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Stuck cars clearance: Commerce Ministry eyes up Rs627m revenue

Stuck cars clearance: Commerce Ministry eyes up Rs627m revenue

ISLAMABAD: The Commerce Ministry is expecting revenue to the tune of Rs627.2 million from the release of used imported cars stuck at port following one-time waiver granted by the Economic Coordination Committee for clearance of such vehicles.

There are around 872 cars withheld by the Customs authorities at port including 146 cars of up to 800cc, 584 cars of up to 1000cc, 87 cars of up to 87cc and 55 cars up to 1800cc. The ECC was informed that various importers of used vehicles approached the Ministry of Commerce with the request that the Customs authorities have abruptly stopped the clearance of vehicles manufactured in the year 2009. Resultantly, a huge number of imported vehicles are lying at the port pending clearance. Their contention was that this represented an abrupt change in policy as used vehicles manufactured in 2009 were being released till September-2013.

According to the Commerce Ministry, the requests of importers and the FBR recommendations have been examined and it has been concluded that the aim behind imposition stringent conditions on the import of used vehicles was to protect the local automobile industry and to avert the misuse of the said schemes for commercial import of used vehicles.

The ministry concerned to address importers grievances and considering substantial revenue generation aspect, submitted proposals to resolve the issue. The proposals are: one-time waiver may be allowed for clearance of those 2009 model cars, where the Date of Export General Manifest (EGM) is prior to December 31, 2013 subject to payment of surcharge as follows:

(i) surcharge for first 8 months beyond the prescribed age limit of 3 years shall be calculated on rates stipulated in Ministry of Commerce O.M. February 25,2013; and (ii) additional surcharge for the period (maximum 4 months) beyond 3 years and 8 months at a fiat rate of 20% of the C&F value”. According to Commerce Ministry, the powers to condone age beyond prescribed age limit, delegated to Collectors Customs, vide Ministry of Commerce Office Memomranda February 25, 2013 and June 15, 2012 may be withdrawn after giving a two months’ public notice.