The Customs Department has re-launched the One Stop Service Voluntary Disclosure Program (OS-VDP), allowing qualified business operators to voluntarily self-disclose and correct the unintentional underpayment of duty and taxes. The participation period for this OS-VDP began on 15 May 2019 and ends on 30 April 2020.
Similar to the previous program, which recently ended on 30 April 2019, the benefits for participation under this re-launched OS-VDP will include:
- potential waiver of customs penalties;
- potential reduction of duty surcharges; and
- simplified correction procedures, allowing qualified business operators to perform the self-disclosure and correction for multiple entries from several ports by submitting only one written request to the Post-Clearance Audit Division of the Customs Department (PCAD), instead of making several disclosures and corrections at each port of entry for any past customs declarations with duty underpayment, as normally required by law.
To participate in this program, qualified business operators must not have: been involved in smuggling; committed duty evasion with proof of fraudulent intent; imported prohibited or restricted goods; or currently be under a post-customs clearance audit; search and inspection; or lawsuit on a customs offence charge by other authorities, such as the Department of Special Investigation or the Economic Crime Suppression Division.
Business operators who are interested in this program have to submit a request letter to the PCAD. The request can be rejected if the business operator has failed to provide sufficient documentation; failed to cooperate with the disclosure procedures; failed to pay the duty and tax shortfalls in full; or in any other case which shows that the business operator has fraudulent intent.
It is recommended that any interested business operator carefully review its past import and export compliance before making a formal participation request to the PCAD, and assess whether there will be any potential risk, since the OS-VDP will not only allow access to information on the relevant issues, but also to details about the overall performance of the volunteering business operators.