Organizational Details Of Department Of Customs
Ministry of Finance (MOF) has three departments, one of which is Department of customs. It is the Central Customs Authority in Nepal headed by the Director General of Customs, a career civil servant of Joint Secretary Level. The Director General has the final authority for deciding the valuation and classification of goods. There are two Deputy Director Generals, six directors, thirteen officers and a number of subordinate staffs under the Director General to perform their assigned functions.
Department has following six divisions, headed by respective directors. The name and functions of divisions are as follows:
Tariff and Classification Division:
The Tariff and Classification Division deals with the whole problems related with the commodity classification and tariff. The main functions of this division are (i) to classify goods, and to provide suggestions and recommendations to the Ministry of Finance for over all structure as well as particular changes in the rates of duty. According to the Customs Act 1962 and guideline of MOF, department has the authority to exempt customs duty either fully or partially considering the national circumstances priorities in the field of public utilities notified by gazette or by mentioning in Financial Act. The execution of above tasks and decisions about duty exemption is a vital function of the division.
Valuation & Review Division:
This division is responsible for the valuation and post clearance audit. It reviews the valuation done by the Customs Officer at the local customs. Now Nepal has fully adopted the "Transaction Value" for the purpose of the assessment of Customs duty. Border Customs officers are fully authorized and responsible for the valuation. The customs act does not define the Transaction value but while determining the transaction value, customs officer should follow the basic principals incorporated in the WTO/GATT valuation agreement. When the importers are not satisfied with the decision of valuation done by the customs officer, they can request for review to the director General. In this case, this division plays an important role by inspecting the valuation process thoroughly with the reference of market value and recommends to Director General what to decide.
Inspection, Law & International Relation Division:
This division regularly supervises and monitors the activities of the field customs offices especially in the areas of goods identification, Classification, duty rates, valuation and other problematic areas of overall customs administration. The statistics, bonded warehouse, international relation, duty refund procedure and risk management Divisions are under this division. Administration Division: The Administration Division is directly related with the personnel management. It is also responsible for defending the cases in Court of Justice against the department and field customs offices. It plays a key role for budget formulation of entire customs offices including the department. The Division allocates funds for field offices, manages internal and external audits and other daily necessary financial management.
Information & Technology(IT) Division:
This, IT Division is a new creation in the department. Nepal Customs Administration has adopted ASYCUDA++ as a tool for reform and automation to promote efficiency in customs services. ASYCUDA++ is a "client-server" computer system designed for customs procedures management conceived and developed by UNCTAD. ASYCUDA++ is composed of a set of independent subsystems including the essential features of customs modernization such as selectivity and risk analysis or direct data input by customs brokers(DTI).
Nepal launched this project in two phases. With the technical assistance of Asian Development Bank, the phase I introduced modernization program at the customs department and few automated procedures at Tribhuvan International Airport in July 1998. The phase II of the ASYCUDA++ program was a part of Multimodal Transport, Trade, Facilitation and Customs reform Project, which was a major program focussing on efficient procedures for transit, import and export. The project during the second phase has installed the system in 3 border clearance stations at Birgunj, Biratnagar and Bhairahawa with the funding of IDA credit. The extension has done at Mechi Customs Office, Krishnanagar Customs Office, Tatopani Customs Office and Gaur Customs Office under HMG/N own resources in the year 2004 and 2005. The department is planning to roll out the system at 2 other custom offices: Sirsiya Customs Office and Nepalgunj Customs Office in near future.
The main functions of this division are as follows:-
Fast customs clearance through the introduction of computerization, the simplification of procedures and the streamline and harmonization.
Provide the necessary information to the government (Ministry, Rastra Bank, IRD etc) to formulate and conduct macro-economic and fiscal policy.
Provide the necessary information to end users that will help to monitor and control foreign trade and revenue based reports and statistics to the department.
Improve efficiency of the customs administration.
Provide technical assistance to the department as well as field customs offices.
Textile & Laboratory Division:
The Department of Customs has its own laboratory,locatted at Tripureshor Kathmandu.Lap is mainly the chemical Lab. As the problems of Commodity Classification arise due to chemical, liquors and other new products with complex composition of different ingredients, the department or customs office avails to identify such goods and recommends.
The laboratory also provides the quality testing services for raw materials of drugs, food products, fertilizers, minerals, alcoholic beverages polymers, petro-chemicals and other industrials products of chemical origin for customs clearance purpose.
The certified copies of commercial invoice, quality certificate, and material specification are essential with properly leveled and sealed sample for testing. The laboratory testing takes take 3-6 working days depending upon the sample type and urgency of customs offices.