$114M recovered as GRA cracks down on smuggled goods

As the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) continues with its efforts to fight smuggling, its Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) has managed to recoup over a hundred million dollars from un-customed goods, the revenue collection agency announced.

According to the Revenue collection body, some $114 million in revenues were recovered during anti-smuggling exercises over the past months.

“For the period January to April, 2016, LEID, through its planned activities, has been able to recoup in excess of one hundred and fourteen million dollars ($114,000,000). These exercises continue to unearth a significant quantity of commonly smuggled items, which include foreign imported chicken, mosquito coils that are banned and motor vehicles,” the GRA said in a statement Wednesday.

The Authority pointed out that several defaulters were identified for the first time, while there are several repeated offenders who were also netted in these exercises. The penalties levied against those repeat offenders are the payment of triple the value of the duties.

Moreover, the GRA announced an increase in similar exercises as the Regional Operations launched its countrywide compliance campaign.

“Even as LEID continues its operations, the Regional Operations has begun a countrywide compliance campaign with the aim of ensuring all businesses or persons who are required to pay taxes are complying with all necessary requirements in terms of licences etc,” the body noted.

Additionally, the GRA revealed that during the compliance campaign, a large number of businesses were discovered to be non-compliant. These business owners were informed of their shortcomings and officers from the Authority are expected to make follow-up visits to ensure that they have rectified their status.

Meanwhile, the compliance campaign is ongoing and persons are being encouraged to visit the GRA and get their relevant documentation in order.

The revenue collection agency also noted that in addition to the efforts of LEID and the Regional Operations, the Communication and Tax Advisory Services Division will also be continuing its public awareness campaign.