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Clearance of goods imported from China against CoO bearing unverifiable signatures

Clearance of goods imported from China against CoO bearing unverifiable signatures

ISLAMABAD: It has been revealed that the Customs Collectorate of Preventive Karachi cleared ten consignments by granting the benefit of China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) wherein the specimen signatures of the authorized Chinese officials were not tallied with those put on the Certificate of Origin (CoO).

According to FBR sources, the government has sustained the loss of Rs82.74 million on the account of clearance of goods imported from China against certificate of origin bearing unverifiable signature.

The sources said that a report has been submitted to the Federal Board of Revenue that four Customs Collectorates granted the benefit of China Pakistan Free Trade Agreement to goods imported from the countries other than China like American Samo, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Netherland, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam in 778 cases during the four years.

It is important to mention here that according to SRO 659 (1) 2007 dated 30th June 2007, the goods manufactured or produced and imported into Pakistan from People’s Republic of China in conformity with the rules of Determination of Origin of Goods and the Operational Certification Procedures for the rules of Origin notified by the Ministry of Commerce Vide SRO 1286 (1) / 2005 dated the 24 December 2005 are subject to rate of Customs Duty specified therein.

It is suggested to Federal Board of Revenue that FBR should take cognizance of the issue as such irregularities inversely damaged the economy by increasing the cost of Agreements. It is recommended in the report that a sizeable sample be selected since inception of FTAs for verification of signatures put on the CoO.