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KARACHI: All Pakistan Customs Agents Association (APCAA) has suggested amendments in the measures proposed by the federal government in the federal budget 2021-22 to avoid anomalies in the customs clearance process.

Talking to Business Recorder, Arshad Jamal, Chairman APCAA said that the association had forwarded its proposals to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), suggesting several amendments in the measures recommended in the federal budget 2021-22 to avoid glitches in the customs clearance process after its implementation.

He said that the pasting of the invoice and packing the list is a must on the containers/LCL shipments for the immediate release of consignments before the filing of goods declarations and no shipping agents or air cargo agents accept any consignment without the goods declarations, internationally. However, in Pakistan, the shipping agents bypass this condition and transport the consignment against international practices.

In the federal budget 2021-22, it is proposed to impose heavy penalties on the importers if the shipment invoice/packing list was not found or pasted on containers/packages or parcels.

He said that this condition would not only increase examination and create containers backlog at the already congested ports but it would also negate the concept of the single window project, being propagated by the government of Pakistan. Moreover, he said that this condition should be declared mandatory but without penalties as the legal instrument was goods declaration but not such documents.

For the implementation of this condition smoothly, the APCAA has suggested that if the importer of the goods mentioned the condition “pasting of invoice/ packing list” on or inside the containers or on LCL shipments in the letter of credits, bank contracts, performa invoice then no penalty may be imposed on the importer of goods.

Furthermore, APCAA also recommended that the shipping line or shipping agent to ensure that the invoice/ packing list was pasted on containers or LCL shipments as per international practices and mention the invoice no, date, and amount on the bill of lading and import manifest and in case of no compliance, the shipping lines or shipping agents would be penalized with a maximum of Rs 25,000.

APCAA also proposed that all goods declarants should be restricted to file the true declarations along with the copy of the bill of lading, transactional invoice, and packing list, letter of credit, bank contract, or any other banking instrument, concessionary certificates /NOC in terms of IPO and customs tariff. And, if the goods declarants fail to upload such documents, his profile may be listed for the red channel and the authorities may issue show cause and impose the penalty of not more than Rs 25,000 against him, APCAA suggested.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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