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ISLAMABAD: The government has modified Export Policy Order (EPO) 2022 to include Angoor Adda as customs station, aimed at facilitating trade with Afghanistan.

Recently, FBR revealed that export of goods from Pakistan to Afghanistan is taking place from Angoor Adda since it became operational in 2020. Angoor Adda is notified as a Customs Station in terms of FBR’s notification of February 12, 1983 amended under SRO 1017 (I)12004 for the following goods or class of goods imported or exported by land: (a) all goods from Afghanistan, and (ii) all goods to Afghanistan except goods on which duty drawback is admissible.

The FBR highlighted that Para 7 of the Export Policy Order, 2022 specifies export to Afghanistan and through Afghanistan to Central Asian Republics wherein it is further provided in Sub-Para (5) that “export shall be allowed only through authorized export land routes, ie, Torkham, Chaman. Ghulam Khan, Qamaruddin Karez and Kharlachi.”

The FBR contends that there is a mismatch between the Export Policy Order, 2022 which does not recognize Angoor Adda as a land route for export to Afghanistan and through Afghanistan to Central Asian Republics, whereas FBR’s relevant SROs recognizes Angoor Adda as Customs Station for export to Afghanistan except goods on which duty drawback is admissible.

The FBR requested Ministry of Commerce to consider adding Angoor Adda in sub-para (5) of para 7 of the Export Policy Order, 2022 notified on under SRO 544(1) 2022 of April 22, 2022 so that the provision and FBR’s notifications become aligned.

Ministry of Commerce, in its summary to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet, contended that Para 7 of Export Policy Order, 2022 specifies the conditions for export to Afghanistan and through Afghanistan to Central Asian Republics (CARS) via land route.

As per sub-paragraph (5) of Para 7 of EPO,2022 export via land route is allowed through authorized land routes, ie, Torkham, Chaman, Ghulam Khan, Qamaruddin Karez, and Kharlachi. Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) approached Ministry of Commerce, highlighting that export of goods from Pakistan to Afghanistan is taking place from Angoor Adda since it became operational l in 2020.

The FBR further noted that Angoor Adda was notified as a Customs Station in terms of FBR’s notified SRO 102(I)/83 amended vide SRO 1017(l)/2004.

Commerce Ministry argues that since Angoor Adda is not included among authorized land routes for export to Afghanistan and to CARS through Afghanistan in EPO, 2022, FBR requested Commerce Ministry to consider adding Angoor Adda in sub-para (5) of Para 7 of EPO, 2022.

The Commerce Ministry stated that since under power conferred by Section 9 of the Customs Act, 1969, declaration of customs stations for clearance of goods of any class of goods imported or exported is the domain of the FBR, therefore, the FBR’s recommendation may be considered positively.

The ECC considered the proposal of Commerce Ministry and included Angoor Adda in its Customs Station. The decision of ECC will be ratified by the Cabinet, in its forthcoming meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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