The customs and excise authorities assess and collect the customs and excise duties levied by the government as an important source of revenue. The customs and excise authorities that the amount of certain imports does not exceed the quota or limit allowed to be imported within a specified period. Quotas are imposed to protect the local manufacturers from foreign competition and only a limited amount of foreign goods will be allowed into the domestic market to compete with the locally manufactured goods.
One of the functions of the customs is to keep statistical records of exports and imports to and from foreign countries to indicate trends in respect of quantities and values traded. Customs declaration forms have to be completed for goods imported and exported, whether dutiable or non-dutiable. These forms enable the customs and excise authorities to see at a glance what goods should be taxed and what should not. The collection of custom duties is needed as vital information in order to ascertain the volume, as well as the direction of trade with each country and with the world as a whole. The information is needed by the government as it indicates the performance of the country in international trade. That’s the balance of payments and trade.
This information is also needed by the traders as it helps them to ascertain the needs of consumers and assess the effects of government trade policies. Prevention if smuggling of prohibited goods is another function of customs and excise duties. Excise authorities and customs police all points of entry into the country, especially the coastal area to prevent contraband goods like dangerous drugs from earning the country illegally or dutiable goods entering or leaving the country without the payment of duty. Through their activities the Customs and Excise Authorities are able to save a great deal of government revenue which otherwise would have been lost through illegal transactions.
The last but not the least function of Excise Authorities and Customs is to control the bonded warehouses. They control bonded warehouses where dutiable imports are stored until duty on them has been paid by the importer. Dutiable imports meant for re-export may also be kept in the bonded warehouse so as to avoid the payment of customs duty upon entry and exit. However, if duty on such imports has been paid, a refund called customs drawbacks can be claimed by the importer when these goods are re-exported.