ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Ministry of Commerce (MoC) are jointly considering to revise the contents of Certificate of Origin to plug the loopholes misused by the customs staff and importers to safeguard the government revenue.
Sources told Customs Today that during the review of contents of Certificate of Origin revealed that column 9 of Certificate of Origin required declaration of “gross weight, quantity and FOB value” of goods to be imported under free trade agreement.
There was no provision for declaration of net weight. The lacuna has been misused by the importers of goods on which duty was leviable on weight like betel leaves and Refined, Bleached and Deodorized (RBD) palm oil etc.
At Air Freight Unit Lahore, revenue of millions of rupees had been escaped in the garb of declaration of only gross weight, tare and ascertained weight. At the time of the declaration, tare was declared on higher side and at the time of physical examination, the tare was converted into net weight and benefit of concession granted on ascertained weight without considering the net weight on other import documents i.e. invoice, plant quarantine certificate etc.
The government advisors are of the view that Ministry of Commerce and Federal Board of Revenue are equally responsible for such irregularities which took place due to presence of lacuna in the original text of FTAs and other related documents and faulty formulation of Operational Certificate Procedures.