Local News

SEMC: Rampant corruption at Yemeni ports

National Yemen

Chairman of SEMC Mustafa Nasr

By NY Staff

According to the Studies and Economic Media Center (SEMC), as much as 90% of customs and tax revenues levied at Yemeni ports have been lost to corruption, with a number of traders and customs clearance officers forging purchase receipts for imported commodities.

Center representatives stated that they had obtained documents proving that a number of merchants and customs clearance officials had been implicated in the counterfeiting of receipts for imported goods, pricing the goods at only 10% of their original purchase prices so as to evade taxes and customs duties.

The documents reportedly show that the Customs Authority had allowed goods and commodities into the country which bore false prices, much lower than the price ceiling which is yearly established by the authority.

The SEMC officials highlighted that Customs Authority officials turn a blind eye on the culprits by legitimizing the process by basing information on product containers rather than the true quantity of purchased products being imported

One container full of spare parts had been priced by the authority at $31,500 without having taken into account the type of parts within, with the original, true cost being much higher, stated SEMC representatives.

“The minutes on the annual price of products constitute one of the key reasons for the falsification of purchase receipts. For example, the price of Boy Cheese is $22.03 per carton, as per the authority’s circular. Meanwhile, the real purchase price which includes transport costs stands at $ 40.08 per carton,” stated a SEMC representative.

It was pointed out that such actions are in breach of Article 37 of 1990’s Customs Law 14 and 2010’s Law 12, which stipulates that a product customs charge is the commodity purchase price in a competitive, free market, in addition to shipment costs.

The documents reportedly further reveal that the Customs Authority accepted copies of purchase receipts submitted by importers and customs clearance officials in order to conceal true product costs. Inspection officials have, in addition, reportedly failed to undertake necessary measures to inspect imported products, including taking into account vital information such as products’ country of origin.