ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has expanded Pakistan Single Window project to the entire country to facilitate international imports and exports.
Sources told Business Recorder that Afnan Khan, director National Single Window (NSW) has updated the meeting of the Steering Committee of National Freight and Logistics Policy (NFLP) for taking dedicated actions aimed at facilitating, modernising and reforming the freight and logistics sector, with a view to enhance the competitiveness of the country, promoting local value chains, and streamlining cross-border and global supply chains.
Khan said, having remained actively associated with the policy, he endorsed the policy recommendations, and highlighted the need to further include the concept of port community.
He highlighted that Pakistan Single Window had already been expanded to the entire country.
Khan stated that tax rationalisation did not fall in the domain of the FBR. However, tax authorities are already in the process of simplifying customs procedures at border points.
He apprised that the NSW also envisaged establishment and updating of laboratories at border crossings for enforcement of sanitary and phytosanitary standards.
Khan committed to furnish further suggestions in writing within one week.
The prime minister has designated Pakistan Customs as the lead agency to establish trade-related National Single Window, to improve overall efficiency in management of cross-border trade, and also to meet the country's obligation under the WTO's trade obligation.
The NSW is a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information and documents with a single-entry point to fulfill all import/export, and transit-related regulatory requirements.
The FBR, with the help of local and international experts, finalised a detailed project design document, which recommended promulgation of a new PSW Act after carrying out detailed legal-gap analysis.
The PSW Act was drafted and shared with stakeholders for consultation upon directives of the Steering Committee chaired by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, the Draft PSW, Act, was finalised with consensus of the stakeholders, while providing legal basis for the approved functional, operational, governance, and revenue models.
The new law introduces ICT-based integrated risk management system, joint inspections, E-payments and information exchange etc to improve transparency, efficiency and controls in imports, exports, and transit trade.
The PSW will help unlock Pakistan's potential as the regional hub for trade and transit by simplifying, harmonising and automating regulatory controls, while enabling Pakistan to integrate with upcoming regional and global Single Window systems for trade and transport.
According to the sources, the meeting was informed that the impediments for implementation of TIR convention in Pakistan will be removed soon as the Ministry of Commerce and the FBR are already working on the revision of the Convention on International Transport of Goods Under Cover of TIR Carnets.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2020