Article 6.2: Specific Disciplines on Fees and Charges for Customs Processing Imposed on or in Connection with Importation and Exportation

The amount of fees and charges for customs processing must be limited to the costs of services rendered

What is covered?

Core obligation

Article 6.2 naturally flows from and complement the scope of Article 6.1, which in substance requires WTO Members to publish comprehensive information on fees and charges levied. Article 6.2 further builds on these previous provisions, providing guidance on which principles should be applied to determine the rates of fees and charges for customs processing in export/import operations.
In keeping with existing GATT obligations, Article 6.2 requires WTO Members to limit the amount of fees and charges for customs processing to the approximate cost of the service rendered imposed on or connected to the specific export or import operation concerned.
The use of the verb “shall” – without the presence of any qualifying language – indicates that the provision is legally binding and does not accommodate flexibility in the possibility not to implement the obligation.

Fees and charges levied for services connected to customs processing

Sub-paragraph (ii) does not imply an actual obligation on Members but simply specifies that fees and charges levied by a Member country do not necessarily need to be associated with a specific import or export transaction; nonetheless, such fees and charges should be collected for services which are closely related to the processing of the goods at the customs.
This provision hints that WTO Members may impose fees and charges which are not strictly linked to a distinct import or export transaction, but which nevertheless should be levied because in close connection with customs processing services.

What is not covered?

The text of this Measure does not specify which are the relevant elements in determining the amount of fees and charges levied based on the approximate cost of the service rendered, and is also silent on how the payments should be made.

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