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Key changes to customs laws amended through Finance Bill 2020

Key changes to customs laws amended through Finance Bill 2020

ISLAMABAD: The government has announced major changes to Customs Act, 1969 through Finance Bill, 2020.

Following are the key changes introduced through Finance Bill, 2020:

Procedure to obtain advance ruling has been prescribed along with revision in the definition of advance ruling

The penalties related to smuggling are proposed to be more rationalized along with the change in the definition of smuggling, to broaden its scope.

It is proposed to decide cases related to smuggling by the ATIR within a period of thirty days.

Exemption of customs duties on imports for setting up new industries in erstwhile FATA area is proposed to be extended up to year 2023.

Concessions available to Special Economic Zones are proposed to be enhanced.

Tariff protection is proposed for domestic industry by increasing / levy of regulatory duty on import of items which are locally manufactured.

Customs duty on 90 Tariff lines are proposed to be reduced from 11 percent to 3 percent and 0 percent for the purpose of Tariff rationalization under National Tariff Policy, 2019.

To boost exports and to secure domestic manufacturing sector, duties on more than 40 tariff lines are proposed to be exempted or reduced.

Reduction in regulatory duty on several items is proposed to discourage the smuggling of goods and to decrease the cost of doing business in several sectors.

Extension in exemption period, which was due to be expired on 20 June 2020, from customs duties on import of goods including edible oils and oil seeds covered under COVID-19 relief package.

Exemption / reduction in customs duty is proposed to be available to the manufacturers, subject to IOCO quota determination, in respect of the following-

Exemption – Butyl Acetate, Syringes and saline infusion sets, buttons, raw material for beverage can manufacturing and import of machinery, equipment and other project related items for setting up of internet cable landing station.

Reduction – Raw material for manufacturing of interlining/bukram, wire rod, food packaging.

Additional customs duty is proposed to be reduced on those tariffs lines on which customs duty is applicable at 0 percent, including on Palm Stearin for incentivizing soap manufacturing industry.

Regulatory duty on Hot Rolled Coils (HRC) of Iron and steel falling under PCT Codes 7208 and 7225 & 7226 respectively is proposed to be reduced from 12.5 percent and 17.5 percent to 6 percent and 11 percent respectively.

Exemption in duties & taxes on import of dietetic foods for children with inherited metabolic disorders, diagnostic kits for cancer and corona virus, Ready to use Supplementary Foods (RUSF), lifesaving drug Meglumine Antimonite for treatment of leishmaniasis.