The Asian Development Bank (ADB) sponsored a series of seminars last week for importers, customs brokers, freight forwarders, and their representative bodies in Myanmar to familiarise them with the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Valuation Agreement.
“The Myanmar Customs Department will soon be applying the WTO Valuation Agreement to all imports. That is very good news for importers, but it’s essential that they understand how to follow the rules, are clear about their rights, and know what to do if they experience difficulties,” said James Lynch, ADB’s Director for Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination in Southeast Asia.
An amendment to the Sea Customs Act, recently approved by the parliament, requires Myanmar Customs to apply in full the terms of the WTO Valuation Agreement which provides a uniform system for the customs valuation of imported goods consistent with commercial practices.
The basis for valuation under this system is the transaction value of the imported goods – the price actually paid or payable for the goods. Where the customs value cannot be determined using the transaction value method, the Agreement provides for five other methods, to be used in turn.
The seminars informed importers and their clearing agents about their own responsibilities, and urged them to strictly apply the rules relating to the presentation of import declarations, and the necessary supporting documents to expedite customs processing.
The seminars were held in Mandalay and Yangon for Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the International Freight Forwarders Association, and the Customs Brokers Association. The Manila-based lender said future seminars are planned for the private sector next month in Myawaddy, Tachileik, Muse and Myeik.
ADB said it is also providing assistance for the Myanmar Customs Department to enhance customs processing and strengthen private sector partnerships.