Online mechanism to oversee import activities and halt illegal hard currency transfers overseas
The relevant Algerian authorities have set up a strict control mechanism through the customs services and the banking network in a bid to stop illicit transfers by certain exporters and importers of foreign hard currency overseas as part of their regular export-import activities.
Online banking prepayment of imports is a means to stamp out mendacious customs declarations that facilitate illegal transfers of foreign currency exchange, the General Manager of Customs Services Mr Kaddour Bentahar told media outlets on Tuesday after receiving relevant guidelines to this effect from the Bank of Algeria.
Final certificates of import payment of imports or exports of goods and services are submitted, as of 15th March 2016, to an online prepayment procedure in order to be able to secure the proper endorsement.
Implemented in keeping with instructions from the Bank of Algeria sent to all the country’s banks, this new control measure is part of the improvement of monitoring and administrative facilitation for the treatment of foreign trade operations.
“This measure is appropriate and represents a new instrument that will certainly eliminate false declarations, false documents and double declarations,” Mr Bentahar underlined.
Thanks to this measure, “we will no more have double-billing of a foreign trade operation like in the past, when an operator issued one (1) declaration to customs and ten (10) other declarations to the bank so as to withdraw a maximum amount of foreign hard currency,” he noted.
Besides, this measure will allow customs’ administration to scan the process of payment operations, information sharing with commercial banks and the Bank of Algeria while targeting fishy operations.”
Through the customs’ system of automatized information and management (Sigad) which is connected to banks, Customs services can have the information on prepayment, well ahead of the arrival of the imported goods at the port.
This brand-new scheme will also allow to the Directorate General of Customs to compare the value declared to the bank with the customs’ value and detect overbilling and thereby inform the bank of the operator’s overbilling. Therefore, the operator can stymie the transfer of foreign currency exchange abroad.
Before the enforcement of this remedial measure, importers used to carry out their prepayment without duly informing beforehand the Customs Services.