SHC oust local manufacturers from interfering into determination of custom values

KARACHI: An appellate bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Yousuf Ali Saeed while deciding dozens of petitions, SCRA’s (Special Custom Reference Applications) arising out of judgment by the Special Custom Appellate Tribunal and Orders in Revision issued by Director General, Valuation, Pakistan Customs has held that local manufacturers have no standing at either in terms of section 25A or section 25D.

“These provision apply only to importers or exporters” the judgment said adding that any grievance by the local manufacturer can only be determined under Anti Dumping Duties Act 2015. The local manufacturers could not circumvent the law by proceedings under section 25-A or 25-D, it rules. Any injury caused to the local manufacturer is beyond the Customs Act 1969.

The bench perusing the section 25 held that it applies if and only if a customs value has been determined under section 25-A by the Collector of Customs or Director Valuation. There is no director original power conferred under this section on the Director General. In terms of section subsection (3) of the section 25-A, the jurisdiction of the Director General is only to determine the customs value if there is a conflict in the value.

The bench noted that once the Director General, Valuation exercises his powers under section 25 (A) (3) then section 25-D will have no application. The bench also noted that DG valuation has a revisional jurisdiction and hence cannot enhance the custom value while deciding a revision filed before him assailing value determined by the Director Valuation.

The bench held that section 25 A and 25- D are not complementary and they apply operate in their own spheres. The bench parting with the judgment dismissed pleas by Pakistan Customs and local manufacturers while by importers/ exporters were allowed. The bench also ordered that securities deposited by the importers be discharged within 30 days.

The bench however suspended its order for 30 days allowing an opportunity to the parties to file an appeal before the next appellate forum.

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