|North West pupil wins COTA Essay Competition|
Sarah Fernandes a 14-year-old fourth form student of the North West Secondary School, Region One is the winner of the national level Caribbean Organisation for Tax Administrators (COTA) 5th Essay Competition 2017.
If you are a returning Guyanese, welcome home. If you are a visitor to Guyana, we extend to you a warm welcome and if you are an immigrant to Guyana, welcome to your new home.
The information provided is designed to assist you with Customs formalities on your arrival in Guyana. In order to minimize the time spent in the Customs area at the ports of entry (Cheddie Jagan International Airport, Ogle International Airport etc.) it is advised that you carefully read, understand and comply with the requirements outlined herein.
The Laws of Guyana (Customs Act, Chapter 82:01 and Customs Regulations) require that all passengers arriving in Guyana by aircraft or ship:
- Must proceedwith their baggage to the Customs area or any specified area so designated by a Customs Officer for examination/inspection and should not leave the specified Customs area without the approval of a Customs Officer. Any baggage belonging to a passenger (the person who arrived in Guyana) must only be handled by that passenger or by any person so authorized by the Commissioner-General or the authority controlling the place where the aircraft lands or vessel docks.
In accordance with Regulation 84 of the Customs Regulations, a Customs Officer may refuse to examine any passengers' baggage, if all the baggage belonging to him or her is not present, or if the passenger who owns the baggage is not present. In cases, where the baggage presented to the Officer belongs to more than one person, all passengers must be present.
- Complete and give to the Customs Officer, a Customs Declaration - Form C14 (an official declaration of the contents of his/her baggage and his person) regarding items they acquired abroad (whether or not those items were worn or used, or obtained by purchase, a gift or otherwise). If you are travelling with your family, the declaration must be completed by the head of the family.
The declaration form is issued by the Cabin Attendants onboard the aircraft or vessel prior to the aircraft/vessel landing in Guyana. It is recommended that you complete the form before the aircraft or vessel arrives at the port of entry.
- Answer all questions that the Customs Officer may ask upon the examination of his/her baggage since; any false declaration made to the Customs Officer is an offence which is punishable by law.
Note: Passengers are prohibited from removing any baggage out of the charge of the Customs Officer before the Customs Officer has initialed or otherwise marked each package. In the case of articles liable to duty, the baggage cannot be removed until; the passenger has signed a copy of the receipt for duty required by the Customs Officer.
In order to ensure that all passengers clear the Customs area in a timely manner, the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) utilizes a two lane (a Green Lane and other Lane) clearance system.
If you enter the Green Lane, you are deemed to be making a legal declaration that you have nothing to declare and are not carrying any prohibited or restricted items or goods subject to Customs control other than your duty-free allowances. Passengers who have in there baggage, dutiable items or items in excess of their duty free allowances may not exit the Customs area using this lane.
If your baggage does not contain any articles which are liable to duty or items for personal use (not in quantities intended for sale or exchange) you must proceed to the GREEN LANE of the Customs area.
- You must then present to the Customs Officer a Form C14 and your passport and answer all questions the Customs Officer may ask. Dutiable items should not be concealed and false documents such as receipts should not be presented to the Customs Officer. It is an offence to make a false declaration to the Customs Officer.
- The Customs Officer will then examine the stubs or tags on your baggage to verify that it belongs to you.
- If the Customs Officer is satisfied that the declaration is true, you will be allowed to exit the Customs area without paying any duty. The Customs Officer will retain the Form C14. The Customs Officer may conduct random examinations on the baggage of passengers who use the GREEN LANE.
If your baggage contains articles liable to duty or items intended for sale or exchange you must proceed to any lane in the Customs area other than the GREEN LANE.
- You must then submit to the Customs Officer a Form C14 (an official declaration of the contents your baggage).
- The Customs Officer will then examine the stubs/tags on your baggage to verify that it belongs to you.
- You (the passenger) must then open your baggage to allow the Custom Officer to conduct an examination on same.
- The Customs Officer will record the examination of your baggage on the Form C14 and calculate the duties and taxes payable on articles contained therein which are liable to duty. The Officer will also sign and date the form and record the time the examination was completed on same, before it is returned to you.
- The Customs Officer will then ask you to place the articles liable to duty in the area designated for payment of duties and taxes (this does not apply for goods which are commercial in nature).
- You must then proceed to the GRA's Cashier (located in the Customs area) to pay the applicable duties and taxes.
REMINDER - There are heavy penalties for smuggling and/or false declarations. Passengers entering the GREEN LANE are still subject to Customs Control. There is no automatic clearance! Customs and Trade Administration of the Guyana Revenue Authority reserves the right to stop and examine any passenger before permitting clearance.
Payment of Duties and Taxes on Passengersâ€™ Baggage
Exiting Customs Area
- After you uplift your baggage from the designated area (after examination and payment of duties and taxes) proceed to the Patrol Officer at the exit door.
- The Patrol Officer will check the copy of your receipt issued against the information recorded on the Form C 14 by the Cashier.
- The Patrol Officer will also verify the number of baggage in your possession against the number recorded on the Form C 14.
- Once all the information is correct you will be allowed to exit the examination area and removed your baggage out the charge of Customs.
In cases where baggage arrives unaccompanied, the person who owns the baggage or an authorised agent must complete a Form C14C (Unaccompanied Baggage Declaration) and pay the applicable duties and taxes (if any) before the baggage is released.
Allowances and exemptions for passengers
The following articles if duly declared by an adult passenger to be for his/her own personal use shall be admitted into Guyana without the payment of Customs Duty:
- Manufactured tobacco, including cigars and cigarettes, not exceeding two hundred and twenty seven grams in the aggregate.
- Potable spirits in quantity no exceeding seven hundred and fifty eight milliliters.
- Wine in any quantity not exceeding seven hundred and fifty-eight milliliters.
- Other dutiable articles if the total duty thereon does not exceed one hundred United States dollars ($100 USD):
Note: If any passenger imports in his/her baggage any of the aforementioned articles in any quantity exceeding those specified, duty shall be paid on the whole quantity of such article.