Prepared by Wafa Fahmi Abdelati (APD) and Koji Nakamura (PDR).
The Customs and Excise Department has been strengthening its anti-smuggling efforts in the past five years in what is an extremely challenging environment and with very limited staff. In spite of progress in this area, it has been difficult to clamp down on smuggling in a country with 400 km of shore line and 300 km of land borders that are staffed by only 1200 Customs officials. This chapter does not review the success of recent anti-smuggling efforts.
Import volumes and values are based on data obtained from the Department of Customs and Excises (CED) which are still tentative and subject to revision, especially those prior to 1999. Estimates reported here may change after taking reconciling reported amounts of commodity aid and duty-exempt imports.
There are no available data on import volume and tax collections for earlier years.
The VAT is applied to a “reference price” per ton inclusive of all other taxes. Taxes are compounded in sequence; first the import duty, then the excise, followed by the VAT.
Some of the differences between taxes due and collected could be related to timing differences, especially for commodity aid, but this does not change the basic trend.
In later years, the taxes due based on reported import quantities is equal to the amount actually collected. This could also reflect improved data gathering.
There may have been some substitution toward using more kerosene recently.
The larger margins accrue to tax evaders and smugglers, but not to all distributors.