ISLAMABAD: The customs classification committee of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has ruled that imported night vision goggles would be subjected to 11 percent customs duty as the same cannot be declared as simple goggles liable to 3 percent customs duty.

According to a new ruling issued by the classification committee, the Collectorate of Customs (Appraisement) Karachi received a reference for the classification of ‘PVS-7 3N Night Vision Goggles With Extra Lens’. The matter has been decided by the customs classification committee. The ruling confirmed that the Collectorate of Customs (Enforcement), Peshawar has wrongly cleared the night vision goggles at a lower rate of 3 percent customs duty and audit authorities’ legal opinion was endorsed by the customs classification committee.

Brief facts as reported by the referring Collectorate are that importer M/s Crimson International imported 08 consignments of ‘13VS-7 3N Night Vision Goggles with Extra Lens’ and cleared under Pakistan Customs Tariff (PCT) Heading 9004.9000 upon payment of customs duty @ 3% and allied taxes. However, audit authorities during the audit observed that the record revealed that the goods were not merely goggles, rather these were battlefield or surveillance night vision goggles equipped with infrared technology and acted like modern cameras with optical telescoping functions for better visibility for the user. Therefore, the audit authorities are of the view that the impugned goods are classifiable under PCT heading 9005.8000 where binoculars, monoculars, other similar optical telescopes are classified, attracting custom duty @ 11%. On the other hand, the Collectorate is of the view that the under reference goods are a single tube night vision goggles third generation intensifiers standard for military night vision and that the goods are auto-gated to prevent image intensifier damage if exposed to intense light. The Collectorate further contended that these goggles have active night vision using a built-in infrared LED for low light and are not binoculars or telescope and are rightly classifiable under PCT heading 9004.9000.

The Classification Committee has gone through the arguments and documents put forth and also considered the relevant provisions of law dealing with the HS classification. The Classification of any imported goods under Pakistan Customs Tariff is determined under the General Rules for the Interpretation (GIR) of First Schedule to the Customs Act, 1969.

The committee declared that the goggles have active night vision using a built-in infrared LED for low light situations. They are waterproof and charged with nitrogen to prevent internal condensation while moving between extreme temperatures. They were designed to replace the older AN/PVS-5 from the Vietnam War. Though slowly being phased out by the AN/PVS-I4, the AN/PVS-7 is still being used by the United States Armed Forces with hundreds of thousands in service’.

Foregoing in view, Committee is of the view that the imported “PVS-7 3N Night Vision Goggles With Extra Lens” is classifiable under PCT heading 9005.8000, the chairman classification committee added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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