Trusted Trader programme in initial stages-companies encouraged to make formal applications

GINA, GUYANA Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Companies are set to benefit tremendously from the Trusted Trader Programme (TTR) for which the Department of Commerce of the Ministry of Business is responsible.

The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) will be launching a pilot to implement the TTR which is a variant of the World Customs Organisation’s (WCO) Authorised (AEO). The agency is encouraging companies that meet the eligibility requirements and wish to achieve the TTR status to make applications to the GRA.

The programme in its initial stages will mainly target companies that have numerous transactions with the GRA for ‘Trusted Trader’ status. According to the agency, once deemed as a ‘Trusted Trader’ by GRA, the company can benefit from the following:

  • Reduced processing, release and clearance times
  • Reduced frequency or level of physical inspections and examinations
  • Appropriate documentary and date requirements
  • Issuance of three- year compliance certificates
  • Yearly tax exemption letters for manufacturing purposes as opposed to the requirement on a shipment- by-shipment basis.

There are a number of criteria to determine eligibility which includes taxes- total taxes paid on a yearly basis for the last three years should be a minimum of $500M annually or a minimum of $200M annually could be considered if all/most of the other criteria are satisfied.  The GRA said that the company’s turnover should be a minimum of $1 billion annually.

Companies that are well established must be reputable and been in existence for a minimum of seven years, must be registered under the Companies Act of Guyana for a minimum of seven years preceding the date of applications, and the company must have submitted audited financial statements to the GRA for the last seven years.

With regards to immovable assets owned by the applicant, not subject to floating charges, consideration may be given for critical sectors depending on the type and nature of the sector such as medical, brokerage- the company must have on board a licenced Customs Broker who is on good standing with the GRA.  Additionally, accounting and record keeping must be acceptable systems to reflect their asset positions and their operating activities. Electronic record keeping that are accessible and secure will be preferable.

According to Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, after consultations and close examination of the internal procedures of several public entities, the concept of the Trusted Trader programme has been advanced to the final stages of its development. A number of relevant agencies have been engaged and have communicated their endorsement of the programme.

Minister Gaskin said that the Department of Commerce has established a help desk which is fully functional and capable of offering clear and concise advice on matters related to the conduct of business in Guyana, in order to further support businesses.

Minister Gaskin said he has great confidence in the business community with the expectation of improved growth throughout 2017, based on current projections. “The target of 3.8 percent growth rate demands confidence in our economy at all levels and we should avoid the temptation to talk ourselves out of the good life,” Minister Gaskin said.

Between 2015 and 2016, Guyana improved by 16 places on the ranking of the World Bank’s doing Business Index. This has been the largest single improvement achieved in its history of being on the Index.

To further improve the position, the government will examine the viability of the recently recommended reforms of the World Bank in the areas of starting a business, registering property, trading across borders, getting electricity and obtaining construction permits and will develop among others.

By: Gabreila Patram

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