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LAHORE: The customs department reportedly confiscated locally manufactured cloth on the pretext of non-duty paid foreign origin goods, said sources.

They said the cloth importer defeated the department after requesting the appellate authority to independently verify the factual position of goods whether locally manufactured or not. Accordingly, a local commission was appointed who visited the manufacturing unit for inspection and compared the samples of seized consignment.

According to details, the customs staff had intercepted a container / trailer. After checking the vehicle, foreign origin non-duty paid clothes were recovered. The department detained the subject goods initially while giving opportunity to the importer for producing legal import documents.

The owner failed to produce lawful import documents in support of detained goods, therefore, the detention was converted into seizure on the allegations that the seized goods were brought into the country through an unauthorized route without payment of duties and taxes.

However, the owner of the goods stressed the point that the confiscated cloth is not foreign origin and the seizing agency has not been able to provide any specific evidence regarding their allegation.

But the department remained adamant to press that the occupant of goods failed to justify the legality of goods, therefore, there is every possibility to say that the goods were brought into the country illegally through unauthorized route.

It further maintained that the goods were seized after giving full opportunity to the claimant to produce the import documents but he failed to discharge his liability.

Meanwhile, the importer produced a certificate of the relevant Chamber of Commerce regarding the local manufacturing unit of the confiscated goods, which led to the appointment of a local commission to inspect and verify the claim.

The local commission reported the existence of the manufacturing unit and found it fully operational. The commission further maintained that the unit manufactures different types of silk cloth, including the cloth in controversy lying before the forum.

Accordingly, it was held that the importer has furnished sufficient evidence regarding his contention and the department has failed to prove the allegation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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