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RECOMMENDATION OF THE CUSTOMS CO-OPERATION COUNCIL
CONCERNING THE APPLICATION
OF A FLAT RATE ASSESSMENT SYSTEM TO GOODS
SENT IN SMALL CONSIGNMENTS TO PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS
OR CARRIED IN TRAVELLERS' BAGGAGE
(FLAT RATE ASSESSMENT)
(11th JUNE 1968)

THE CUSTOMS CO-OPERATION COUNCIL,

CONSIDERING that the assessment of import duties and taxes chargeable on goods sent in small consignments to private individuals or carried in travellers' baggage is a source of problems for Members' Customs Services in view of the number and diversity of such importations, of the need to handle them expeditiously and of the wide range of goods thus imported, usually in limited quantities;

CONSIDERING that, in general, a flat rate assessment system can simplify and expedite the clearance of such goods and, subject to certain conditions, safeguard Members' revenue and economic interests;

HAVING REGARD to the experience gained by Member States who apply such a system and to Resolution (66)43 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe addressed to the Customs Co-operation Council on this subject;

RECOMMENDS that Members of the Council and members of the United Nations Organization or its specialized agencies, and Customs or Economic Unions, should :

1. apply a system of flat rate assessment to goods sent in small consignments to private individuals or carried in travellers' baggage, provided that such importations are of a non-commercial nature and the aggregate value of the importation does not exceed a figure which, so far as possible, and having regard to national economic circumstances, should not be less than 60 US dollars;

2. determine the flat rate so as to cover all the types of import duties and taxes chargeable;

3. ensure that the formalities relating to flat rate assessment are as simple as possible;

POINTS OUT :

1. that where several consignments are sent at the same time by the same consignor to the same addressee, the aggregate value of the importation shall be taken to be the total value of all those consignments;

2. that the application of a flat rate system shall not deprive the goods of the benefit of duty-free admission under other provisions if all the conditions laid down by those provisions are fulfilled;

3. that a flat rate system may include provision for the addressee or traveller to claim that the goods be charged at their own appropriate rates of import duties and taxes, provided that all the dutiable and taxable goods shall then be so charged;

4. notwithstanding the terms of this Recommendation, Members remain free to withhold its facilities from certain goods;

STRESSES that this Recommendation does not prevent the application of greater facilities which certain Members grant or may grant in future by unilateral provisions or by virtue of bilateral or multilateral agreements;

REQUESTS Members of the Council and members of the United Nations Organization or its specialized agencies, and Customs or Economic Unions which accept this Recommendation to notify the Secretary General of the Council of the date from which they will apply the Recommendation and of the conditions of its application. The Secretary General will transmit this information to the Customs administrations of all Members of the Council. He will also transmit it to the Customs administrations of the members of the United Nations Organization or its specialized agencies and to Customs or Economic Unions which have accepted this Recommendation.

* The Customs Co-operation Council is the official name of the World Customs Organization.