KARACHI; The Sindh High Court issued notices to the customs authorities and deputy attorney general and directed them to file their respective para wise comments on a constitutional petition filed by M/s Z & D Metal Corporation, M/s Salam Impex, M/s M.Z Brothers, Arbancey Mercantile Corporation and others.
On 24 November 2020, a two-member bench heard the matter, during the hearing, counsel for the petitioner stated that petitioners are importers and traders of iron & steel products and frequently import secondary quality alloy steel sheets/ coils of different varices hot-rolled, cold rolled, and coated hereinafter alloy steel which are different from secondary quality non-alloy steel sheets/ coils hot-rolled, cold rolled and coate.
Counsel argued that difference in impact of duty and taxes in relation to alloy steel and non-alloy steel being almost same 1.50 %o only , the customs clearance of alloy steel is invariably subjected to laboratory testing confirmation on account of the fact that the former is historically assessed in terms of declared values whilst the later has long been assessed under valuation ruling, last which being VR No 1213/2017 was stuck-down by the appellate tribunal which was upheld by this court dated Nov 02, 2020, among others, whereby even the consignments of non-alloy steel have been directed to be released on declared transaction value.
He submitted that however customs officials assessments and other incidental matter, have taken to insisting that alloy steel consignment be assessed in the same terms as those on non-alloy steel vis, by applying illegally the values of presently non-existent and irrelevant valuation ruling thereto, rather than on the declared true transaction values following the established practices.
He further submitted that such insistence of the respondents, other than being arbitrary, whimsical and fanciful is outright illegal, without jurisdiction and patently malafide, in which regard it will be appreciated the from power of collector of customs to determine customs’ values under section 25A (I) of the customs act, 1969 has been purposefully, and rightly withdraw vide the finance act, 2019.
Citing secretary Ministry of Finance, Chief Collector of Customs Appraisement South, Collector of Customs Port Muhammad Bin Qasim and others as respondents, petitioner pleaded the court to restrain the respondents from applying valuation ruling 1213/2017 on the imported consignment of alloy steel and to direct them to process/ release/ex-bond the same at declared true transaction value under section 25(I) of the customs act, 1969.