COUNCIL OF MINISTERS REGULATION NO. 108/2004
CUSTOMS CLEARING AGENTS COUNCIL OF MINISTERS REGULATION
This Regulation is issued by the Council of Ministers pursuant to article 5 of the Definition of Powers and Duties of The Executive Organs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Proclamation No. 4/1995 and article 90(1) of establishment and modernization of Customs Authority Proclamation No. 60/1997 as amended.
1. Short Title
This Regulation may be cited as “Customs Clearing Agents Council of Ministers Regulation No. 108/2004”.
In this Regulation,
a) “Authority” means The Ethiopian Customs Authority.
b) “Valid business license” means a business license issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to carry out customs clearance services.
c) “Certificate of Competence” means a certificate issued for a person who has met the required manpower and office provisions to work as Customs Clearing Agent.
d) “Certificate of Professional Qualification” means a certificate issued by the Authority for a person that has completed customs clearing agent training.
e) “Customs Clearing Agent” means a person authorized to deal with the customs, for and on behalf of another person, to carry out customs formalities related with the importation, exportation and in general with the movement and storage of such goods within the customs territory of Ethiopia.
f) “Customs Formalities” means any customs operations carried out in connection with importation, exportation or transit of goods form the time of arrival at the customs port until released from the customs control.
g) “Identification Card” means a card issued by the Authority for Customs Clearing Agent to enter into the Authority and stations to enable him to accomplish customs formalities.
h) “Person” means natural or legal person.
i) “Ministry” or “Minister” means the Ministry or Minister of Revenue.
j) “Proclamation’ means the re-establishment and modernization of Customs Authority Proclamation No. 60/1997 as amended.
3. Scope of Application
This Regulation shall be applicable on all Customs Clearing Agents.
TRAINING, ISSUANCE, SUSPENSION, AND CANCELLATION OF CERTIFICATE OF QUALIFICATION, COMPETENCE AND IDENTIFICATION CARD
1. The Authority, may based on its training program to be announced from time to time, recruit and give training to any person who is;
a) An Ethiopian
b) Not less than 21 years of age
c) Not accused and convicted of any customs offences
2. The Ministry may decide by a directive to be issued, the educational requirement for the training of customs clearing agents.
3. The authority may if deemed necessary, give additional training to upgrade professional qualification.
4. The Authority may if deemed necessary, give customs clearing agents training by a certified training institution.
5. Professional Qualification
The Authority may issued certificate of professional qualification for a person who has effectively completed customs clearing agent training.
6. Certificate of competence
The Authority may issue certificate of competence to any person who is certified to have fulfilled the criteria provided under article 10 of this regulation to enable him to engage in customs clearing activities.
7. Trade license
1. Any customs clearing agent who has certificate of professional qualification and competence must possess valid business license to operate customs clearing service.
2. Sub-article 1 of this article may not be applicable for organizations engaged in import and export of goods pursuant to article 86 (3) of the proclamation.
8. Suspension and cancellation of certificate of professional qualification and competence
The Authority may depending on the circumstance, temporarity suspend or revoke certificate of professional qualification or competence issued for customs clearing agent where it has provided that:-
a) The certificate was obtained contrary to article 4 and 6 of this regulation;
b) There is violation of the relevant laws of the profession and
c) The customs clearing agent has failed to obey the obligations or responsibilities imposed upon him under this regulation, the proclamation and other laws enforced by the Authority.
9. Customs clearing agent identification card
The Authority may issue identification card to any person that has acquired certificate of professional qualification after obtaining a valid business license or upon the request of the customs clearing organization or when the employer certified that the customs clearing agent is his employee in accordance with article 7(2) of this regulation.
CRITERIA FOR ISSUING CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCE
10. Criteria for the issuance of certificate of competence
Any person wishing to engaged in customs clearing services shall meet the following criteria in addition to the requirements stipulated under Commercial Registration and Business Licensing proclamation No. 67/1997 to obtain a business license;
a) Have permanent office with adequate telephone, fax computer and related communication equipments to carry out the work;
b) Appropriate place to keep any correspondence financial and customs documents;
c) At least two employees that have certificate of professional qualification and;
d) Such amount of money in the bank account or acceptable guarantee the Authority may require to be deposited or furnished from time to time.
11. Powers of the Authority
The Authority shall determine by a directive to be issued the condition of issuance, use, renewal, suspension and cancellation of customs clearing agent identification card.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND OBLIGATIONS OF CUSTOMS CLEARING AGENT
12. Responsibilities of customs clearing agent
Any customs clearing agent shall have the obligation to;
a) Submit the evidence providing his authority to act on behalf of his client when requested;
b) Promptly advise when he is aware that his client has committed mistake or irregularity that violates the law;
c) Perform utmost diligence to his client in providing information about customs;
d) pay duties taxes and other fees promptly when requested by customs; be jointly and severally liable with his client for duties and taxes;
e) refrain from any act or attempt of threat, false accusation manipulations, or offering of gifts promised or advantages for customs officers and police;
f) Refrain from any act or attempt to acquire relevant customs information directly or indirectly in violation of the normal channel.
13. Keeping records
1. Any customs clearing agent shall have the obligation to keep all records of financial transaction, correspondences, and in general complete documents relating to his activities regarding his clients to on whose behalf he has carried out customs formalities.
2. Any customs clearing agent shall permit all documents kept in accordance with sub-article 1 of this article to be seen and inspected by customs officer and to take copies if necessary.
3. Any customs clearing agent shall maintain all documents related to his activities up to five years.
1. The Authority shall charge fees for certificates as determined by the council of ministers.
2. The Authority shall charge fees determined by the ministry for the training of Customs clearing agents.
15. Transitory provision
The provisions of this regulations shall be applicable to Customs Clearing Agent that have already acquired certificate of professional qualification.
Customs Clearing Agency License Issuance Council of Minister Regulation No. 155/1994 is hereby repealed.
17. Power to issue directive
The Ministry may issue directive for the implementation of this regulation.
Any person who violates this regulation shall upon conviction be punished with the relevant provisions of penal laws.
19. Effective Date
This Regulation shall come into force on the date of its approval by the Council of Ministers.
Done at Addis Ababa, this 16th day of July, 2004
PRIME MINISTER OF THE FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA