Economy, Domestic Economy

Tracking Codes for Imports

Tracking Codes for ImportsTracking Codes for Imports

Tracking codes will be issued for imported commodities as from the end of this year (March 2015), director of the valuation office at Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, Khodakaram Eskandari, said Monday.

He said that false declarations made to the customs are mostly related to the household and electronic appliances. Regarding the reasons behind the difference in the prices of goods reported by importers and the customs valuation assessments, he stated that although imported commodities are officially classified and profiled based on their characteristics, the main reason behind this difference is the wide variety of imported goods, Donya-e Eqtesad reported.

The prices of some goods are determined based on their prices in the stock market, according to the customs regulations. “For these commodities, our valuation experts refer to reliable websites and other official sources in order to determine the actual prices,” Eskandari added. As the buying and selling prices are reported daily for metals, the difference in prices in this area has almost reduced to zero, the official said.

The trading prices for other commodities such as sugar, rice, and other agricultural commodities are determined according to the situation of the market, he said. Eskandari added that by signing an agreement with the rice farmers union, and making inquiries from the Government Trading Company (GTC), the difference in prices for rice has also reduced to zero.

For goods with low tariffs and quotas applied to them, if the amount being purchased is considerable, the value will be assessed and reported based on the pro forma invoices and before letters of credit are issued by banks.

Eskandari further noted that the valuation office communicates with the private sector to determine the value of most imported commodities. “There are only slight differences between IRICA and the private businesses regarding the pricing issue.”

The data for more than 80 percent of the food products are registered through websites, he said.

“False declarations seem to benefit the importers in case of those commodities to which high tariffs are applied.”

 Chinese, Arab Imports Problematic

Forging documents is not as widespread for goods imported from European countries as for imports from Arab countries and China, Eskandari said. At times importers prepare the documents themselves, the clearance procedure will be carried out according to previous records, he added. If an importer happens to file a complaint, the complaint will be referred to the relevant inspection committees, given that the importer has provided documents indicating the actual prices, Eskandari clarified.

Issuing tracking codes for imported commodities is in its preliminary stages. In the final stage, a four-digit tracking code indicating the commodity’s value will be issued for all imported commodities based on the documents and the existing records at the customs office. This is expected to coordinate customs-related activities. As an example, if the tracking code of a 24-inch LED television is punched into the system, its value will be automatically calculated.

The automated system will eliminate the need for visual inspection. In case any discrepancies are detected in declarations, the system will line them up for further investigation. If the records are clear the goods will be cleared.

According to the new plan, all commodities will have a value tracking code as of the end of the year (March 20, 2015). This will help overcome the challenges that currently exist and eventually prevent possible violations.