Broker Licence - Information

 Customs Policy No. 5 - Customhouse Broker

The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) is continuing its efforts to enhance its mission, by sensitizing the general public on various issues in order to ensure compliance with Tax laws. Thus, this policy is intended to provide guidance on regulations governing Customhouse Brokers.

Regulation 204 (II) of the Customs Regulations made under Section 275 of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01 defines a customhouse broker or broker as a person who is licenced under the Customs Regulations to transact business with the Customs on behalf of others.

Regulation 202, subject to Regulation 203 provides that, a Customhouse Broker or Broker must be licenced by the Commissioner-General of GRA, in order to conduct brokerage activities with the Customs and Trade Administration (CTA).

The broker licence which is renewable annually may be issued to an individual, partnership, company, corporation and an incorporated body at a cost of $3000 and is valid from the date of issue until December 31, in the same year.

Notwithstanding the above, there are three (3) classes of persons which do not need to obtain a broker licence in order to transact business with the Customs and Trade Administration:

  • an importer or exporter who conducts business with the Customs and Trade Administration solely on his own behalf or his authorized regular employees or officers  who act only for him in the transaction of his business
  • an employee of a broker who is authorized to act solely for his employer in cases where-
    • the broker has authorized the employee, a resident of Guyana, to sign Customs documents on his behalf and has filed a power of attorney for that purpose with the Commissioner- General; or
    • the broker has filed with the Commissioner-General a statement identifying the employee as authorized to transact business on his behalf;
  • an authorized agent of the master or owner of an aircraft or ship transacting business in connection with entry and clearance of such aircraft or ship.

It must be highlighted that, prospective brokers are required to take an examination in order to determine the applicants' knowledge of Customs and related laws, regulations and ability to render valuable service to importers and exporters.

If it is established that the applicant is qualified, he/she shall be required to give security in such sum as determined by the Commissioner-General, to assure compliance with any pertinent law, regulation or instruction or for the protection of the revenue.

Furthermore, every licensed broker must maintain in a correct, orderly and itemized manner, records of his/her account reflecting all financial transactions as a Broker for audit or inspection by a Customs Officer or other Officer of GRA.

As such, a file copy of each entry; specification or shipping bill made by him/her with all supporting papers; copies of all his correspondence; all books, accounts, records, papers, documents, powers of attorney and correspondence relating to his/her customs business must be kept for a period of three (3) years from the date of entry.

However, powers of attorneys must be retained until revoked and letters of revocation must be retained for three years after the date of revocation.

Conduct of Brokers

The Customs Regulations do not only outline the conditions under which brokers should operate, but also provide guidelines in relation to the proper conduct of brokers; failing which, brokers will be guilty of an offence and the necessary sanctions imposed.

Please be advised that, each broker must pay careful attention in answering correspondence and in preparing or assisting in the preparation and filing of documents relating to any matter handled by him/her as a broker.

Also, brokers will be held strictly responsible for the acts or omissions of his employees within the scope of their employment and for the acts or omissions of such employees which, in the exercise of reasonable care and diligence, the broker should have foreseen. As such, every broker must supervise his/her employees, so as to ensure proper conduct on the part of the employees in the transaction of business with the Customs.

In addition, a broker shall not file or cause to be filed or assist in the filing of any claim or document, affidavit or other paper, known by such broker to be false, neither shall he /she knowingly give or solicit or procure the giving of any false or misleading information or testimony in any matter pending before the Customs.

Further, a broker shall not influence or attempt to influence the conduct of any officer in any matter pending before the Customs or any representative by the use of threat, false accusation, duress, or the offer of any special inducement or promise of advantage, or by bestowing any gift or favour or other things of value.

Further, a broker shall not influence or attempt to influence the conduct of any officer in any matter pending before the Customs or any representative by the use of threat, false accusation, duress, or the offer of any special inducement or promise of advantage, or by bestowing any gift or favour or other things of value.

Finally, the Commissioner-General has the right to deny an application for, or revoke or suspend a brokers' licence on the following grounds;

  • failure or refusal to comply with the duties, responsibilities or requirements of a Customhouse broker;
  • failure to meet any requirement set forth in these regulations;
  • failure to establish the business integrity and good character of the applicant;
  • any willful misstatement of pertinent facts in the application;
  • any conduct which would be deemed unfair in commercial transactions by accepted standards;
  • a reputation imputing to the applicant's criminal, dishonest and unethical conduct, or a record of such a conduct; or
  • any other ground which in the opinion of the Commissioner-General, is sufficient.

Notwithstanding the above, each applicant who has been denied a licence may reapply at any time in accordance with the provisions of these regulations.