Non-tariff barriers include procedural obstacles and inefficiencies in the trade-related business environment. High transaction costs exist in the form of lengthy timelines attributable to several agencies providing approvals. An electronic single trade window hopes to reduce the costs of doing business but has yet been implemented.
Firms wanting to import are required to register with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) with a Tax Identification Number and then receive an import license from the Ministry of Tourism, Industry, and Commerce.
Applications for import licenses for some products require prior clearance of other government agencies, significantly increasing the time required for approval. GO-Invest assists in guidance on relevant government agencies and required licenses. Depending on the item, it may require approval from the Ministry of Health and the Government Analyst Food and Drugs Department (GA-FDD) under the Ministry of Health. GAFDD’s role includes addressing safety and trade related issues for food, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices stated under the Food and Drug Act of 1971. For the importation of firearms, approval is required from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Commissioner of Police. While navigating the processes may be time consuming and cumbersome, a local partner or a customs broker may provide some assistance and save some time.
Guyana charges an excise tax on consumable goods, including alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, petroleum products and motor vehicles. Items which attract excise tax are subjected to a 14 percent Value Added Tax (VAT).
The GRA has implemented the ASYCUDA World (AW) program, an integrated customs management system which intends to modernize manifests, customs declarations, and accounting procedures. Further reforms to GRA to allow for trade facilitation standardization aligned with international best practices may result in faster clearance times and lower transaction costs.
Customs and Trade Administration
200-201 Camp Street
Tel: +592-227-6060, +592-227-8222, +592-226-5555, +592-225-6931
University of Guyana Turkeyen Campus
Tel: +592-222-8856, +592-222-8860, +592-222-8859
Tel: +592 226-2505