The Role of Selectivity Criteria for Effective Post-clearance Audit (PCA): Bangladesh Perspectives

  • Mohammad Akbar Hossain Bangladesh Customs
Keywords: PCA, Customs, RKC, TFA, audit


The Post-clearance Audit (PCA) is being used by the Customs administrations across the world to facilitate trade as well as to reduce revenue evasion. As a limited number of declarations or entities need to be audited, the selectivity criteria for identifying the riskiest ones for conducting PCA is of utmost importance for the effectiveness of audit. A wrong selection for audit will be counterproductive. That is why, this paper will examine how the selectivity criteria impacts the PCA.

The WCO and WTO have advised the administrations to utilise the PCA mechanism to enhance cross-border trade. The Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) of WCO and the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of WTO have focused on systematic use of PCA rather than examining every imported consignment at the ports. Therefore, the PCA assists the authorities expedite clearance of goods, while, at the same time, ensures plugging leakages and, finally, enhances collection of duties and taxes at the import stage. 

Moreover, the PCA also creates opportunities for the authorities to catch tax evaders in future as the results of PCA may further be used for the proper implementation of Risk Management (RM) mechanism. Effective RM helps single out the risky consignments and facilitate clearance of the low risk consignments. So, if the selectivity criteria for PCA are not properly set, both the PCA and RM system will be adversely affected, ultimately paralysing the revenue administration of a country thereby reducing its economic competitiveness.

This study will scrutinise the existing selection procedures for PCA with qualitative analysis. Due to lack of availability of reliable data, the author interviewed some of the main stakeholders and the Customs and VAT officials to analyse the mechanism for identifying the loopholes and prospects of the PCA initiative.

Furthermore, this paper will not only help the administrations to set the selectivity criteria for PCA, but also assist the administrations to redesign their existing PCA selectivity system.