Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) is to accord tax compliant traders special status, reflecting the governments move to ease doing business in the country.
As of March 18 this year, the tax body is to introduce the Blue Channel status where low risk transactions (not prone to tax evasions); will not be subjected to customs verification process. RRA will instead focus its energy on verifying higher risk transactions.
If implemented, imports will be immediately released upon declaration to customs and payment of duties and taxes.
A statement from RRA says: "Transactions qualifying for expedited clearance will not be subject to any verification prior to the goods except on a random basis."
The statement adds that post clearance audit activities based on risk assessment will be the criteria, used during verification.
Rules of the game
For importers to remain eligible for expedited clearance, they must adhere to maintaining high standards of compliance, present genuine invoices, a detailed packing list, and they should maintain records for audit.
Upon validation at acceptance, the transaction will be passed to assessment for processing, payment and release. To further expedite the process, and reduce costs to the imports, the goods will follow transit procedures and will not be offloaded or subject to tally, inspection by the Bureau of Standards.
Pre-clearance transactions will follow the same process, with the only change being that the importers will be allowed to break the seals themselves. All transactions will, however, be subject to random selection for documentary review and for consideration of examination. This will enable customs to ensure that compliance remains high and that poor performance can be addressed, the statement reads in part.
This expedited clearance process will reward the importing community for good compliance in terms of providing quicker release times resulting in faster access to their goods in bringing them to market thereby reducing the importer’s turnover period.
There will also be greater certainty in the time required in clearing allowing for more accurate business planning; and lower costs of doing business related to the importation of goods. Choosing
The selection of companies for Blue Channel will be based on the retrospective method; where their performance records in the previous year will be used to determine behavioural standards for those companies. Performance records including customs declaration amendments and statements of any offence committed in paying customs duties during the last year will also be considered. In addition, selected companies must be stable, have permanent addresses, and proper record keeping including quality documents presented to customs.