FRCS launches Code of Conduct for Customs, Shipping and Airline Agents

The Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) Customs launched the Customs, Shipping and Airline Agents Code of Conduct this afternoon at the FRCS Boardroom, Nasese Complex, in Suva.

Launching the Code, FRCS Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Visvanath Das said the Code will enhance partnership with Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Fiji (CBFCF) and create a level playing field for Customs Agents.

“The aim of this Code of Conduct is to set “business ethics” guidelines for Customs, Shipping and Airline Agents establishing principles, values and rules of behavior encouraging them to achieve high standards of professional conduct and to properly perform their duties,” Mr. Das said.

“The focus is also on “Trust Based self-assessment” ensuring Voluntary Compliance by the industry players in order to experiences quick processing of customs documents and clearance of goods from customs control,” he said.

“The series of standards of diligence, professional competence, integrity and self-discipline outlined will promote honesty, transparency and assist government to collect correct duties and taxes with less compliance cost,” he added.

This Code of Conduct is a product of FRCS and industry consultation.

Mr. Das said FRCS previously encountered cases of fraudulent behaviors by some of the Customs Agents in the past and hopes that this Code of Conduct will eliminate such behaviors in future and also avoid customs fines and penalties for non-compliance.

“Customs Law has stringent Penalty provision such as 3 times the value of the goods or 10 years’ imprisonment. Customs, shipping and Airline Agents license can be penalized for false declarations, undervaluation, incorrect description, incorrect tariff classification, incorrect use of goods origin, double-invoicing, abuse of duty concession for commercial benefits,” Mr. Das said.

Mr. Das urged Customs Agents to work closely with FRCS to better serve their clients and within the ambits of the Customs Law and Regulations.

“FRCS also recognize that Customs, shipping and Airline Agents are our eyes and ears in the supply chain and they play a critical role to validate transaction on behalf of the traders and taxpayers ensuring efficiency, neutral and transparent process for revenue collection, border protection, trade and trade facilitation.

This year FRCS has granted 3 year licenses to all license Customs, Shipping and Airline agents ensuring partnership approach and better credibility in their dealings with FRCS.

Present during the launch, CBFCF Board Member, Mr. Ram Rajend acknowledged the efforts of Customs Division for developing this Code. With his 45 years of experience in Customs arena, he commended Customs administration transformation for the better.

He assured full support from CBFCF members to achieve the aim of this code of conduct and identify loopholes to improve the processes and partnership with FRCS.

For queries, please contact the Public Relations Team on 3243031/32433013 or email publicrelations@frcs.org.fj

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