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Thu 6 Feb 2003 04:00 AM

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End of the road for underinvoicing?

It looks like the unscrupulous companies that use under-invoicing to make a profit may finally have been beaten.

It looks like the unscrupulous companies that use under-invoicing to make a profit may finally have been beaten.

With GCC customs union it was hoped that the practice would become more difficult, and apparently the under-invoicers are already facing problems.

Tech Data reports that many companies that are suspected of under-invoicing seem to be switching to air and sea freight, where customs union has yet to be implemented, in order to carry on with their disreputable practices.

Once these modes of transport are also addressed, it should make life even more difficult.

Of course, dishonest companies will always find some way of getting around the laws, but hopefully many of them will go out of business or clean up their act.

What is more important is that the authorities in the region take this opportunity to eliminate dubious practices.

There are already some allowances being made for companies that are ‘well connected’, so to speak, regarding company and category customs exemptions, but the GCC authorities need to ensure, that once and for all, they bring in and enforce the laws, fairly, and for all, to make the Middle East a place for honest and open business, without fudging the rules to benefit individual companies or closed and cosy national markets.

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