New Customs codes in effect

The amended version of the Customs Tariff Law 2012 came into effect Monday to give importers and traders time to adjust to a new eight-digit coding system that prompted complaints from some businesses.

Importation codes have been reduced to four digits, and traders have the option to pay a $5 fee per transaction to have a customs officer complete their paperwork.

Last month, Premier Alden McLaughlin announced plans to revise the coding system after some complaints about the amount of time the new process required.

According to a government press release, the reduction in codes from Sept. 1 “is also intended to help speed up the process of compliance and clearance in a timelier manner by allowing importers/traders to submit their declarations using the four-digit code for a specific period of time.”

The shortened codes will be used until Aug. 31, 2015.

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“At the end of this one-year period, all importers/traders will be expected to comply fully using the eight-digit tariff,” the release said.

“The shortened version of the Customs Tariff Law 2012 came about due to difficulties by importers in identifying the new codes, as well as delays in clearing their goods with the Customs department.”

Codes that have different rates of duty will remain eight-digit codes, and importers who are already familiar with the eight-digit codes should continue to use them.

Workshops will be held to help importers learn the new codes and will target importers by industry to work toward creating tariff booklets specific to each industry, officials said.

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