KARACHI: The repeated technical issues arising in the WeBOC system poses risk to the entire trade as well as revenue collection system of the country.
The WeBOC system crashed in March 2016 suspending all import and export clearance through the system, right after a month in April the system was shutdown again due to technical maintenance. Just after a few days, the WeBOC system on Friday again crashed partially declining all access to clearing agents, importers and exporters. Although it was restored in a couple of hours, but the problem surfaced again by the evening.
This frequent glitches in the most sensitive installation poses multiple challenges. Most importantly, the trade suffers a lot as well as those attached with the business. On the other hand, this frequency of system failure proves its vulnerability to hacking and cracking.
A trader Anwar Iqbal of Neelum Papers said the authorities should prompt note of this situation and employ a fool proof system along with proper and regular maintenance. He said that the trading community was suffering extra costs due to these delays in shape of demurrage etc.
Terminal operators have declined any waiver in demurrages on the request of Customs as the terminals KICT, PICT and QICT are the licensee of KPT and PQA.
Senior Vice Chairman of All Pakistan Customs Agents Association (APCAA) Arshad Jamal said that they had time and again upraised FBR and ministry about the vulnerabilities in the system and as the government is planning to introduce I-Form, it might overload the system.
Tax consultant and clearing agent Hasan Tariq underlining the vulnerability of the system that it could also be hacked posing serious risks.