News and Press Release from Ministry of Finance

Handing over of Excise Duty Refund cheque for year 2013


His Excellency Mr. Gautam Bambawale, Ambassador of India to Bhutan has handed a cheque for Rs. 1,756 million to Hon’ble Lyonpo Namgay Dorji, Minister of Finance this afternoon. The cheque is on account of Excise Duty Refund (EDR) for the year 2013.
The claim for the EDR 2013 was verified by a six member delegation from GoI lead by Dr. P.K Mohanty, Director General, Directorate General of Inspection, Customs and Central Excise (DGICCE) in November 2014.

As the EDR constitutes about 7.05% of the total revenue for the financial year 2014-2015, it will improve the fiscal position and contribute towards INR reserve build-up.

The release of EDR by GoI is timely as it will help in implementing the planned activities for FY 2014-2015 which will end by 30th June 2015.

The verification process for the refund of EDR for 2014 amounting to Rs. 1,943 million has been also completed. This will be released during FY 2015-16.

The Government of India refunds the Excise Duty Refund on annually basis as per Article VIII of the Bilateral Trade and Transit Agreement which states that “Each of the Governments agrees to provide appropriate refund to be mutually decided annually in respect of excise duties on goods of its origin exported to the other”.

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Signing of Excise Duty Refund for year 2014

The government of India (GoI) 22 May 2015 declared a total excise duty refund of Nu 1.943B (billion) to Bhutan for 2014. This is an increase of Nu 187M (million) from the previous year. Bhutan received Nu 1.756B as excise duty refund for 2013. A delegation led by the director general of directorate general of inspection, customs and central excise, India, PK Mohanty, visited Bhutan for verification and quantification of the exercise duty refund claim of Bhutan for 2014 from May 13 to 22. Bhutanese delegation was led by Yonten Namgyel, director of revenue and customs.

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Certificate awarded to one of DRC employee

The Director, Department of Revenue and Customs congratulated and awarded the certificate to Mr. Ugyen Tshering, Deputy Collector, Customs and Excise Division on successful completion of World Customs Accreditation in Technical and Operational Advisor on Intellectual Property Rights. He is the first customs official of the department to receive this certificate.

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International Customs Day Celebration (26 Jan-2015)

Customs administrations around the world celebrate 26th January as the International Customs Day with a dedicated theme under the auspices of the World Customs Organization. The theme for 2015 is “Coordinated Border Management – An inclusive approach for connecting stakeholders”.
The Department of Revenue and Customs with effect from 2014 joined the global Customs community in formally celebrating this day. Regional Revenue and Customs office around the country are celebrating the day with the main event this year being organized in Phuentsholing and graced by the Hon’ble Finance Minister. On this day, the Department of Revenue and Customs awards WCO Merit Certificates to the best performing Customs officials as a recognition and appreciation for their hard work, dedication and integrity. The Department of Revenue and Customs also recognises those taxpayers who have good compliance record and best performing business entity by awarding certificate of appreciation on this day.

Considering the theme for 2015, the relevant stakeholders, border enforcement agencies and cross-border Customs officials of India, Nepal and Bangladesh also joined the celebration.

The Department also scheduled to launch Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS) manual publication on this day. The ODS manual is published in collaboration with National Environment Commission (NEC) under the financial assistance of UNEP and UNDP Multilateral Fund. ODS manual will facilitate and assist Customs officials as first hand reference in controlling illegitimate trade mainly focusing on controlling ODS import into the country.

Bhutan became the member of the World Customs Organization (WCO) in February 2002 and currently has 179 member states. Internationally, 26th January is celebrated as “International Customs Day” under the auspices of WCO since the Convention establishing the Customs Co-operation Council was officially inaugurated in Brussels on 26th January 1953. In 1994 the Customs Co-operation Council adopted a new name – World Customs Organization. Subsequently, the Customs administrations of member States of the WCO organize various national events during the International Customs Day. The WCO on its part dedicates an annual theme that is officially declared on the International Customs Day entailing Customs administrations to devote their focus for that year on a particular topic.

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Excise Duty Refund for the Year 2013

At the invitation of the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB), a delegation led by Mr.P.K Mohanty, Director General of Inspection, Customs and Central Excise, Government of India (GoI) visited Bhutan for verification and finalization of the Excise Duty Refund claim of RGoB for the years 2013 from 21st to 29th November, 2014. The Bhutanese delegation was led by Mr. Yonten Namgyel, Director, Department of Revenue and Customs.

A meeting between the delegates of RGoB and GoI to discuss and finalize the Excise Duty Refund amount was held on 28th November 2014. The total excise duty refund agreed for the year 2013 is Nu.1, 756,296,502 (One Thousand Seven Hundred Fifty Six Million, Two Hundred Ninety Six Thousand, Five Hundred Two)

The Royal Government of Bhutan, with the help from Indian Embassy in Bhutan received Nu. 2,038,535,819.00 (Two Thousand, Thirty Eight Million, Five Hundred Thirty Five Thousand, Eight Hundred Nineteen) from GoI in May 2014 as the Excise Duty Refund Claim for the year 2010.

The decrease of Nu. 282,239,317 in the Excise Duty Refund Claim for the year 2013 as compared to that of EDR Claim for the year 2012 was mainly due to the ban of imports. However improvement of proper record keeping attributed to significant increase in the claim over the years.

The refund of excise duty is made only on excisable commodities imported from India. Although most of the commodities are subject to levy of excise duty in India, however, there are specific exemptions issued by way of notifications by GoI on goods of special interests. Furthermore, since imports made by Hydro Power Projects in Bhutan are exempted from excise duty at source, no excise duty refund claims are made for the imports made by these projects.

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The Kingdom of Bhutan accedes to the Revised Kyoto Convention

Brussels, 15 September 2014

His Excellency the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bhutan in Brussels, Mr. Sonam Tshong, deposited his country’s instrument of accession to the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (Revised Kyoto Convention – RKC) on 15 September 2014, making the Kingdom of Bhutan the 96th Contracting Party to this Convention.

WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya and H.E. the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bhutan in Brussels Sonam Tshong

WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya and H.E. the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bhutan in Brussels Sonam Tshong

The RKC is the international standard for making Customs regulatory procedures as efficient and effective as possible. The Convention elaborates upon several important principles, including transparency and predictability of Customs actions; standardization and simplification of the goods declaration and supporting documents; simplified procedures for authorized persons; maximum use of information technology; minimum necessary Customs control to ensure compliance with regulations; use of risk management and audit based controls; and coordinated interventions with other border agencies.

The WCO Secretary General welcomed Bhutan’s accession which demonstrates the country’s commitment to implementing Customs procedures adapted to the international trade environment and efforts towards trade facilitation aiming to respond effectively to the challenges faced by Customs in the 21st Century.

The RKC will enter into force for the Kingdom of Bhutan on 15 December 2014.

The Secretary General, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, strongly urges the other WCO Members to accede to the RKC as soon as possible.

source: WCO (

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WCO’s Secretary General calls on the Prime Minister

The World Customs Organization’s Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, called on the Prime Minister, Tshering Tobgay, at Gyalyong Tshogkhang today.

The WCO established in 1952 is an apex intergovernmental body which aims to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of the customs administration throughout the globe.

Lyonchhen and the Secretary General discussed on expanding information and communication technology, improving human resource development and setting up business friendly economic competitiveness.

A press release from the Prime Minister’s Office says since its membership, Bhutan has been receiving substantial technical support and training services from WCO. Bhutan joined WCO in 2002.

“The significant support and training services provided by WCO was greatly valued,” said the Prime Minister. The discussion also touched upon economic reforms and technological changes to promote transparency and accountability in customs administration.

The Prime Minister and the Secretary General also talked about harmonising and simplifying customs procedure to simplify the progress of legitimate trade across national boundaries and encourage public and private sector to work together.

Lyonchhen also congratulated Kunio Mikuriya for being re-elected for the second consecutive term. Mr. Mikuriya, accompanied by the Head of the Asia Pacific Regional Capacity Bureau of Bangkok, Yoshi Hiro Kosaka is on a two day goodwill visit.

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The Forty Seventh Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the ADB

Lyonpo Namgay Dorji led the RGoB delegation to attend the 47th Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors of the ADB held in Astana, Kazakhstan from 2-5 May 2014.

The Hon’ble Finance Minister is the Governor on the Board of ADB. The theme of the meeting was “The Silk Road – Connecting Asia with the Changing World” and was chaired by H.E Mr. Erbolat Dossaev, Finance Minister of Republic of Kazakhstan. The meeting was attended by about more than 3,000 participants from ADB’s 67 member countries, including representatives of government, multilateral financial institutions, private sector, central banks, civil society, academia and media.

ADB’s annual meetings are statutory occasions for Governors of ADB members to provide guidance on ADB administrative, financial, and operational directions. It provided opportunities to the Governors to call on the President, interact with ADB’s senior management and other Governors.

On the sideline of Annual Meeting, the RGoB delegation also attended the 8th Informal Meeting of SAARC Finance Ministers on 3rd May 2014.

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