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ISLAMABAD: The customs classification committee of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has declared that the Natural Mozzarella Cheese is subjected to 20 percent customs duty.

In this regard, the FBR’s customs classification committee has issued an order on Thursday.

According to the committee ruling, “Natural Mozzarella Cheese” is appropriately classified under PCT Heading 0406.1010.

The Classification Committee observed that the impugned goods have been reported to be Natural Mozzarella Cheese. No laboratory test reporting the goods to be ripened, aged or cured was made available by the referring. As per different text/literatures/write-ups available on internet, Mozzarella cheese has been described.

The Collectorate of Customs, Appraisement-East, Karachi forwarded a reference for the determination of classification of “Mozzarella Cheese”.

Brief facts of the case as reported by the referring Collectorate are that M/s EKADA Corporation, imported consignment of Natural Mozzarella Cheese Block (Packing 2.3 Kg) and sought clearance thereof under PCT heading 0406.1010.

The Collectorate assessed the GD under 0406.9000 on the ground that the goods were frozen, hence the same cannot be categorized as fresh (unripened or uncured) cheese.

On the other hand, the importer contended that mere freezing and storing the cheese for future use did constitute into ripening or curing.

The goods were release provisionally and the matter was referred to the Classification Centre. Hearing in the case was fixed on 24.02.2023 which was attended by representatives of the importer, departmental representative from the Collectorate and the members of the Classification Committee.

The departmental representative reiterated the stance of the Collectorate contending that the goods bore manufacturing and expiry date, spreading over a year and the goods cannot be termed as fresh cheese.

The representative of importer asserted 1%. that impugned goods had been imported from Europe (Denmark) where stringent safety and standards and regulations had been put in place.

The Classification Committee considered the arguments and stance of both sides and examined the documents put forth and perused the relevant provisions of law dealing with the HS classification.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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