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Importer moves SHC seeking exemption of custom-duty on import of classic cars

Importer moves SHC seeking exemption of custom-duty on import of classic cars

KARACHI: A division bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices to the customs department and deputy attorney general and directed them to file their para wise comments on a constitution petition filed by a importer against detention of its imported vintage cars and imposing allegedly unreasonable restrictions

On 30 September  2020, a two-member bench, headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi was hearing the petition filed by importer namely Liaquat Ali Malik.

During the hearing, the petitioner impugned the failure of the respondents to release vintage cars, 1961 Mercedes Benz on the basis of a notification bearing No SRO 833(1)/2018.

He argued that is it submitted that notification was issued by the customs officials on July 03, 2018 wherein it is mentioned that “the federal government is pleased to exempt vintage or classic cars and jeeps meant for transport of persons on the import thereof from so such of the custom-duty, regulatory duty, additional duty, federal excise duty, sales tax and without holding tax as are in excess of the cumulative amount of US dollar five thousand per unit”.

Counsel argued that consignment arrived at Karachi Port, however, much to his shock and consternation, when the petitioner contacted the customs authorities for the issuance and processing of the goods declaration, respondents  refused to release the same on the purported pretext that WeBOC system does not allow/ does not include the category of vintage/ classic cars thereby making it impossible for the petitioner to file his GDs.

Citing secretary Revenue Davison, additional secretary finance, collector of customs West and deputy collector of customs import as respondents, petitioner pleaded the court to declare that the actions of the respondents in not clearing the petitioner’s consignment in accordance with the provision of the SRO No 833(10/2018 are illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and of no legal effect and to strike down the same.

He further pleaded the court to declare that the vintage cars imported by the petitioner are to be released subject of the fulfilling of formalities contained in the notification.