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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has barred the Directorate General of Transit Trade Karachi from asking importers of frustrated cargo to submit NOC from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Ministry of Commerce for change in the name of the consignee of Afghan transit goods for home consumption in Pakistan.

In this regard, the FTO issued an order on Friday.

According to the FTO’s order, the said complaint was filed against the Directorate General of Transit Trade, Karachi in terms of Section 10(1) of the FTO Ordinance, 2000 for not allowing amendment of the consignee name under section 138 of the Customs Act, 1969.

Briefly, the case pertains to amendment of IGM of imported goods which were originally meant for transit to Afghanistan.

However, the consignee refused to accept goods and authorized Pakistani importer to import the goods. The Directorate General of Transit has however declined to allow amendment of IGM.

The importer highlighted that there is no restriction under the law against amendment of IGM, release of frustrated cargo whether it be the transit goods or those meant for home consumption in Pakistan. The importer further stated that the foreign exchange in respect of the said consignment has already been transferred to the consignor as confirmed by relevant banks.

It is clear that foreign exchange in respect of the said consignment has already been remitted to the consignor after approval from the State Bank. Moreover, as stated above the amendment of consignee name from the Afghan importer to Pakistani importer is also covered under the provisions of Section 138 of the Customs Act, 1969.

In view of the facts mentioned above, it can be safely concluded that recommendation of the Board to the Directorate General of Transit to ask the Complainant to seek NOC from the State Bank and the Ministry of Commerce before allowing amendment in consignee name and substitution of transit goods for home consumption in Pakistan is redundant, uncalled for and tantamount to subjecting the Complainant to unnecessary hardship in the particular circumstances of the instant case, the FTO’s order added.

The FTO has recommended the FBR to direct the Directorate General of Transit to allow amendment of consignee name in order to enable the Complainant to file GD under Section 79 of Customs Act, 1969.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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