Dominican Customs Regimes

By Felipe Isa Castillo (fcastillo@aclaw.com)

The Dominican Republic Customs Law allows for different customs regimes which may be applied to according to the desired commercial, export and trade operation, including most that we summarize as follows:

Regime of Import for Consumption

Article 53 of Law No. 3489, provides that the duties and taxes to be paid over the imported goods shall be those applicable on the day in which they are declared for consumption. This regime is considered as final according to the criteria of the World Customs Organization (WCO).

Regime of Definitive Export

Article 129 provides that for dispatch the consignee shall present to Customs the general manifest of the loaded goods, indicating: (a) class, name and nationality of the means of transportation, its tonnage, name of the captain, date of departure, name of the consignee and port or place of destiny; (b) quantity and type of packaging, content, trademarks, name and gross weight; (c) name of the shipper, commercial value of the goods and its country of final destination. Such regime also qualifies as final in the classification of the WCO.

Temporary and Suspension of Duties Regimes

1.3.1 Customs Transit and Coastal Navigation
Law No. 3489-53, provides that a merchandise is deemed to be in international maritime transit, as long as it is consigned as such on the cargo manifest, having the transporter to guarantee that the merchandise will be delivered pursuant to the documents of consignment, to the shipping company, cargo line, or Customs office inside the border, for loading to its destination.

On the other hand, Law No. 3489-53 defines coastal navigation as the maritime traffic of goods between national ports, provided that if a vessel lands in foreign port it shall be considered of a foreign origin except in case of a for forced arrival, a circumstance to be verified by the DGA.

The trans loading of goods is not regulated by the current customs legislation.

Temporary Admission for Perfecting of Assets

Article 2 of Law No. 84-99 of Promotion of Exports provides for the reimbursement of duties and customs tariffs paid over raw materials, components, intermediate goods, labels, containers and packing materials imported by the exporter or by third parties, provided they are incorporated to export goods or returned abroad in the same condition in which they entered Dominican Republic Territory. Pursuant to the classification of the WCO, this regime qualifies as temporary admission for perfecting of assets.

Article 8 of Law No. 84-99 allows the entrance from abroad or from free zones certain goods to Dominican Republic Customs Territory, with suspension of import duties and taxes, to be re exported within 18 months, after its admission.

Through this regime it is possible to enter into Dominican Republic Customs Territory: (a) raw materials, parts, and intermediate goods; (b) labels, containers and packing material; and (c) parts, pieces, molds, forms, utensils and other devices, when these serve as complement to other devices, machines or equipment employed in the manufacturing of goods for export.

Exporters interested in obtaining the reimbursement of customs duties and taxes or applying to a temporary admission regime for perfection of assets, need to file an application to the Center for Export and Investment of the Dominican Republic (CEI-RD), to be qualified and decided via motivated resolution within the term of 3 working days from its filing. The beneficiaries of this regime shall present prior to the dispatch of the goods, a bank or insurance bond from a local insurance company covering the total amount of the duties and taxes deriving from each of the declarations made, being such bonds executable if the resulting product enters the Dominican Republic market instead of being exported.

Temporary Exit for Passive Perfection

Article 13 (e) of Law No. 14-93, that creates the Customs Tariff Code, amended by Law No. 146-00, exempts from the payment of tariffs Dominican goods previously exported and that reenter the country without having experienced transformation or increase in value in a period no greater than 6 months between the date of exit and date of return, being necessary for such purposes to present the documents justifying the re-entry. According to the WCO classification, this regime constitutes a Temporary Exit for Passive Perfection.

Transformation of Goods for Consumption

Article 24 of the Law No. 8-90 exempts of payment the 100% of the import taxes, tariffs, customs duties, consular, export or re export taxes (except those established under items f) and g) of Article 17 of the Law) and related duties, that affect the raw materials, equipment, utensils, construction materials, parts, installations, cargo or personal transport vehicles destined to the free zones or their workers.

Article 17 (e) and (f) of Law No. 8-90 of Free Zones, as amended, provides that free zones may export up to a 100% of their production to the Dominican Republic Territory, subject to the payment of the corresponding customs duties and taxes upon sale to the Dominican Republic market. On the other hand, finished products pertaining to the textile sector, leather, fabrication of shoes and leather manufacture should be exempt from customs duties and taxes upon import to the Dominican Republic territory, as per the provisions of Law 56-07. This constitutes a Regime of Transformation of Goods for Consumption according to WCO.

Temporary Admission or Entry of Goods

Article 3.5 of Chapter III of DR-CAFTA and Resolution No. 68-06 of the Ministry of Finance, provide for the entry into Dominican Territory free from customs duties, under the regime for temporary entry or admission, regardless of its origin of the following goods : (a) Professional equipment for press, television, radio broadcasting and cinematography, equipment, computer programs, for business, official or professional activities of a qualifying person; (b) goods destined for exhibition or demonstration; (c) commercial samples, movies and advertising recording; and (d) goods admitted for sports purposes.

Furthermore, Article 3.7 grants the same treatment to commercial samples and printed advertising materials imported from the other Party, regardless of its origin, being able to limit the import only to orders for the request of goods or services from abroad or to packages that do not contain more than one printed sample and that do not form part of a larger shipment.

On the other hand, Article 3.6 provides for the entry free from customs duties to the goods, regardless of their origin, admitted temporarily from the Territory another Party, to be repaired or altered or re-entered into Dominican Republic customs territory or after being temporarily exported to the territory of another State to be repaired or altered only. Such facilities constitute a variation in said agreement in what the WCO calls, Temporary

Admission Regime.

1.3.6 Temporary Deposit of Goods arrived to Dominican Customs Territory
Articles 102 and subsequent of Law No. 3489 foresee a Regime of Temporary Deposit of Goods through which imported cargo of goods subject to duties and taxes may be declared on deposit, at the request of the consignees or interested parties, to then destine them to consumption or to reload them, except if they are inflammable or exposed to spontaneous combustion, or that, due to their bad odor, damage other goods.

Bonded Warehouse

With similar legal nature, Law No. 456-73 of Bonded Warehouses, provides that the imported goods may remain in these warehouses without the prior payment of the import duties and taxes deposit, bonds, and other obligations of the customs legislation, for six months, renewable, providing also that once the terms have expired the goods will be deemed abandoned.

Imported goods deposited before bonded warehouses may be destined for consumption or to re exported prior to complying with Law No. 3489-53 of Customs Regimes.

Article 14 holds responsible the owners of bonded warehouses for the preservation, custody and return of the goods deposited and at the same time excludes them from liability for damages arising from imperfections, packaging defects or caused during transport of the goods.

Article 19 provides that the goods declared to a bonded warehouse shall pay in customs the 1% of its CIF value for a first period of six months or fraction thereof and for its renewal(s).

On the other hand, Decree No. 106-96 on Regulation of Deposits for Re export of Goods provides another type of Temporary Deposit through which the foreign goods presented to customs may remain in such deposits for an established period of time without the payment of customs duties, renewable. Such deposits shall be located within a primary customs zone and under the control of the Customs and Port Authority, without prejudice of the other laws which may be applicable.

Articles 14 and 17 provide that the goods shall be reloaded for shipping within a term of 90 calendar days starting from the date in which they have been unloaded and which shall pay in Customs the 1.5% of its CIF value for each period or fraction thereof and for their renewal(s).

Members of the Foreign Service

The Organic Law of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX) No. 314-64, provides that the members of the foreign service who return to the country after concluding their mission or to perform posts designated within MIREX shall have the right to introduce within the six months of their arrival, free of taxes and of all contributions their personal effects, household effects, furniture and the vehicle used abroad. Such term may be extended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs for justified reasons.

Non Profit Organizations

With similar liberating effect from the payment of duties, Article 50 of Law No.122-05 of Nonprofit Organizations provides that nonprofit organizations authorized in the country that are up to date with the formal duties placed on them by the laws, shall be exempt from all taxes, imposts, fees, special contributions, as well as from the donation taxes and legacies, when they are beneficiaries or receivers of individuals or legal entities, national or foreign, international organisms and governments.

Special Treatments

The paragraph of Article 85 of Law No. 3489 establishes that the import of goods, whose value exceeds of RD$ 100.00 by first class mail, through postal orders and packages or by so called “air express”, shall be accompanied by the corresponding commercial invoice and it establishes a special treatment applicable to travelers by exempting from this requirement the luggage and personal effects of passengers arrived or pending arrival to the Dominican Republic, as well as first class correspondence, postal services and packages so called “air express” that contain books, magazines, newspapers and publications.

Article 73 of Law No. 3489-53 establishes special treatment for postal traffic providing that the import of goods by mail shall be supervised and controlled by customs authorities whose designated officials shall be present for the opening of the postal pouches and the distribution of correspondence from abroad in the Post Offices of the available ports.

 

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