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IPO checks, controls bypassed: WeBOC releasing medicines via green channel

The Web-Based One Customs (WeBOC) of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is releasing medicines and pharmaceutical raw materials using green channel facility in Lahore without any controls and checks given in the Import Policy Order. Sources told Business Recorder here on Wednesday that the loophole in the system has caused revenue loss and cleared consignments through the green channel facility instead of ''Yellow Channel'' in Lahore.

The FBR has decided to amend Risk-Management System (RMS) of the WeBOC system to incorporate changes in case of medicines and pharmaceutical raw materials. The FBR has proposed changes in the system on detection of revenue leakage by Collector Model Customs Collectorate (Preventive) Lahore. Reference to the query raised by Collector Model Customs Collectorate (Preventive) Lahore, it has been pointed out that under the WeBOC''s import module operationalised at the Lahore Airport on March 21, 2012, approximately 20-25 percent of the consignments are cleared though the green channel.

It further adds that during scrutiny of consignments data released through the green channel in MCC (Preventive), Lahore, it was noticed that the WeBOC System is also releasing medicines and pharmaceutical raw material without any controls, whereas such goods are subjected to fulfilment of certain conditions under the Import Policy Order, their clearance through green channel is not warranted and the practice may entail regulatory risks.

The letter also narrates the steps taken by MCC (Preventive) Lahore to mitigate such risks by entering the list of such goods into the "local RMS" of the Collectorate to route such consignments to the "Yellow" Channel of WeBOC, sources said. In the backdrop, the Collector MCC (Preventive), Lahore has suggested that necessary changes may also be made in the "Central RMS" of WeBOC so that such goods are not cleared through the green channel without fulfilling the attached conditions necessary for their clearance. The FBR has directed concerned customs officials that corrective steps may be taken at the level of Risk Management Unit, Karachi and WeBOC Project Office to ensure regulatory controls and plug revenue leakages, sources added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013


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