Business Forum with General Customs Directorate in Tirana and Shkodra

The American Chamber of Commerce and the General Customs Directorate – Business Forum on the Changes of the Customs Code

Challenges in implementing the new Customs Code

The American Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the General Customs Directorate organized last week two Business Forums on the new Customs Code and its Provisions.

The event organized in Tirana was attended by a large number of members. Further, in Shkodra the invitation was extended also to all the local businesses interested in the subject matter. The same Forum will soon be organized in Korça as well, in order to provide all the necessary information and help facilitate the dialogue and answer all of the questions that the members and/or the business representatives in this district have on this issue.

The changes that were introduced by the Customs’ representatives are part of the third phase of changes that the Customs Code has undergone, which will come into force on June 1st. Speaking to the members of AmCham, the Vice General Director of Customs, Ms. Mirela Meko, underlined the importance of being informed on time on all the procedures and provisions that have changed in order to facilitate the daily activity of businesses.

The crucial elements that affect businesses’ activities with the Customs have always been a hot topic of discussion. AmCham has received a number of questions on them from its members. The questions raised over time by the members have received prompt explanations by the Head of the Tax and Legal Committee, Ms. Alketa Uruçi. Thus, the Customs’ experts used the Forum to give more detailed explanations on every procedures and steps that need to be followed by the businesses.

The Customs Code has undergone evident improvements in its competences with regards to the Customs’ clearance giving the opportunity to the businesses to clear custom in locations that are best suited for them.  This has been one of the most commonly repeated requests of the AmCham members.

Changes were made to the provisions on the procedures and timelines on the basis of which an economic operator applies to the customs administration and the obligation of the latter to take a decision within a specified deadline.

Provisions to appeal a customs decision have also changed. Specifically, the interested business may appeal to the General Directorate of Customs within 15 days from the date of notification of the decision. The General Directorate of Customs decides within 30 days whether to accept or not the appeal. Previously, these timelines were respectively 10 and 20 days.

The infringer may submit a reasoned complaint to the General Director of Customs against the decision of the competent customs authority within 30 days from the date of notification – in the past the timeline was 5 days. In order to be able to file a complaint, the complainant must pay the total amount of import or export duties and put down as a guarantee on behalf of the General Directorate of Customs the amount of sanctions applied for the violation, object of the conflict. Previously, the economic operator was obliged to pay the full amount due for the import or export duty and 40% of the fine.

Business Forum with Customs in Tirana

Business Forum with Customs in Shkodra