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Customs Infringement Notice

Customs Infringement Notice
July 21
11:00 2018

As an administrative arm of the Fijian Government, one of the objectives of the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (Revenue and Customs) is to ensure that the duty reductions announced in the National Budget each year are passed onto members of the public.

This objective is underpinned by the Customs Act which also enables Revenue and Customs to foster and enable voluntary compliance in terms of Customs laws.

Revenue and Customs in collaboration with Fiji Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) has been monitoring the price of goods based on duty decreases every year.

How it Works?

A Customs Infringement Notice is a regulatory tool used to cost effectively identify businesses who contravene certain consumer protection provisions in relation to duty decreases announced by the Minister in the National Budget.

Customs Infringement Notices are issued for every item that has been sold with the necessary duty reduction effected. Example, if a business has sold a particular product to 10 different customers without reduction, the business will be issued 10 Infringement Notices. That is why it is also important that consumers report to FRCS every case where they do not feels satisfied that the prices have been reduced.

It also enables Authorities to influence positive change of alleged breaches and maintain a level of compliance.

The Revenue and Customs Audit Compliance team comprising of Senior Customs Officials are responsible for investigating pre-budget entry of goods (cost of landing and sales) and post-budget entry to see if the duty decreases have been factored.

In order to issue a Customs Infringement Notice, the team contacts the business to advise about the contravention.

Penalty Provisions

Any person who fails to comply with the Law is liable to a fine not exceeding $50,000 which must be payable by that person within 21 days or on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years.

What should a business do if it receives a Customs Infringement Notice?

With the Customs Infringement Notice, the recipient will also be provided with information relating to the nature of alleged breach and the amount of fine to be paid with a given period (which is 21days).

If a recipient decides to pay, it should ensure that the payment is received within the compliance period.

 

Non-payment of an infringement notice during the compliance period will expose the recipient to further proceedings once the compliance period expires.

What happens if the recipient pays the penalty?

Payment of the infringement notice penalty must be made in full as outlined in the infringement notice.

If a recipient chooses to pay an infringement notice penalty, the Rev­enue and Customs Service cannot commence court proceedings in rela­tion to the alleged contravention.

The trader will be also required to immediately reflect the reduction of retail price.

What happens if the recipient does not pay the infringement

notice penalty?

Infringement notices are a way of avoiding legal proceedings. Gener­ally, infringement notice penalties are lower than a penalty that would be imposed by a Court.

If recipients do not pay infringement notice penalties, the matter will be referred for prosecution.

Infringement Notices issued by Revenue and Customs in 2018

This year, the Revenue and Customs Services Audit Compliance team after thorough investigations issued eight Customs Infringement No­tices.

Spare part companies were issued with seven Customs Infringement Notice for not reflecting duty reduction duty on new spare parts.

Another Notice was issued to a hardware company for not reflecting duty reductions in the selling price of Louver Frames.

Duty reduction in 2018/2019 National Budget Announcement

Some of the duty reductions that will be monitored by Revenue and Customs Service after the 2018/2019 National Budget announcement.

The aim of the Fijian Government is to ensure every Fijian is able to afford these items.

Consumers need to play their part by being vigilant when making pur­chases.

Revenue and Customs also encourages members of the public to re­port matters relating to any breach of duty reduction not reflected in the retail prices to our hotline 1326 or 3243000 or email on info@frcs.org.fj

Fiji Revenue and Customs Service

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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