Business Forum with the General Director of Customs

AmCham speaks with the General Director of Customs about reference prices and current customs procedures

The American Chamber of Commerce held its traditional annual meeting with the General Directorate of Customs, enabling thus, its business members to be in direct and open communication with the directors and experts of this institution.

The General Director of Customs, Ms. Belinda Ikonomi, explained in her remarks that a lot has been done to unify the customs evaluation methodology and one of the benefits for businesses will be the establishment of the blue evaluation channel. Businesses that qualify will receive a posterior evaluation within five days, avoiding double checks and customs controls. The purpose of this is to treat businesses more equally and this will be applied to goods that do not pose a risk.

During her note, the Chairwoman of the Tax and Legal Committee, Ms. Alketa Uruçi, touched upon important issues that businesses face when they interact with customs. Further, AmCham members raised issues pertaining to the need for simpler business procedures and shared their experiences with the customs clearance procedure and relations with the customs administration.

The new Customs Code and its provisions which have entered into force on June 1, 2017, have regulated in practical terms the working relationship with customs. Within this regulatory system, it is well-defined in which cases the value of transaction is applied and the conditions it has to meet to be considered for revaluation and the order in which these conditions are applied. The main concern is their practical implementation.

The written acts issued following a re-assessment, make it impossible for the businesses to appeal, as they don not clearly state what are the reasons for applying reference prices.  Ms. Uruçi also emphasized that the customs administration does not have a consolidated and clear practice, which may help the businesses appeal.

Ms. Ikonomi further responded to the concerns raised by clarifying that the new Customs Code clearly states when the reference prices are applied. Databases have been set up exhibiting prices that have been applied to the same goods in the various transactions of the last six months. The purpose of this is to have identified the lowest and highest values, at which a commodity is cleared. Members of AmCham shared their experiences with the customs clearance procedure and relations with the customs administration.