Customs controls are the measures applied by Customs to ensure compliance with the duties and taxes imposed on imports and exports and the other laws that it is responsible for enforcing. The primary customs control is, of course, the inspection of goods and persons at the border by experienced customs professionals. X-rays and laboratory tests may be used in some instances. Other physical controls include movement controls (measures applied to goods and means of transport until goods are released, such as the use of customs conveys, approved specially designed vehicles and containers, or customs seals), examination of documents, controls imposed on arriving passengers and their accompanying baggage, and physically supervising goods in customs warehouses, duty free stores and free zones, etc.. However, the use of physical controls can be time consuming, expensive and require extensive personnel resources. Therefore, modern customs administrations have developed a number of sophisticated techniques minimizing the use of physical controls to improve revenue collection, law enforcement and trade facilitation. They are frequently referred to as “risk management”.
In carrying out risk management, using information technology systems, Customs relies on obtaining advance information about trade transactions and traders and uses various international data bases for, profiling and risk assessment. These techniques are designed to identify persons and goods presenting a high risk which require intensive inspections at the border and post-entry audits. On the other hand, the facilitation of trade is very important to the economy. Therefore, persons and goods presenting a low risk may qualify for less intensive scrutiny and even special, expedited treatment. A new customs trade facilitating procedure, Authorized Economic Operators,.is based upon sophisticated risk assessment. Click here for information about Authorized Economic Operators.
Information about Authorized Economic Operators
Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs) are traders that meet specified security and risk management criteria and therefore receive special trade facilitation benefits from Customs, as provided for in Law No. 04/L-099, On Amending and Supplementing Customs and Excise Code of Kosovo (2011). AEO procedures have been successfully implemented in the European Union and a number of other countries and regions. Although AEOs were recently provided for in the customs law of Kosovo, implementing procedures have yet to be issued and therefore this program is not yet available to traders.
Financial guarantees, or “security”, may be required by Customs in connection with trade transactions to ensure that Customs will collect all the duties and taxes owed and that traders and their representatives comply with all legal and regulatory requirements. A financial guarantee normally involves a cash deposit or other collateral provided by a trader or a surety agreement or “customs bond” provided by a third party, such as a bank or insurance company, in a specified amount of money that will be paid to Customs if the person guaranteed fails to meet its legal obligations to Customs. Financial guarantees are important to trade facilitation because when guarantees are provided Customs can reduce time consuming border inspections and rely primarily on post-entry audits to ensure compliance.
Civil and criminal penalties may also be imposed by Customs in situations where traders and their representatives violate the laws enforced by Customs. These penalties punish wrongdoers, reimburse Customs for any lost revenue, and serve as a strong deterrent to traders violating the law in the future. Properly designed and implemented penalties should encourage improved compliance by traders in the future.