What is the new requirement?

•          Members shall not introduce the requirement for the mandatory use of customs brokers.

•          Measures on the use of customs brokers, or any subsequent modifications thereof shall be notified to the Committee and published promptly.

•          Any broker licensing rules shall be transparent and objective.

6.1       Without prejudice to the important policy concerns of some Members that currently maintain a special role for customs brokers, from the entry into force of this Agreement Members shall not introduce the mandatory use of customs brokers.

6.2       Each Member shall notify the Committee and publish its measures on the use of customs brokers. Any subsequent modifications thereof shall be notified and published promptly.

6.3       With regard to the licensing of customs brokers, Members shall apply rules that are transparent and objective.

Common Border Procedures and Uniform Documentation Requirements

What activity does this measure regulate?

The import/export procedures applied by Customs, and documentation requirements, at the different entry and exit offices within the customs territory

What authorities are directly concerned?

•          Customs

What is the new requirement?

•          Customs shall apply uniform documentation requirements and uniform release and clearance procedures.

7.1       Each Member shall, subject to paragraph 7.2, apply common customs procedures and uniform documentation requirements for release and clearance of goods throughout its territory.

7.2       Nothing in this Article shall prevent a Member from:

(a)        differentiating its procedures and documentation requirements based on the nature and type of goods, or their means of transport;

(b)        differentiating its procedures and documentation requirements for goods based on risk management;

(c)        differentiating its procedures and documentation requirements to provide total or partial exemption from import duties or taxes;

(d)        applying electronic filing or processing; or

(e)        differentiating its procedures and documentation requirements in a manner consistent with the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.

Rejected Goods

What activity does this proposal regulate?

The re-export or return of imported goods that have been rejected by government authorities

What authorities are directly concerned?

•          Customs

•          Other Border Agencies (particularly those involved in sanitary, phytosanitary and product standards issues: i.e. the Food Safety authority, Agriculture ministry, etc.)

What is the new requirement?

•          The importer shall have the right to return to the exporter, or any other person, imported goods that have been rejected by competent authorities due to failure to comply with prescribed sanitary and phytosanitary regulations or technical regulations.

8.1       Where goods presented for import are rejected by the competent authority of a Member on account of their failure to meet prescribed sanitary or phytosanitary regulations or technical regulations, the Member shall, subject to and consistent with its laws and regulations, allow the importer to re-consign or to return the rejected goods to the exporter or another person designated by the exporter.

8.2       When such an option under paragraph 8.1 is given and the importer fails to exercise it within a reasonable period of time, the competent authority may take a different course of action to deal with such non-compliant goods.

Temporary Admission of Goods and Inward and Outward Processing

What activity does this proposal regulate?

Customs procedures to allow the importation of goods without payment of import duties and taxes, or eligible for duty drawback, subject to conditions on the use to which the goods have been, or will be, put.

What authorities are directly concerned?

•          Customs

•          Revenue Authority

What is the new requirement?

•          Members shall adopt customs procedures for the temporary admission, inward processing and outward processing of goods.

A temporary admission procedure allows goods to be imported for a limited period of time (six months, one year, etc.) for defined purposes (e.g., goods to be displayed at trade exhibitions; shipping containers imported to be filled; tools needed for a domestic manufacturing operation; traveller’s personal effects; foreign-registered automobiles used by visitors to the country, etc.) without payment of import duties and taxes.

Manufacturers use the inward processing procedure for goods that have been returned to them for repair or for parts, materials, or other production inputs they use in their processing operations.  Under the procedure, the goods may be imported without payment of duty or taxes provided the manufacturer exports the repaired or finished product within a specified period.  Or duty may be refunded under a duty drawback scheme once the goods are exported.

Outward processing allows persons to send domestic or previously-imported/duty-paid goods abroad for purposes of repair (for example, goods returned to the manufacturer under warranty) or for other processing, and re-import the repaired or processed goods within a fixed period of time without payment of import duty or taxes, with the exception of duty or tax assessed on the value-added by the foreign processing operation.

9.1       Temporary Admission of Goods

Each Member shall allow, as provided for in its laws and regulations, goods to be brought into its customs territory conditionally relieved, totally or partially, from payment of import duties and taxes if such goods are brought into its customs territory for a specific purpose, are intended for re-exportation within a specific period, and have not undergone any change except normal depreciation and wastage due to the use made of them.

9.2       Inward and Outward Processing

(a)        Each Member shall allow, as provided for in its laws and regulations, inward and outward processing of goods. Goods allowed for outward processing may be re-imported with total or partial exemption from import duties and taxes in accordance with the Member's laws and regulations.

(b)        For the purposes of this Article, the term "inward processing" means the customs procedure under which certain goods can be brought into a Member’s customs territory conditionally relieved, totally or partially, from payment of import duties and taxes, or eligible for duty drawback, on the basis that such goods are intended for manufacturing, processing, or repair and subsequent exportation.

(c)        For the purposes of this Article, the term "outward processing" means the customs procedure under which goods which are in free circulation in a Member’s customs territory may be temporarily exported for manufacturing, processing, or repair abroad and then re-imported.

Article 10 Resources