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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has offered facility of advance ruling to importers for classification of goods, determination of origin of the goods under bilateral/multilateral agreements, and applicability of notifications under Customs Act, 1969.

The FBR has issued SRO 965(I)/2020 to notify the draft Customs (Advance Ruling) Rules, 2020.

According to the rules, an applicant desirous of obtaining an advance ruling under these rules may make an application on the prescribed format (Annex-A&B) to the secretary Advance Ruling Committee, stating the question on which the advance ruling is sought.

An undertaking to the effect that, to the best of the applicant's knowledge, no issues concerning the goods for which a ruling is sought, is pending before any customs office or port of entry or before any adjudicating authority, tribunal or court.

All requisite information and documents should be attached with the application.

Advance ruling shall be issued in cases of classification of goods under first schedule to the Customs Act, 1969; determination of origin of the goods under the rules of origin notified for bilateral and multilateral agreements; applicability of notifications issued in respect of duties under the Customs Act, 1969 or any tax or duty chargeable under any of the law for the time being in force in the same manner as duty of customs leviable under this Customs Act.

In this regard, the "Advance Ruling Committee" means a committee constituted under the rules by board, headed by a customs officer of BS-21 and comprising two customs officers of BS-20 as members, and a customs officer of BS-19 as secretary. A permanent secretariat with as much staff as required shall also be established, and notified by board for meetings of the committee in this regard.

The committee shall be empowered to co-opt any officer of the Customs other than those notified by the board, and representative of trade body/association for assistance, the FBR added.

The Committee may direct the applicant to appear in person or through his authorised representative before the Committee to present their view point, and to address any queries of the Committee.

The Committee will pass the order within 90 days from receipt of application with all requisite documents.

A ruling passed by the Committee shall be binding on the applicant unless the applicant prefers an appeal as per rule 797 of the rules. Provided that a ruling issued by the committee shall be binding on the customs for a period of one year, unless there is a change in fact or circumstances on the basis of which the advance ruling was pronounced, the FBR added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020