Increase in customs values of Irani ceramic tiles struck down

KARACHI: The Directorate General of Customs Valuation has struck down the customs values of ceramic tiles of Iran origin determined vide Addendum dated March 03, 2014 to the Valuation Ruling No.538/2013.
M/s Samee Babar Law Associates, Quetta had challenged the subject valuation addendum submitting that value of Ceramic Tiles was unilaterally and arbitrarily enhanced, without consulting the real stake holders i.e. Model Customs Collectorate, Quetta, Chamber of Commerce industry, Baluchistan and the Tiles importers Association Baluchistan.
The petition added that the element of low quality Iran origin stiles has been ignored for inexplicable reasons, Iran origin tiles are generally fragile, ‘inferior in quality, unglazed and thicker compared with tiles of Chinese and European origins, which are more refined, slim and sleek; increase of value of Iran origin tiles would certainly discourage the import of tiles from Iran and promote Smuggling.
The addendum to the valuation ruling was contested on the grounds that the value of Ceramic Tile was unilaterally and arbitrarily enhanced without consulting the real stakeholders i.e. Model Customs Collectorate, Quetta; the Chamber of Commerce & industry, Baluchistan and the Tiles importers Association of Baluchistan; the freight difference between sea and land routes has not been considered in the disputed valuation; the Iran origin goods are inferior in quality but unfairly compared with Chinese and Europe origin goods and arbitrary higher valuation is most likely to cause unfair and illegal trading activity.
The Directorate general observed that during the proceedings of valuation of Tiles, neither any participation of MCC Quetta was sought for consideration of a fair value determination nor the main stakeholders i.e the representatives of Chamber of Commerce Quetta, were called for their value input. It therefore appears that the subject petitioner and the main stakeholders were not associated in the proceedings of impugned ruling. In such a situation where disputed valuation is observed to have been decided in the absence of the real stakeholders, the case surfers from procedural impropriety in as much as that the petitioner’s view point was not considered which is in violation of the principles of natural justice.
The Directorate General added that there is no substantial basis to support the, arbitrary enhancement of value of Ceramic Tiles of Iran origin, which appears to be an unfair and unjustified decision. The petitioner’s stance that drawing out a comparison of lran origin goods with Europe and other origin remained a completely ignored analysis and this contention also seems to be correct in so much so that the Iran origin tiles are generally regarded to be more fragile and inferior in quality than other origin goods and have thus been wrongly equated with goods of other origin.
The Directorate General revoked the subject addendum.

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