SHC orders clearance of PIA aircraft on submission of bank guarantee

KARACHI: Pakistan Customs held two aircrafts imported by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on lease, as the national flag carrier refused to pay the duty/tax.
PIA took this stance that the aircraft were exempted from duty/tax as they were on rent/lease and were not owned by the Airline.
The goods declaration (GD) for each aircraft was filed on March 28th and April 1st, respectively. The Customs created a total demand of Rs55 million as duty including Rs27.8 million on first place and Rs27 million for the second.
However, the PIA refused to pay the duty and the clearance of the planes was held.
The national flag carrier on Monday approached Sindh High Court (SHC) reiterating that the duty/tax was unjustified as the planes were on rent/lease.
Customs submitted that the demand created was actually based on the fact that the planes were leased and Rs55 million was leviable duty/tax on imports of aircraft on lease.
The Sindh High Court asked PIA to submit a bank guarantee worth Rs55 million to the Court Nazir and advised Customs to make the clearance. The decision would be made in the next hearing.
It may be mentioned here that Airblue and Shaheen Air imported aircraft on rent/lease in past and paid the duty/tax in the same proportionate as was demanded from PIA.

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