Sudan Customs in brief:
Information about Sudan Customs Department
The customs duties had been levied according to the agencies system before 1905, when the Governor- General of the Sudan passed a publications to the head of provinces whom they collect customs duties and taxes, then crediting the revenues to the financial secretary .The first customs Act was enforced in the same year, under which department of customs was established and separated from finance department to collect revenues, identify expenditures and revise their financial process without intervention from the latter one.
Captain His Sadler was the first Customs director; had appointed in the same year, and started his mandate early in January 1906, accordingly he plan for establishing and advancing customs profession which is more important achievement he had discharged, meanwhile working has been continuing in all stations (Swakin, Wadi- Halfa, and Port Sudan) according to Egyptian customs system. Moreover, Sadler has placed and established seventeen customs stations which are (Swakin, Wadi-Halfa, Khartoum, Kassala, Gadarif , Ganbailla, Elrusairis, Elkurmuk , Galabad Abu-Hashim, Shinaina, Gorora, Sinnar, Eldindir, and Abu-Naama) .Although northern and western provinces were neglected because Wadi-Halfa station in the northern province had collected revenues for Egyptian Government, on other hand western province had not taken in consideration till ElGenaina airport was opened in 1940. The coordination between the newly customs department and other authorities such as finance and commerce was another achievement had done by Captin Sadler.
Customs department was headed in turn by eight British directors, and Mr.Wookly who did not work more than six months was the latest director in Anglo- Egyptian rule. After the jobs in customs department had sudanized, Mr.Khalil Abdal Alnabi one of the senior executive officers from national governments was selected to fill the post of customs director, but he was rapidly refused by the customs staff and they had preferred Mr. Mohammed Kamal Fareed who occupied the post already as a first customs director after the independence in 1956. Furthermore, customs department was headed consecutively by eleven directors till now and Major general Saif Eldeen Omer Suleiman, the present director is the last appointed one.
Sudan customs headquarter:
The Customs headquarter based in Swakin from 1906 to 1909 during the time Port Sudan station was officially opened, where the most of customs duties had transferred. From 1909 – 1914 customs headquarter has been removed to Port Sudan in the winter and Sinkat in the summer however, in the same year customs headquarter had transferred to Khartoum specifically in south western part of Finance department (Ministry of Finance and National Economy now).In 1934 it had transferred second time to the building which located east the republican palace and occupying now by Khartoum locality.Finaly in 1984 customs headquarter had removed to the current position north east Elhuria Bridge.
Historical progress of Customs Act:
The first simplified Customs act in one page only ratified by Winjit Basha the Governor –General of the Sudan in pursuance to the bilateral rule agreement of 1899.The important guidelines covered by this Act, represented in customs duties exemption and relief for the goods which imported from Egypt, particularly building and construction materials also foods stuff.
The issuance of this Act had accompanied with emergence of Sudan government first budget and cessation of Egyptian support, for the coverage of deficit in balance sheet moreover, to stop crediting revenues for Egyptian government. The main objective of the this Act concerned with finding a new system for customs duties collection and entering some of private customs regimes such as(Draw-back, Transit and transshipment) in addition to anti-smuggling operations.
This Act is quite different from 1913 Act so far, though it’s consisted of some amendments such as raising customs duties rates on luxury products like cigarettes, alcohol and snuff. The need for this Act was appeared after assassination of Sir Lee Stack in Cairo in 1924 and all Sudanese customs employees were being dismissed.
This Act was specifically issued for security justifications regarding with Second World War and its negative impacts. Some imported and exported goods are restricted as a result of this war, besides raising customs tariff records in general. Several regulations which organize customs authority’s relations with other departments and customs officers’ instructions handbook also attached.
The Act of 1404.H
The repealed Act has been enforced till 1984, when the former president/Gaffer Nimairi had passed an order for enacting this Act under Islamic laws (Shari a).
Important reasons for issuing this Act:
1- Transforming customs department in to military organized forces.
2- Working in accordance with Islamic Laws instead of positive Laws.
3- The development of commercial traffic brought about some diversity in shipment modes as well as some smuggling forms, by the time large Sudanese sectors had started to move across the borders.
4- Preventing trade transactions from fraud and corruption, while taxes, tolls and tithes shall be imposed in a clear way according to Islamic approach.
The most important characteristics of this Act include:
- Was delivered in Arabic language.
- Some definitions had substituted, such as senior customs official became “Customs secretary-General.
- The definition of customs borders changed in to customs zone, and customs control had tightened widely.
- Transforming customs employees in to military organized force, under the control of presidency of the republic.
- Flat rate system on passengers’ baggage as well as foreign currencies collection was entered for the first time.
- Anew article about borders trade was involved.
- Duty free shops were included besides warehousing bond in this Act, and Secretary-General was obliged to ratify new free shops in customs stations and other cities.
- This Act provides a particular punishment of forfeiture, concerning habitual smugglers properties, as well as special penalty for aiding and abetting.
- Determined customs-staff rights and disciplinary actions that should be taken against those who commit offences.
- The amendment in the rate of duty involved alcohol prohibition, over duty in the luxury goods on one hand, and tax relief in staple on the other hand.
The customs Act 1986:
The previous Act 1404.H was not long enforced, because of disagreement that led back the new military organized force to civilian department again, after the May government was overthrown, by the time customs Act 1986 was delivered and repealed 1404 Act. The new Act has been enforced till 2009 beside police Act, after customs department had transformed again in to police force within police unified forces. This Act is a literal translated copy from customs Act 1939 though it has important features include:
1- Determined the right of customs-officer from revenues which collected as a settlement of seized and forfeited goods.
2- Put customs laboratory in the legal order.
Sudan customs administrative situations:
The customs department’s name and organizational structure has been kept up till 1972, when the department was divided in to two: Customs and Excise departments, each one have its privileges as well as single director. Moreover, both departments controlled by Customs and Excise General Director, though they had joined again in 1974 except sugar section which separated to become the core of Sugar trade and distribution Company as well as all customs officers in this section were recruited by the new company. Finally, customs department had transferred to anti-smuggling police force in 1991 after the republican order 1137 was issued.
Customs Act 1986 as amended 2010:
The customs Act, 1986 was amended in 2010 to keep pase with recent changes in the economic and commercial fields at the local, regional and global levels. The most important reasons for amendment include:
- Involving the requirements related to WTO accession that entails:
- Amending principles and rules of goods valuation in accordance with article (7) of GATT 1994.
- Establishing appropriate appeals system for delivering an administrative decisions regarding with classification, valuation and origin of goods in pursuance to article (11) of WTO customs valuation agreement and article (10) of GATT 1994.
- Sensible commercial knowledge must not be divulged.
- Application of borders measures for protecting IPR according to articles 51- 60 of TRIPS.
- Trade facilitation according to articles 5-8-10 of GATT 1994.
- Application of customs service’s global standards according to Kyoto amended convention 1999 by using:
2- Tel-communication techniques.
3- Best practices within customs procedures.
4- Reducing clearance time system.
- Amending national legislation’s of COMESA countries to keep pase with COMESA model customs act, to ensure the unity of customs system pertaining to procedural parts in the region, at the stage of customs union.
- Involving the requirements of implementing Sudan transitional constitution of 2005 and Police act 2008.
General features of amendments:
Theact articles which subjected to amendment are equal 13% blow the analyze result of articles amended:
- Sixteen articles were abolished.
- New articles, paragraphs and definitions were included.
- The new articles of this act which comprised the recent regional and global changes are:
- 1. Article 51/1 regarding with harmonized commodity description and coding system according to international convention of H.S1988.
- 2. Article 51/3 for application of additional duty out customs tariff nomenclature to combat dumping, illegal subsidies and protecting agricultural products according to WTO agreement.
- 3. Article (63) for using IT and communication techniques.
- 4. Article (75) for application of customs valuation system according to article 7 of GATT 1994.
- 5. Article 75/17 for keeping secret the commercial information and sensible knowledge concerning exporters and importers.
- 6. Article (76) for using non-preferential origin rules according to WTO agreement in respect of origin rules.
- 7. Article 90/5 determined the right of importer and exporter to appeal administrative judgments that arise from the conflicts in classification, valuation and origin of goods in virtue of article (11) of customs valuation agreement.
- 8. Article (218) for protecting IPRs by customs authorities from the borders.
- 9. Article ( ) for application of customs service’s global standards according to Kyoto amended convention.
The role of Sudan customs: Sudan customs has the following major objectives:
- Collection of customs revenues.
- Provide information about foreign trade.
- Smuggling combat.
- Protecting the society.
- Protecting the borders.
- Implementation of all legislations concerning foreign trade.
- Facilitation and secure global trade.
- Effective application of all trade agreements (bilateral, regional and global)
- Implementation of government (economic, fiscal, monetary and commercial) policies and transferring them in to partial customs procedures.
- Contributing to government macro-policies.
- Executing strategic plans of both finance and interior ministries.
Significant achievements of Sudan customs:
- Had achieved a high revenues in the annual budget reached more than 100%.
- Starting the application of Asycuda world program.
- Providing Khartoum and red sea directorates with X-ray machines used for examination of containers and passenger luggage’s to facilitating trade.
- Beginning to introduce risk management and providing requisite needs regarding with implementation.
- Using E-mail services in some departments, reduced the time of sending in/outward mail by the traditional way.
- Effective participations in global and regional meetings.
- Sudan customs hosted in Khartoum the meeting No 27 of general directors of
Arab’s countries customs, also the meeting No 31 for customs general directors
of middle and nearest east countries under the auspices of WCO secretary general
from 1 – 3 Feb 2010, the event which was considered the fruit of Sudan customs
achievements that drew the attention of customs global community and all
sectors dealing with customs administration.