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Customs area to bonded warehouses: customs department allows private carriers to transport goods

Following strong resentments showed by the traders, the Customs department allowed private carriers to transport goods from customs area to the bonded warehouses; it was learnt here on Tuesday. According to sources, the goods were earlier required to be transported from customs area to the bonded warehouse through bonded carriers in WeBOC's warehousing module. But the traders had shown great concern on the introduction of bonded carrier for transporting goods from customs area to bonded warehouse.

They said the traders were of the view that the requirement of bonded carrier would increase the cost of business and added that they also expressed apprehension over the availability of bonded carriers, especially at customs stations across the country.

Reacting on it, the Customs department to address the concerns of the traders had convened a meeting to decide whether the already approved feature of delivery of goods to be warehoused through bonded carrier be retained in the module or not.

Moreover, the sources said that some of the participants at the meeting argued that the said requirement of bonded carrier was a practical interpretation of section 87 of the Customs Act 1969. However, this interpretation was vigorously opposed by the other participants.

They said that participants of the meeting were equally split between those advocating retention of bonded carriers and those opposing it. It was observed by the participants favouring the removal of bonded carrier feature, that imposing the condition on importers to get the delivery of their in-bonded goods to warehouse, only through bonded carriers would not only increase the cost of business but it was also against the spirit of trade facilitation.

However, the participants of the meeting advocating the bonded carriers were of the view that the securities deposited by the importers, ie post dated cheques and indemnity were quite inadequate, providing opportunity to the unscrupulous importers to abuse the automated system and sell the goods in markets without warehousing.

They further said that some participants countered the argument that the condition of bonded carrier was not a foolproof guarantee against misuse and cited the example of Afghan Transit Scam in support of this contention. After intense discussion, the Customs authority has permitted goods delivery by private carrier with additional security features of sealing. The sources said that participants of the meeting also recommended the board to enhance the current security of indemnity bond/post dated cheque and replace it with bank guarantee/pay order by proposing amendment in section 86 of Customs Act 1969.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013


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