Regulatory duty dispute: importers advised to process GDs through One Customs

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has notified that importers can get their consignments cleared through One Customs, which would ensure full implementation of the interim relief granted by the High Court in respect of Regulatory Duty (RD) dispute on import of certain items falling under SRO 1035(I)/2017.

Sindh High Court in its interim decision directed that 50 percent of RD amount shall be deposited in cash whereas remaining 50 percent shall be deposited in the shape of securities with the Customs or the Nazir of the Court as per option of the relevant petitioners/importers.

The court further directed that for the purposes of calculation of Sales Tax, Income Tax, etc., the whole of RD shall not be taken into account into any applicable calculation.

In the WeBOC system there is no provision to implement either of the above two directions in the said order. Accordingly, multiple user IDs of the One-Customs system were issued to Appraising Officers, Principal Appraisers and ACs/DCs to implement the court’s orders in case of Goods Declaration (GDs) filed by relevant petitioners.

A number of traders availed this interim solution and their GDs have been, or are being, processed through One-Customs. A Change Request (CR) to the Directorate of Reforms & Automation, Karachi was forwarded to incorporate necessary provisions in the WeBOC system to implement the court’s order.

A meeting was held in the chamber of Chief Collector (Appraisement), attended by the President KCCI, Director (Reforms & Automation) Azeem Afzal, Senior Manager (PRAL) and Collector MCC Appraisement East Ashad Jawad. During the meeting it was intimated by the Director (R&A) that the CR was under technical evaluation and due to complexity involved, it will not be possible to implement requisite change in the WeBOC system at an early date.

It was also suggested by the Director that as an interim measure the Board may create a special exemption in the WeBOC system through the user ID of Secretary (Customs Budget) which will allow exemption of 50 percent of RD bound with the NTNs of the petitioner to whom said court’s order relates to.

As far as the implementation of second part of the order is concerned, it was informed that the same was not possible to implement within the WeBOC system due to its duty/taxes calculation structure.

The FBR notified that creation of distortion in WeBOC System by artificially creating an exemption was not warranted, specially as it would also fail to implement the Court’s orders to the extent of sales tax and withholding tax.

FBR noted Director R&A in consultation with field formations create necessary functionality in the WeBOC system to cater for court matters. Meanwhile, the importers can get their consignment cleared through One Customs.

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