ISLAMABAD: The government Tuesday decided to launch a major crackdown against non-customs paid smuggled vehicles plying in Malakand Division to control illegal and possible terrorist activities.
Sources told Business Recorder that a meeting was held on the non-duty paid vehicles in Malakand Division at the Ministry of Finance.
The meeting was attended by the tax authorities of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and senior officials of the KPK government and the Ministry of Finance.
The meeting decided stern action against such un-registered and non-duty paid vehicles used in various kinds of illegal activities. The illegal vehicles would be confiscated by the Customs Department with the help of the law enforcement agencies and anti-smuggling agencies.
In a recent meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance, the FBR had announced launching a major crackdown against showrooms and warehouses selling non-duty paid smuggled vehicles.
The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has taken an own motion notice on multiple complaints regarding auction/registration of non-duty paid vehicles on forged/fake customs document by the provincial excise and motor registration authorities.
The FBR has requested all the provincial secretaries of the Excise and Taxation to provide requisite records of registration of the luxury vehicles (2000cc and above) for completion of the verification exercise.
Out of 819 auctioned vehicles, data of 338 have been verified and 481 are yet to be verified.
The new anti-smuggling powers obtained through the Finance Act 2021 to punish retailers of smuggled goods would also help in checking smuggling at the retail stage.
Moreover, the FTO has also directed the FBR to immediately stop the illegal practice of customs clearance of stolen imported cars under transfer of residence, baggage scheme or gift scheme after payment of 30 percent redemption fine.
Customs authorities’ decision about clearance of stolen imported cars under transfer of residence, baggage scheme or gift scheme upon payment of redemption fine and taxes without following any legal provision has been declared illegal by the FTO.
The FTO also recommended the FBR to direct all Collectorates of Customs and other concerned authorities to stop these illegal practices forthwith.
The Customs authorities were also directed that the stolen imported vehicles either should have been returned to authorities of the country from where vehicles were stolen after receiving occurring expenses or these vehicles should have been confiscated and disposed of through public auction.
Earlier, the FTO took the own motion in connection with the decision taken in Customs Conference held at the then CBR (FBR) on 02.08.2006, in which, it was decided that the Collectorates may clear stolen imported vehicles after imposition of 30 percent redemption fine under the Provision of Customs Act, 1969, while no action should be taken unless recognised agency of the foreign country approaches the government of Pakistan.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021