The Role of Customs. Grammar: PhrasalVerbs
Exercise 1. Before reading the text, answer these questions:
a) What do Customs usually deal with?
b) What are the main responsibilities of Customs?
Exercise 2. Read the text to check your answers.
Customs is or Customs are? Both are common. If it is the institution, one might say Customs is. If it is the body of procedures, staff, and operations, one would say Customs are. To be safe, it is usually better to systematically use the plural in English.
As a key border agency Customs plays a critical role in trade facilitation, revenue collection, community protection and national security and can make a major contribution to enhancing national competitiveness.
Customs are usually a major budget contributor, and sometimes the most important source of revenue for a country. Customs also have a unique observation position. They are at the crossroads between trade, the economy, fiscal and budget issues, crime interdiction, environmental preoccupations, and transport, to name but a few.
Customs all over the world are used to dealing with people across the border – so they are the first exposed to new products, activities, and even ideas. They cooperate far better with their foreign counterparts than any other border agency and have routine, non-judicial, access to sensitive commercial information. As an observer of the movement of goods, Customs can provide reliable trade statistics, and match them against other countries’ records. They can work out revenue projections and simulations. Customs also keep records of movements and the people who initiate them. All this can be used not only to secure revenue, but also to protect public. Traditionally, Customs has three major roles:
- to assess and collect revenue based on the characteristics of the goods;
- to protect the country and the society by preventing smuggling;
- to ensure that national legislation is applied to imported goods.