Company expelled from program for abuse, non-compliance

Fiji Revenue and Customs Service CEO Visvanath Dass. Picture: FT FILE

A RENOWNED automotive company in Fiji has been stripped off from the Revenue and Customs’ Gold Card Services Program for abuse and non-compliance to Customs laws on numerous occasions.

The Fiji Revenue and Customs Service confirmed that the company breached Section 137 of the Customs Act of 1986 whereby the Company failed to adjust the price of vehicle parts to reflect the import duty reduction granted by the Government to make this affordable for Fijians.

The duty reductions were not passed down to consumers, FRCS stated.

The Gold Card Services was established in 2012, following a Government announcement that “priority and privileged services will be accorded to those companies that are compliant in the matters of Taxation and Customs”.

The membership is valid for two years, however, the chief executive officer of the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service reserves the right to terminate or renew “Gold Card Membership”.

Subsidiaries of Gold Card members also have access to Gold Card Services.
FRCS chief executive officer Visvanath Das said the concerned company’s selection to be a Gold Card member was based on the Company’s Tax and Customs compliance.
“The Government, from the very inauguration of the Gold Card Services initiative, clearly spelt out the disciplines of the initiative, and the consequences of any non-compliance,” Mr Das said.
““The Gold Card Initiative is based on high levels of trust and partnership towards voluntary compliance with rewards including priority facilitation, service and associated benefits. It is, therefore, imperative that Gold Card members strictly adhere to and operate within the respective legislative framework at all times.”

According to FRCS, audit and investigations into the business affairs of the company brought to light two instances of abuse of duty concessions wherein duty concessions were applied but the product delivered to a non-concessionaire.

On another two occasions, duty reductions were not reflected in the pricing of the products thus attracting fine of $100,000 and three separate instances of tariff misclassification to minimise duty liability.

The Gold Card membership of the Company and its nominees is now terminated together with their access to Gold Card priority services at the Gold Card Services Centre and the associated benefits under the Gold Card Initiative.

“We work very closely with our taxpayers providing support and guidance on issues for voluntary compliance, however, we noted in this instance that the company has failed to implement mitigating measures to address recurring offences.

“We have room for technical and legislative interpretation matters to be amicably resolved, however, we have zero-tolerance for violation of straightforward and simple compliance matters,” Mr Das stressed.

Gold Card Services include:

  • Provide innovative solutions to all Tax and Customs enquiries;
  • Expedite processing of tax clearance, tax returns, stamp duty documents, applications for registration
    for all tax types and review of assessments;
  • Expedite assessing and amendment of Single Administrative Document (SAD);
  • Accept Tax and Customs payments via online banking, EFTPOS (Debit and Credit Cards), Cheques and Cash;
  • Facilitate referrals within all Revenue and Customs business units;
  • Provide privileged services with Revenue and Customs stakeholders

In addition to these services, through our partners Gold Card Members also have access to the following;

  1. INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
    Personal baggage duty free allowance of up to $2,000.00 excludes liquor and tobacco.
    International Departures and Arrivals – priority check-in, baggage collection and escort services by Fiji Airports Limited personnel Tabua Club membership with Fiji Airways allowing:
    – Business class lounge access
    – Priority check-in and baggage tags
    – Extra baggage allowance
    – Use Tabua Club cards to enjoy benefits
    – For more information, visit www.tabuaclub.com for details
  2. OTHER PRIVILEGED SERVICES ACCESSIBLE TO GOLD CARD HOLDERS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
  • Fiji Airports Limited: Express lane services for baggage collection and escort services
  • Biosecurity Authority of Fiji: Express lane priority services for all inspection and clearance services
  • Department of Immigration: Priority services for passports and permits
  • Fiji Airways: Priority check-in at the Tabua Club counter
  • Land Transport Authority: Express lane priority services for all LTA services
  • Go Advertising: Our official advertising partner

*Additional information obtained from the FRCS website www.frcs.org.fj

More Stories