ISLAMABAD: While endorsing the viewpoint of ghee/cooking oil industry on the illegal import of banned and used cooking oil, Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation-Customs has proposed to the Federal Board of Revenue to effectively check its import into the country.
The banned oil is subsequently marketed, after processing like bleaching, etc, to be used in low quality junk foods. This oil is imported in the garb of soap stocks. To ensure proper examination and laboratory test for confirmation of actual description of under-reference goods, DGI&I has requested FBR to consider issuance of certain instructions for clearance through Customs Collectorates.
This includes the clearance of mixture/residue of fatty acids (PCT codes 1522.0090 and 3823.1990) imported by commercial importers should be allowed through Red Channel. Each such consignment should be subjected to physical examination and its samples sent for Customs laboratory test. The laboratory should be requested to categorically confirm the actual description and correct Pakistan Customs Tariff code of the given samples in light of relevant Explanatory Notes to HS and that the goods do not contain used cooking oils and fats of pigs, boars, hogs, swine and other such animals.
In case of any dispute with regard to laboratory test reports, samples should be referred to reputed laboratories like PCSIR or HEJ, for categorical confirmation of actual description of goods.
The directorate also agreed to the proposal of Pakistan Vanaspati Manufactures Association (PVMA) to the effect that import of the commodity should not be allowed in drums to minimise chances of mis-declarations and that bulk import of residue of fatty acids/soap stocks, etc. (PCT codes 1522.0090 and 3823.1990) should be restricted to industrial concerns only i.e. recognised manufacturers of soap and oleo chemicals. FBR is requested to approach the Ministry of Commerce for imposition of proposed restrictions in the IPO.
The directorate has asked FBR to implement the proposal of the documented industry that import of the commodity should not be allowed in drums to minimise chances of mis-declaration and that bulk import of residue of fatty acids/soap stocks, etc. should be restricted to industrial concerns only, i.e. recognised manufacturers of soap and oleo chemicals. FBR is requested to approach Ministry of Commerce for imposition of proposed restrictions in the IPO, the suggestions of the directorate added.
According to the report of the Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation-Customs to FBR, PVMA has proposed that to minimise chances of import of used oil in the garb of residue of fatty acid, mixture of fatty acid, etc, import of the same in drums may be banned. Moreover, only industrial consumers (of soap and oleo chemicals, etc) may be allowed to import it in bulk, besides taking other measures to check clearance of the item through mis-declarations.
The directorate suggested that the scrutiny of import data of items ‘Residue of Fatty Acids’ and Mixture of Fatty Acid” cleared under PCT codes 1522.0090 and 3823.1990 respectively from ports for the period July to December 2013 shows that during the period, huge quantity of the commodity valuing at Rs 806.317 million was imported from various countries including Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, UAE, Australia, Philippine and Kuwait.