A CAN of imported corned meat is just that to most of us — just a can of corned meat.
But not to Customs officials and Customs agents, who's assessment of what duty to apply determines the price we pay for the product at the end of the day.
As chairman of the Fiji Customs Brokers Council, Binesh Chandra revealed, a can of corned meat was once a bone of contention between agents and Customs officials, which needed the intervention of the World Customs Organisation to make a decision on the classification of the product.
The meat could attract the duty of being a raw material while the can could attract the duty either as raw material for packaging or as packaging.
"The delays on such does increase the cost of business and at the end of the day it is the consumer that pays," Mr Chandra said.
Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority chief executive Jitoko Tikolevu said such incidences required a partnership between both parties. And as such, the authority was conducting e-learning courses for both agents and officers.
The courses were on the harmonised system as well as the rule of origin.
Mr Tikolevu said with both parties speaking the same language, their work would be much easier and it also avoids incidences of fraud.
With so many goods arriving into the country, he said custom officials did not check all goods and thus relied on the Customs agents.