KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed customs officials to file their respective para wise comments on a constitutional petition filed by M/s Barry Industries Private Limited, M/s The Time Press Limited, M/s Abbas Traders, M/s A. Wahab Traders, M/s Junaid Traders and M/s International Business Management seeking 4 percent concession under Pak-China FTA of their imports of 2/S coated paper of a kind used for writing, printing and other graphic purposes.
On 19 January 2021, during the hearing, counsel for the petitioners stated that petitioners are regular importers of goods having description 2/S coated paper of a kind used for writing, printing and other graphic purposes, since long which are being assessed and released by the customs authority by classifying the same under HD Code 4810.1910 chargeable to 20% customs duty and other leviable taxes in the light of laboratory and other tests conducted time to time, however, imports of such goods from China the customs duty is chargeable 16 percent under China-Pakistan FTA in compliance of SRO 1640(I)/ 2019.
He further argued that suddenly any out-of-charged consignment of an importer M/s Salman Paper Products of subject goods classified under HS Code 4810/1920 as per long-standing practices of customs was detained on a frivolous complaint of a business rival filed through a retired customs officer doing consultancy in the name of M/s Ideal Tax Management, wherein, allegation of mis-declaration of classification of subject goods was made.
He submitted that goods having goods declaration without notice under HS Code 4810.1910 chargeable to 20% statutory rated of duty without having 4% concession under Pak-China FTA by depriving from long-standing departmental practices of classifying these goods under HS Code 4810.1010 in an about discriminatory manner in absence of a public notice.
Citing Chairman FBR, Chief Collector of Customs Appraisement South and Collector of Customs Chairman of Classification Committee as respondents, petitioner pleaded the court to direct them to provide right of opportunity of fair hearing to the petitioners in the proceedings of classification of subject goods being conducted in terms of para 2 (viii) of CGO No 12/2002 dated June 15, 2002 in the light of interpretation made by the Lahore High Court and refrain them from finalizing the decision of classification of subject good unless right of opportunity of fair hearing provided to the petitioners.