Appraising staff blamed for the wrongdoing of Customs laboratory

KARACHI: As the Customs Laboratory allegedly connives with the importers issuing reports as per the importers’ demand, the Customs appraising staff has to take all the blame for revenue loss.

The same happened in the case of misuse of concessionary order SRO 659(I)/2007 wherein the exchequer suffered a loss of Rs67.7 million.

Appraising staff is blamed for processing the goods declarations (GDs) without taking cognizance of misdeclared PCT by the importer that the declared description and found description of the goods was polyester fabric attracting PCT 5407.5200 rather incorrect PCT applied by importer of nylon fabric 5407.4200 thereby availing otherwise inadmissible benefit of SRO 659(I)/2007 by 4.0 percent.

However, the correct position is Principal Appraiser Khalid Umar who processed the first consignment referred the sampled to Customs laboratory for the confirmation of the description of goods so that the correct PCT could be applied.

The Laboratory in its report, which is available with Customsnews.pk, noted the samples to be in the form of off-white thin fabric and on test found to be woven textile fabric composed of nylon.

Khalid Umar based on the said lab report processed the consignment and accorded the claimed concessions. Henceforth, it became a practice and several other consignments were cleared by the appraising staff as the Lab had already confirmed the description of goods though fraudulent.

The officer said the first GD processed became the part of past 90-day data and officers were then bound to accord the same treatment to other GDs.

Sources said laboratory officials were known to be conniving with the importers and clearing agents and used to issue reports as per the demand of the importers and clearing agents for obvious reasons.

Appraising Officer (AO) Qaisar Nadeem Chatha processed 45 GDs, AOs Akram Basra and Mohammad Bilal processed 27 GDs each, Khurram Rafique did 18 GDs, Principal Appraiser (PA) Tariq Aziz processed 06 GDs, AO Abdul Hameed did five consignments. PA Abdur Rasheed Shaikah, AO Aziz Sarwar, AO Ehtesham-ul-Haq Paracha and AO Khalid Pervez processed 04 GDs each.

Moreover, AOs Hafiz Jokhio and Khalid Hasan Awan processed 03 GDs, AOs Imtiaz hussain Khan, Sarfaraz Bangalzai, Syed Kamaluddin, Roshan ali Khan and PA Ghulam Murtaza processed 02 GDs. AOs Amjad Iqbal, Imdad Ali Bozdar, Naeem Butt, Zulfikar ali Shaikh, Mohammad Idrees, Rauf Khan, Shahid Murad, Noor Mohamad Kalwar and PAs Khalid Umar, Ahmed Nawaz and Sultan Aurungzeb one GD each on which inadmissible benefit of SRO 659(I)/2007 was availed.

Appraising staff including PAs and AOs are of the view that they processed the GDs as per the directions and approval of Deputy/Assistant collectors.

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