Response to Peeping Tom “Triple Whammy”

Georgetown, Tuesday June 6, 2017: The Guyana Revenue Authority wishes to respond to a Peeping Tom article published in the Kaieteur News on Saturday, June 3, 2017 captioned “Triple Whammy”.

Peeping Tom made some statements regarding the importation of used tyres, insinuating that the GRA was imposing a new tax on Guyanese. Peeping Tom also stated “the GRA has not yet indicated when parliament would have met to have given approval for the GRA to impose such penalties. Nor has the GRA quoted under which provision of the laws that it administers empowers it to charge this penalty as it describes it.”

The Revenue Authority wishes to state that in the Budget Presentation of January 29, 2016 the Minister of Finance, Mr. Winston Jordan announced the restriction of imported used tyres.

Consequently, Part II of the Second Schedule to the Customs Act (List of Restricted Imports) has been amended to impose a restriction on imports of “used tyres for motor vehicles including motor cars, vans, sport utility vehicles, pick-ups, buses and other similar vehicles”.

The amendment also stipulates that imported “Vehicles shall be fitted with new tyres including spare tyres, prior to clearance and release of such vehicles in a manner to be determined by the Commissioner-General”.

According to Section 218, Customs Act Chapter 82:01: “Every person who imports or brings or is concerned in importing or bringing into Guyana any prohibited food, or any goods the importation of which is restricted contrary to such prohibition or restriction, whether same be unloaded or not; shall be liable for each such offence to a fine of treble the value of the goods or ten thousand dollars at the election of the Commissioner-General; and to imprisonment for one year and all goods in respect of which any such offence shall be committed shall be forfeited.” Hence, giving the Guyana Revenue Authority, full authority to impose fines, penalties, seizures or fixtures, when a restriction has been broken.

Persons are reminded the “standard” for used tyres to be allowed (once they are imported with the vehicle) is no less than 6mm in measurement. GRA also wishes to remind the public that the Customs duty charged on new tyres was reduced from 30 to 15 percent effective February 1, 2017 as an additional measure to encourage persons to purchase new tyres at a reduced cost.