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Customs post clearance and audit control

1. Why customs post clearance and audit control
Customs post clearance and audit control started to be implemented on a regular basis in the Customs and Excise Department before the accession of Cyprus to the European Union, and was connected with the requirements of Cyprus accession to the EEC, as well as with Theseas, the complete computerized system of the Customs and Excise Department.

With Theseas the modernization and quality upgrading of the given customs services have been achieved, specifically in the field of simplified and speed up procedures that are followed, by the submission of electronic declarations. At the same time, Theseas brought inevitably the simplification and minimization of first line traditional custom controls, as for example the check of declarations with all commercial documents and data concerned. Except that, the reduction of physical examination at the time of clearance of the goods is an international modern way implemented by all member states of the EEC.

As a result, the Customs Post Clearance Control and Audit Section was created which essentially through the post and audit controls that holds on the basis of risk analysis, aims to cover any control weaknesses which probably are created from the reduction of physical examinations. By this way the correctness and legitimacy of traders as to their custom obligations is assured as well as the public revenues and the community’s resources.

2. What is customs post clearance control and audit
Customs Post Clearance Control and Audit refers to the controls that are undertaken after the clearance of the goods and is aiming to the verification of the accuracy of the data declared in order to confirm the correct implementation of customs and other legislation, more specific that correct payment of duties, taxes and other charges and that prohibitive and restrictive provisions are implemented.

These audit verifications cover the following two groups:

  • the post controls carried out on custom declarations with all supporting documents in order to confirm the correctness and accuracy of the data included.
  • the audit controls carried out in businesses are recommended for examination of their accounting systems and records, as well as examination of the administration, organization structure and internal procedures in order to gain the necessary assurance of compliance with revenue requirements and to assess the reliability of the business to transact with Customs.

These controls are decided by customs or after the request of the declarant and usually take place at the premises of the declarants, the traders and generally at any person’s who because of profession possesses documents and data that is related to imports and exports of goods.

In addition, Post Clearance Control and Audit includes measures to correct situations that include mistakes or inaccuracies on declarations based on new data that has already been discovered. Such measure is for example the procedure of preparation and collection of the post demand notes.

Subject to the customs post controls physical and legal persons
In customs post control the following physical and legal persons are bound:

  • businesses that are engaged in imports or/and exports of goods
  • businesses that are engaged in transportation of community goods to Cyprus which are subject to excise duties (m/vehicles, alcoholic drinks, soft drinks etc) .
  • businesses which operate under any economic or suspension regime as for example:
  • Custom warehouses and Tax warehouses
  • Outward processing
  • Inward processing
  • Processing under Customs Control
  • Temporary Importation and Relieves

Rights and Obligations of traders
To facilitate but also for better preparation of the traders to the above post and audit controls, the most important obligations and rights are mentioned below:

Obligations

  • To submit declarations and put their goods to customs’ regime.
  • To keep declarations and commercial documents for seven years.
  • To keep books and registries.
  • To give information to the Customs.
  • To register in the Customs Register.
  • To allow entry of custom officers to the trader’s premises and facilitate their control activity.
  • To answer questions that may be asked by an authorized examination officer.

Rights
  • To be represented.
  • To ask for review for custom decisions.
  • To appeal to the court for custom decisions.
  • To take adequate documentation of custom decisions.
  • To keep the information taken from the Customs confidential.
  • To know the identity of the officers who are at their premises for the particular control.
  • To ask information from the Customs Authorities about the implementation of customs legislation (offered for free).



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