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Disciplines on fees and charges imposed on or in connection with importation and exportation and penalties

  1. 6.1 General Disciplines on Fees and Charges Imposed on or in Connection with Importation and Exportation
  2. 6.2 Specific Disciplines on Fees and Charges for Customs Processing Imposed on or in Connection with Importation and Exportation
  3. 6.3 Penalty Disciplines
  4. ⚫⚫ Article 6 Resources

General Disciplines on Fees and Charges Imposed on or in Connection with Importation and Exportation

What activity does this measure regulate?

The "fees and charges" that governmental authorities assess on, or in connection with, imports or exports

What authorities are directly concerned?

•  Customs

•  Other Border Agencies

What are the new requirements?

•  The amount and purposes of any fees or charges imposed on imports or exports must be consistent with the GATT Article VIII restrictions.

•  Members must

- publish specified information about such fees and charges*

- publish any new or amended fees or charges an "adequate time" prior to their entry into force**

- periodically review their fees and charges in order to reduce the number and diversity "where practicable"

 

*You should consider the impact of this requirement in connection your review of Article 1.1 (Publication).

**You should consider the impact of this requirement in connection with your review of Article 2.1 (Opportunity to Comment and Information Before Entry into Force).

1.1.  The provisions of paragraph 1 shall apply to all fees and charges other than import and export duties and other than taxes within the purview of Article III of GATT 1994 imposed by Members on or in connection with the importation or exportation of goods.

1.2.  Information on fees and charges shall be published in accordance with Article 1. This information shall include the fees and charges that will be applied, the reason for such fees and charges, the responsible authority and when and how payment is to be made.

1.3.  An adequate time period shall be accorded between the publication of new or amended fees and charges and their entry into force, except in urgent circumstances. Such fees and charges shall not be applied until information on them has been published.

1.4.  Each Member shall periodically review its fees and charges with a view to reducing their number and diversity, where practicable.

Specific Disciplines on Fees and Charges for Customs Processing Imposed on or in Connection with Importation and Exportation

What activity does this measure regulate?

The "fees and charges" that customs authorities assess on, or in connection with, imports or exports for services provided to the importer or exporter

What authorities are directly concerned?

•  Customs

What are the new requirements?

•  Customs fees and charges must be limited in amount to the approximate cost of the services rendered.

•  Fees not linked to a specific import or export operation must be closely connected to the customs processing of the goods.

Fees and charges for customs processing:

(i)         shall be limited in amount to the approximate cost of the services rendered on or in connection with the specific import or export operation in question; and

(ii)        are not required to be linked to a specific import or export operation provided they are levied for services that are closely connected to the customs processing of goods.

Penalty Disciplines

What activity does this measure regulate?

The assessment of civil or administrative penalties for violations of the customs laws

What authorities are directly concerned?

•  Customs

What are the new requirements?

•  Members who apply civil or administrative customs penalties shall:

- impose penalties only on the person(s) responsible for the violation

- ensure that the amount of such penalties are proportionate to the degree and severity of the violation

- avoid conflicts of interest

- avoid creating an incentive for the assessment of a penalty that is not commensurate with the circumstances of the case

- provide the person with a written explanation

- consider a "prior disclosure" as a potential factor to mitigate the penalty amount.

3.1       For the purpose of paragraph 3, the term "penalties" shall mean those imposed by a Member's customs administration for a breach of the Member's customs laws, regulations, or procedural requirements.

3.2       Each Member shall ensure that penalties for a breach of a customs law, regulation, or procedural requirement are imposed only on the person(s) responsible for the breach under its laws.

3.3       The penalty imposed shall depend on the facts and circumstances of the case and shall be commensurate with the degree and severity of the breach.

3.4       Each Member shall ensure that it maintains measures to avoid:

(a)        conflicts of interest in the assessment and collection of penalties and duties; and

(b)        creating an incentive for the assessment or collection of a penalty that is inconsistent with paragraph 3.3.

3.5       Each Member shall ensure that when a penalty is imposed for a breach of customs laws, regulations, or procedural requirements, an explanation in writing is provided to the person(s) upon whom the penalty is imposed specifying the nature of the breach and the applicable law, regulation or procedure under which the amount or range of penalty for the breach has been prescribed.

3.6       When a person voluntarily discloses to a Member's customs administration the circumstances of a breach of a customs law, regulation, or procedural requirement prior to the discovery of the breach by the customs administration, the Member is encouraged to, where appropriate, consider this fact as a potential mitigating factor when establishing a penalty for that person.

3.7       The provisions of this paragraph shall apply to the penalties on traffic in transit referred to in paragraph 3.1.

Article 6 Resources