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Superintendency of Tax Administration – SUNAT (Peru's Tax
a Public Decentralized Institution of the Economy and
Finance Sector, with legal rights under Public Law created
by Law 24829 and Legislative Decree 501, and with autonomy
in matters of administration, economy, finance, budget, and
technical operations in all its procedures. According to
Supreme Decree 061-2002-PCM, SUNAT has absorbed National
Customs Superintendency, assuming the functions, faculties
and attributions that by law corresponded to this
present organization contemplates the following main organs:
· Associated National Superintendency of Internal Taxes, under supervision of Mr. Ricardo Arturo Toma Oyama;
· Associated National Customs Superintendency, under supervision of Mrs. Gloria Emperatriz Luque Ramírez
Its Headquarters are located at Avenue Garcilazo de la Vega 1472, Lima, Perú.
Its Central Telephone numbers are:
The Customs Office is one of the oldest public institutions in the history of Peru, dating back to the time of the economic and political consolidation of the Spanish viceroyalty.
When the Spanish Colony was established, one of the main objectives of the viceroyal administration was to obtain greater financial resources for the Crown. As a result, the collection of taxes, such as those that were levied on foreign trade, was particularly important.
The tax paid on goods entering or leaving the kingdom, or which traveled between Spanish ports, was called "almojarifazgo". Initially, the collection was the responsibility of the "almojarife", a word of Arab origin meaning inspector. Later, the responsibility was given to the Consulate Tribunal, an organization established in 1613, predecessor to today's Chamber of Commerce and whose members were the leading merchants and ship owners of the time. Later still, the responsibility of collecting the tax was assigned to the Royal Administration of Excise.
Initially the almojarifazgo was a 10% tax on all types of imported products, and the amount was calculated on the value of the goods in the Indies and not on the price these would have in the original port of loading.
As the port of Callao gained in importance, it eventually became the fundamental axis to all trade in South America, the collection of taxes originated from this economic flow also became increasingly important.
Thus, through a Royal Order issued on 15 November 1770, the Royal Customs was created by Viceroy Manuel Amat y Juniet. Although the terms of this resolution were sufficiently wide and clear, above all on the transfer of the responsibility of collection from the almojarifazgo and excise offices to the Royal Customs, the operations of the new institution required precise regulations.
Through a Decree on 2 October 1773, Viceroy Amat approved the first Regulations of Commerce and Organization of Customs by which the Peruvian Customs system, slowly at first, began to function.
For many years, the central administration of Customs occupied the building of San Carlos School, next to the current Public Ministry on Abancay avenue, while a small Customs office operated in the Port of Callao.
In 1836, the President of the Republic, Marshall Luis José Orbegoso, changed the use of the Spanish fortress of Real Felipe to become the building for the Customs headquarters, and this was the site of the central offices until 1934, when the government of Marshall Oscar R. Benavides ordered the move of Customs to the Maritime Terminal of Callao.
Earlier, in 1833, meanwhile, the General Customs Office was created with the purpose, among others, to centralize customs activities and thus prevent that each customs office, located usually in the country's main ports, operate as autonomous entities.
At the start of the 20th century, the customs activities were practiced by a Customs Superintendency, later consolidated in 1947 with the creation of the National Counsel of Foreign Trade and the Superior Counsel of Customs. These were created during the government of President José Luis Bustamante y Rivero as institutions responsible for supervising the flow of foreign trade and of foreign exchange, and among other measures not permitting the import or export of goods without prior presentation and authorization.
In 1969, by Decree Law 17521, the Customs Superintendency again became the General Customs Office, dependent on the Ministry of Finance. In 1973, the institution was made a technical and governing organization under the Ministry of Commerce, returning again to the Ministry of Economy and Finance in 1978 until, in 1988, by Law 2829, the National Customs Administration was created as a public, decentralized institution of the Economy and Finance sector, with operational, technical, financial and administrative autonomy.
During the middle of the 1980s, the customs office was moved to a building on Lord Cochrane avenue in the residential district of San Isidro. The offices operated there until 1992, when the institution acquired its own building headquarters, within an unprecedented process of changes that led the Peruvian Customs Office from a secondary level with a tarnished image to become an exemplary institution and leader among the Customs bureaus of Iberoamerica.
The modernization process initiated in 1992, with a sequence of administrative and procedure improvements, was emphasized during 1996, when the decentralized operative intendencies started sharing trade information on line. Modernization follows. This is a continuous improvement process, understanding that international trade facilitation goes together with the world technological advances.
On December 1999, Peru Customs Administration certified its Shipment Process under the International Certification of the Quality Assurance System according to ISO 9000 Rules, being the first customs administration that got that certification and the first in getting recognition from the World Customs Organization.
The need to consolidate and maintain the standards achieved in the modernization process, made the Government give a new Customs Law in 1996. This Customs Law clearly established on its 3rd Article, that "for rendering the customs services, the Customs Administration will have to adjust its Quality System to the demands of the International Quality Assurance Norms".
On July 2002, through Supreme Decree 061-2002-PCM, it was established that the National Customs Superintendency and the National Superintendency of Internal Taxes, will merge, on the context of a wider effort to modernize the State as a whole, pursuing the integration of functions and organizational competences inside the Public Sector.
In addition, the integration of tax and customs administration is a world trend, adopted by countries as Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, The Netherlands and Canada.
Finally, merging is also the result of identifying the need of increasing State Collection in the Long Run, through joined actions for providing better services and enhancing fiscal inspection, and the prevention of smuggling.
The traditional concept of Customs activities for obtaining tax revenue and controlling the flow of goods that enter the country has varied over time, especially as a result of the agreements adopted in the Multilateral Round of Tokyo and Uruguay, in which Customs Offices were recognized as facilitators of international trade. This last concept was incorporated into the organization created in 1994 to increase trade worldwide, called the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Within this context, the developed world decided, during the globalization process of their economies, to adopt a uniform method to value goods enhancing the growth of international trade.
The application of the procedure called Value WTO, to determine the taxable base of the goods affected by duties applied to import operations, acquires particular importance because its use not only substitutes the Brussels Definition procedure, whose main characteristic is to obtain important income for the State, but it also is designed to protect productive sectors that are considered sensitive or strategic for national development.
Within this context, it is extremely important to take the right steps in applying the WTO Value, in order to avoid or minimize a possible fall in customs revenue, but also to avoid its misuse by unscrupulous economic agents, or its misuse to cover up unfair trade practices such as dumping.
In synthesis, customs valuation is undoubtedly a particularly important issue and it is necessary to remember that, in order to obtain the benefits of its application, a full knowledge is needed not only of its use but of its implicit conditions, such as: the generation of efficiency, optimization of competitive advantages and, above all, the integrated participation of economic agents.
The WTO Valuation system came into effect on 01 January 2000 and includes a first phase of 50% of the tariff structure. On April 1st 2000, the application of the WTO Value went into effect for the universal tariff structure.
In 2003, by Law 27973, it was abolished the Imports Verification Regime, which established the physical verification of merchandises in the Port of Boarding by Verification Companies. According to this new Law, since May 2004, the Peruvian Tax Administration (SUNAT) would perform the activities carried out by Verification Companies.