EXCLUSIVE: Free STRN recommended for WeBOC user identity where taxpayer not liable to get registration

KARACHI: Model Customs Collectorate of PaCCS, Karachi has proposed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to create a free Sales Tax Registration Number (STRN) for the issuance of WeBOC user identification in cases of those taxpayers not liable to be registered.

According to details Karachi Customs Agents Association and Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan have requested the Customs House to allow issuance of WeBOC user-ID without the requirement of sales tax registration in cases where the importers / exporters are not liable to be registered under the Sales Tax Act, 1990.

The commercial exporters also lodged a claim to get a waiver from having a STRN for clearances through WeBOC.

The problem faced by the taxpayers the customs authorities recommend the FBR to create a free STRN (like FTN in place on an NTN) for such importers and exporters or direct PRAL to create limited user ID for traders claiming exemption for the requirement, which allows only filing of goods declaration in specified areas.

Earlier this month customs authorities issued SOP for the issuance of unique user identification which involved physical verification as well as essential online verification for CNIC, NTN, STRN in addition to the compulsory personal appearance.

The customs authorities said that once the identity of user is issued, the WeBOC system gives all types of import and export clearances facility to all user ID holders. Based on the Risk Management System (RMS) criteria, the profile of the traders builds up and accordingly their imports and exports are channeled through green, yellow and red channels of scrutiny.

At present 20 percent of imports and 95 percent of export is green channel. The concept of RMS based clearance and post clearance audit relies heavily on the identification and traceability of the user, especially in exports where the danger of narcotics smuggling is ever present and all agencies have advised extra cautions in user ID issuance.

The customs authorities also informed the FBR that till revenue body initiative of linking imports and supplies data (customs and sales tax) as well as income tax records, starts working, the WeBOC system requires NIC, NTN and STRN registration for eligibility to get a user ID as these are also required for imports and exports with some exceptions.

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