ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue has issued a detailed procedure for processing and clearance of transit trade cargo under Customs Computerised System – to and from Afghanistan.
FBR has amended Customs Rules, 2001 through an SRO 121(I)/2014 to issue the procedure of the transit under Customs Computerised System covering Afghan commercial cargo imported through Karachi Port, Port Muhammad Bin Qasim, Gwadar Port or Sost; Afghan commercial cargo from Afghanistan to India through Wagha; Afghan commercial cargo from Afghanistan to other countries; and non-commercial cargo.
About the financial guarantee on transit goods, the SRO said that the Afghan importer of goods or his authorised customs agents, brokers or transport operators in Pakistan shall furnish financial security in the form of insurance guarantee, for goods destined for Afghanistan, from an insurance company. This would be done following criteria prescribed by the Directorate General of Transit Trade, on the prescribed format or any other form prescribed by the Board which shall be valid for at least one year and shall be en-cashable in Pakistan, for ensuring the fulfilment of any obligation arising out of customs transit operation between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The amount of financial security for transit operation shall be determined by system on the basis of assessment done by customs at the office of departures as it covers all import levies, rules said. In case of transport units registered in Afghanistan carrying transit goods, the transport operator or his authorised customs agents, or the chamber of commerce concerned or the Government department concerned shall furnish a bank guarantee on the prescribed format or revolving bank guarantee from a scheduled bank, acceptable to customs equivalent to 25 per cent of the amount of duty and taxes leviable for each vehicle being operated, which shall be valid for at least one year and shall be cashable in Pakistan.
Provided that in case a transport operator desires to operate less than four transport units, he shall provide a bank guarantee of 100 per cent of the amount of duty and taxes leviable on each transport unit. Provided further if a transport unit does not return to Afghanistan as per the provisions of this sub-chapter, the bank guarantee furnished shall be cashed.
Provided also that the Afghan trucks carrying fresh and dry fruit up to Wagha shall be allowed entry in accordance with these rules, subject to the production of letter of guarantee, in each case, by the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, Government of Afghanistan to the effect that the vehicles would return to Afghanistan within the stipulated time, the SRO said.
The designated customs officer at the office of departure shall detach the financial security and enter the particulars in the system. The officer shall ensure that the financial guarantee submitted by the importer or his authorised customs agent has been issued by a company of repute or a scheduled bank, as the case may be, is cashable in Pakistan, and contents thereof are in conformity with the particulars of vehicle or consignment against which it is being furnished. The officer shall also ensure that the financial guarantee covers the duty and taxes involved on vehicles or goods and the amount being secured is accurate and as per the calculation assessed in the system.
The rules said that the financial guarantees shall be released/cashed on authorisation of the Deputy/Assistant Director concerned of the office of departure or office en-route as per laid down procedure.
Under the procedure on filing of Goods Declaration for Afghan Transit cargo, the FBR said that the transit goods which are carried under the Customs transit shall not be subject to payment of import or export duties and taxes provided the activities are in conformity with these rules. Afghan Transit cargo shall be distinctly manifested as such in the IGM/carrier declaration uploaded electronically in the Customs Computerised System by the shipping line or its agent/customs agent/bonded carrier. The importer’s country name and address shall be of Afghanistan for goods intended to be imported for Afghanistan.
The trader or his authorised customs agent shall file the Afghan Transit Goods Declaration (herein after called AT GD) online in the Customs Computerised System at the office of departure through User ID. The User ID shall be issued as per procedure prescribed by the Directorate General of Transit Trade.
The AT GD shall be accompanied by scanned copy of exemption certificate (mafinama) issued by the relevant Afghan Authority for Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) non-commercial goods. The original invoice, packing list, bill of lading, jawaznama and other relevant documents shall be submitted to the customs by the importer on demand. The FBR has also explained the processing of Afghan Transit cargo at the office of departure at seaports (Karachi/Port Muhammad Bin Qasim/Gwadar) and processing of Afghan Transit goods at the Office of departure at land border stations (Torkham/Chaman/etc).
As per responsibilities of the bonded transport operator, prior to submissions of carrier manifest the transport operator shall satisfy himself that the actual description, quantity, quality and weight of the goods in transit are as per declaration in the GD. In case any change in the details of cargo is found en-route or at port of exit, the transport operator shall be held responsible under the provisions of the Customs Act.
The transport operator shall be responsible and bound to carry the goods to its destination without any delay. The transport operator shall also be bound to deliver the bonded transit goods to their destination within the prescribed time-limit, using the transport route as notified by the Federal Board of Revenue. In case of any pilferage en-route Point of Entry to the Point of Exit within Pakistan, the bonded carrier shall have the primary responsibility to pay the leviable duty/taxes on transit goods, the rules mentioned in the SRO added.