Muscat: An upward revision in customs charges and new levies for importing goods will raise the landed cost of various products in the country, according to sources in importing firms and shipping agencies.
The customs department has started charging an additional 2 per cent on the CIF (cost, insurance and freight) value of imported products for non-submission of original legalised documents. The 2 per cent additional charge is reimbursable once the importer produces the original legalised documents of certificates of origin and commercial invoice within 90 days. These documents have to be attested by the embassy of Oman in the exporting country.
Money will be refunded
The money will be refunded within one to three months.
Hitherto, the importing company in Oman could have its consignment cleared after producing a commercial invoice, a certificate of origin and a packing list.
Also, in the case of duty free shipments, there was no customs duty. However, now the customs department is charging a 0.5 per cent levy. “When imported by sea or air shipments will incur an import fee equivalent to 0.5 per cent of the declared shipment value. When imported by land shipments will incur an import fee equivalent to 1 per cent of the declared shipment value,” said a circular.
Oman levies 1 per cent customs duty for imports from GCC states and 5 per cent from non-GCC countries. In fact, importers from all countries will have to pay the additional charge of 2 per cent, if they lack legalised documents.
Sources said although the additional levies are already being charged on air freight and shipments, these are yet to be introduced on imports made via road.
Customs department also revised the bill of entry charges from merely OMR1 to OMR15 for companies, while this has been raised to OMR5 from OMR1 in the case of individuals. Few other service charges have also been raised.
Shoukat Ali, managing director of Al Bhaj Books, said now onwards, his company will have to pay 2 per cent for importing books, in case of lack of legalised documents. “The exporting company will charge us the cost of legalising documents, which is around $150 per document,” he added. However, in some countries, this charge is much lower.