KARACHI: Pakistan Customs authorities are determined to reduce the massive difference between the revenue collection and the revenue target set by the Federal Board of Revenue for the fiscal year 2013-14 through exercising all its available powers, which is badly affecting the trade and import activities in the port city.
The importers and traders have expressed their deep concerns over the two major prevailing issues pertaining to inclusion and mentioning the weight of essential packing separately in examination report as gross weight and charging of the consignments accordingly. Secondly, the importers have complained of the issue of implementation of 133-items valuation guidelines which have higher values than before for clearance of consignments at Karachi Port.
The importers and traders were of the view that those two issues pertaining to trade were badly affecting the import activities on port as on one hand Customs authorities were not abiding by the orders of Lahore High Court, in which it stated that the packing weight would not be included separately in assessable weight of the goods. However, the Customs authorities are still charging the consignments on gross weight instead of net weight.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Lahore High Court in its verdict on May 3, 2014 through C M No 2/14 in Writ Petition No. 11795/14 has clearly ordered that the consignments would be assessed on net weight.
Furthermore, the 133-items guidelines issued by Customs authorities particularly for clearance of consignments at Karachi Port were also creating impediments in clearance of consignments.
Talking to Customs Today, the importers said that the guideline issue was affecting the trade and import at Karachi Port, as there was a major difference in clearance of consignments at Karachi Port than dry ports elsewhere.
“The smuggling activities have been raised by the issuance of 133-items guidelines, as the consignments have been cleared from dry-ports at difference in rates and then entering the city,” they added.
They further said that the smuggled goods reach the dry ports through Bandar-Abbas border and after clearance reach Karachi.
In this regard, Constitutional petitions under Article-199 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan have been submitted with Sindh High Court.
It may be mentioned here that the Constitutional Petitions are in pending in SHC and the court has reserved the verdict on it and the difference of Customs values is being submitted to court.