Compliance and Facilitation Directorate (C&FD)

Post Clearance Audit Branch

Customs Post Clearance Audit Branch has been established to ensure the balance between the trade facilitation and Customs control. The main objective of such audits are to verify the accuracy and authencity of Customs declaration and to ensure if they are in compliance with Customs requirements while facilitating international trade. Together with the risk assesment process, Post Clearance Audits (PCA) enables facilitation of internatinal trade, better understanding of Customs procedures and requirements for the business community and encourages the traders to enhance their compliance with Customs.

A Post Clearance Audit may take place at the premises of the trader, and may take individual transaction or imports/exports carried out over a certain period into account. The audit could be used as a criterion to offer special treatments for complaint traders as an input for risk management process.

Process of PCA

  • Plan Audit Program
  • Select an auditee
  • Prepare for audit
  • Conduct field audit
  • Conclude investigations/ report
  • Feed back to the auditee
  • Review/ update risk management data

Legal base to conduct PCA

  • Customs officers are empowered to enter premises for the purpose for audit or examination of records, open and examine any receptacles, take copies, operate computers, take possesion and retain records in terms of section 128A(1) of the Customs Ordinance (as amended)
  • Customs officers may amend the value declared which had been initially accepted, prior to or after the clearance of goods, if such values found as not appropriate after an audit carried out under section 128A, interms of Section 51A(2) of the Customs Ordinance (as amended)

Obligations of auditees and penal provisions

  • Every importer or a person concerned in the importation, movement and storage of imported goods shall keep the related records for a period of three years from the date of importation in terms of section 51B(1) of the Customs Ordinance. (as amended) Whenever, required by an officer of Customs, every such person shall make the records available, provide copies of the records as required and answer any questions relating to matters arising under the Customs Ordinance, to such an officer. (51B (2)).
  • Where it is found a false declaration has been made, the goods in respect of such false declaration shall be forfeited with the package they are contained and where such goods are not recoverable, the person making such false declaration shall forfeit either treble the value of such goods or be liable to a penalty of one hundred thousand rupees at the election of the Director General. (Section 52 of the Customs Ordinance)
  • Every person who fails to keep records, destroys, alters, conceals, sends or attempts to send out of Sri Lanka commits an offense and shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding five hundred thousand rupees. (Section 52A of the Customs Ordinance)
  • If any person in charge or occupation of any building or place fails to assist authorized Customs officers to enter and search such building or place, such person shall be guilty of an offense in terms of Section 128A(4) of the Customs Ordinance.(as amended).
  • Any person who obstructs an authorized officer of Customs in exercising any of his powers under section 128 of the Customs Ordinance shall be guilty of an offence and such person who is guilty of an offense under Section 128A (4) and 128A (5) shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding one hundred thousand rupees under Section 128A (6) of the Customs Ordinance.

Right of appeal

  • An importer who is dissatisfied with a decision of a Customs Officer may appeal the Director General against that decision within ten working days after the date of which the notice of the decision is given. (Section 51A(4) and 51A(6)).

Other services

  • An importer or a representative of such an importer may obtain a copy of warrant copies stored in Post Clearance Audit Branch with the authorization given by the Superintendent of Customs (Administration) of the Branch, on such a request made in writing.

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