KARACHI: The Customs Adjudication has penalized one M/s Khuwaja Flat Glass Industries (Pvt) Ltd and a clearing agent M/s RIL Logistics (Pvt) Ltd for mis-declaration/under-invoicing and depriving national exchequer of its legitimate revenue.
[the_ad id=”31605″]According to the details of the case as reported by MCC-Port Qasim, M/s. Khuwaja Flat Glass Industries (Pvt) Ltd, imported two consignments of One set – 17’=0″ insulated suspended strut-air mechanism. The importer filed Home Consumption GD declaring total invoice value of $26,643 each through their authorized clearing agent M/s. RIL Logistic (Pvt) Ltd. The importer paid duty/taxes amounting to Rs. 680,711 by making a declaration and exhausting their liabilities under self assessment.
The import documents/declaration made was accordingly accepted and goods were allowed to be released on the basis of declaration under Section 25 of the Customs Act, 1969.
However, during post importation scrutiny, it was observed that the declared import value of the goods was quite low, therefore, importer was being approached to provide further detail in support of their imports.
In the meanwhile, the approached the Collectorate and requested for revision of their bill of entry (GD) submitting that they had imported the goods from M/s. International lnc., USA through their indenter M/s. Glass Services Limited. Their indenter sent them the under rated invoices inadvertently and they got their goods cleared on the basis of these invoices. However, while going through detailed examination of their accounts they were facing reconciliation issues then found that these values are less than the actual prices, which they had paid to their suppliers. Therefore, they requested their indenter to provide them the Original invoices of the supplier and they received the same which are hereby submitted.
They voluntarily offer to pay the extra duties and taxes on the original value of the invoices. They also requested to revise their bill of entry and allow them to pay the balance in 8 monthly installments.
Accordingly the GDs were reassessed and an amount of Rs6.194 million and Rs6.771 million on both the GDs were calculated. But, the importer gave no response thereof and no payment of duty and taxes were made.
However, the clearing agent M/s RIL Logistics in response of the Show Cause Notice prayed to the Customs Adjudication that the notice against the clearing agent may kindly be withdrawn as they had filed the GD on the basis of documents provided by the importer.
Shahanshah Hasnain, Collector Adjudication noted in the order that despite receipt of Show Cause Notice and several Hearing Notices, the importer never appeared for hearing. The importer did not submit any reply to the Show Cause Notice. This complete absence of the importer from hearings and having no reply of the Show Cause Notice from the importer, clearly and without any iota of doubt, tantamount to admittance by the importer of the charges leveled in the Show Cause Notice by the Department.
Therefore, all the charges thereby stand established. Department shall, therefore, recover the duty and taxes as determined by them and mentioned in the Contravention Report. A fine of Rs. 500,000 and a personal penalty of Rs. 100,000 is also imposed on the importer per consignment.
As regards role of the clearing agent, RIL Logistics (Clearing Agent) could not submit a satisfactory explanation regarding his role in this case. Details of the case transpire that the clearing agent failed to submit any corroborative document to substantiate his statement that he had approached or made any complaint to the importer regarding gross under-invoicing and submission of different documents than the original. The clearing agent also failed to disclose the name and contact number of the person, who had given documents to them for clearance of the cargo, therefore, charges leveled against the clearing agent are established and a personal penalty of Rs. 200,000is also imposed on the clearing agent per consignment which shall be recovered by the Department.
An official said that the Customs Adjudication was not at all lenient in any aspect and had been dealing cases so competently that it was quite difficult for the importers/clearing agents to challenge the orders at any other forum.