AN ACT TO AMEND THE CUSTOMS ORDINANCE
BE it enacted by the Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka as follows :-
, 2003 ]
1. This Act may be cited as the Customs (Amendment) Act. No. 2 of 2003.
Amendment of section 51 of Chapter 235.
2. Section 51 of the Customs Ordinance (hereinafter referred to as the "principal enactment") is hereby amended section5 of chapter 235 by the substitution for the words "by declaration by the importer or his agent.", of the words "by a declaration made by the importer or his agent on a form of such size and colour as may be specified by the Director-General by notification published in the Gazette.".
Insertion of new section 51A . 51B and 51C in the principal enactment.
3. The following new sections are hereby inserted immediately after section 51 of the principal enactment and section 5 shall have effect as sections 51A. 51B and 51c of that enactment:-
When office in doubt he may call for further information.
(a) whenever an officer of customs has reason to doubt the truth or accuracy of any particulars contained in a bill of entry or a declaration made under section 51 or the documents presented to him in support of a bill of entry under section 47, the officer of customs may require the importer or his agent or any other party connected with the importation of goods, to furnish such other information. including documentary or other evidence in proof of the fact that the declared customs value represents the total amount actually paid or is payable for the imported goods as adjusted in accordance with Article 8 of Schedule E.
(b) After the receipt of further information or in the absence of any response, if the officer of customs still has reasonable doubt as to the truth or accuracy of the declared customs value, it shall be deemed that the customs value of the imported goods in question cannot be determined under the provisions of Article 1 of Schedule E and the importer, if so requests, shall be informed by the officer m writing of the grounds for such doubt and be afforded an opportunity to he heard.
(c) The officer of customs may thereafter proceed to determine the customs value in accordance with the other provisions of Schedule E and amend the value as appropriate.
(2) If an officer of customs is satisfied as a result of an examination or investigation, or an audit carried out under section 128A, at any time prior to or after the clearance of the goods that the value declared by the importer or his agent under an Article of Schedule E under which the value was initial accepted, is not appropriate the officer of customs may amend the value in accordance with the appropriate Article of Schedule E.
(3) For the purpose of this Ordinance, the customs value shall be the amended value under subsection (1) or (2).
(4) Upon a written request, an explanation shall be given in writing to the importer, on how the customs value of the importers goods was determined under subsection (2). Customs (Amendment) Act, No. 2 of 2003
(5) Subsection (2) shall apply to goods whether or not such goods have been released from the control of the customs or any duty assessed on them has been paid.
(6) An importer who is dissatisfied with a decision of the officer, under this section may. within ten working days after the date on which notice of the decision is given, appeal to the Director-General against that decision. The right of appeal shall he available to an importer whether or not the imported goods have been released to him and whether or not any part of the custom duty has been paid. The decision of the Director-General on the appeal and the reasons for such a decision shall be in writing.
(7) Where the importer desires to clear the goods pending the determination of his appeal the Director-General may. except in case where fraud is suspected, allow the clearance of the goods upon furnishing security for the payment of the customs duties and other levies for which the goods may be liable.
Importer to keep records for three years.
(1) Every Importer, agent or others concerned in the importation, movement and years storage of imported goods shall keep or cause to be kept in Sri Lanka such records for a period of three years from the date of importation as may be prescribed.
(2) Every such person shall whenever required by an officer of customs -
(a) make the records available to such officer;
(b) provide copies of the records as required ; and
(c) answer any questions relating to mailers arising under the Ordinance.
Confidentially to be strictly maintained.
51C. All information which are confidential in nature or are provided in confidence for the purpose of customs valuation shall be so treated by the officer of customs and shall not be disclosed without the written permission of the persons or government providing such information, except to the extent that it may lie required to be disclosed in the course of judicial proceedings. '.
Amendment of section 52 of the principal enactment.
4. Section 52 of the principal enactment is hereby amended by the substitution for the words '"is not in accordance with Schedule E" of the words "according to section 51 is a false declaration".
Insertion of new section 52A of the principal enactment.
5. The following new section is hereby inserted immediately after section 52 and shall have effect as section 52A of the principal enactment:-
"Penally failing to keep destroying or altering records &c.
52A. Every person who in contravention of the provisions of the Ordinance, fails to keep . records which are required to be kept under section 51 is or destroys, alters or conceals am book register, record or other document required to be kept under this Ordinance or sends or attempts to send out of Sri Lanka any such book register, record or document commits an offence and shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding five hundred thousand rupees.".
Amendment of section 101 of the principal enactment.
6. Section 101 of the principal enactment is herein amended in subsection(1) thereof -
(a) by the substitution in paragraph (f). for the words "duties ; and", of the words, "duties" :
(b) by the substitution in paragraph (g) for the words. "defaced of the words defaced and
(c) by the addition at the end of the paragraph (g),of that subsection of the following:-
"(h) for assessment of value for the customs purposes under section 51."
Insertion of new section 128A in the principal enactment.
7. The following new section is hereby instituted immediately after section 128 of the principal enactment and shall have effect. as section 128A of the principal enactment :-
"Power to enter for the purpose of audit or examination or records
(1)The Director-General or any officer of customs authorized in that behalf in writing by the Director-General may-
" (a) at all reasonable, hours of the day or night enter any building or palace where records are kept in accordance with section 51B in audit of examine such records on any matter pertaining to customs either in relation to specific, transactions or to the adequacy and integrity of the manual or electronic systems by which such it records are created and stored
(b) open and examine any receptacle where any book of account register, record or any other document may be found for the purposes of the preceding provisions of this Ordinance:
(c) examine and take copies of. or make extracts from or take possession of any book of account register, other document found in such place or building;
(d) operate any computer round in any building and make copies or take printouts of the whole or part of any entries recorded or stored therein.
(2) Where an officer authorized by the Director-General under subsection (1) of this section takes into his possession any book of account, register, record or oilier documents from any person, such officer shall issue to that person a memorandum specifying the book, register, record or document he has taken into his possession.
(3) Any book of account, register, record or other document taken into his possession under subsection (1) by any officer may be retained in the possession of such officer for the examination of such book, register, record or document or for the institution of legal proceedings against the person to whom such book, register, record or other document belongs.
(4) The Director-General or any authorized officer of customs may request any person in charge or occupation of any building or place to assist the Director-General or such officer to enter and search that building or place and if such person when so requested fails to assist the Director-General or such officer he shall be guilty of an office.
(5) Any person who obstructs the Director-General or an officer of customs in exercising any of his powers under this section shall be guilty of an offence.
(6) A person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (4) or (5) shall be liable to a penally not exceeding one hundred thousand rupees.".
Amendment of section 167 of the principal enactment.
8. Section 167 of the principal enactment is hereby amended by the insertion immediately after the definition section "customs house" of the following:-
"document" includes any information contained in an electronic record ,printed on a paper stored recorded of copied on optical or magnetic media and produced by whatever means;".
Sinhala text to prevail in case of inconsistency.
9. In the event of any inconsistency between the sinhala and Tamil texts of this Act the Sinhala text shall prevail
submission of schedule E to the principal enactment.
10. Schedule E to the principal en enactment is hereby repealed and the following Schedule is substituted therefor:-
Provided however notwithstanding the repeal of the Schedule all actions and proceedings taken under the repealed Schedule and pending on the day preceding the date on the new Schedule came into force-
(a) shall be deemed to have been of to be as the case may be duly taken under the repealed Schedule; and
(b) may be proceeded with continued under the repealed Schedule as though that Schedule had not been repealed.