KARACHI: MCC Port Qasim has issued an Alert to the Customs formations to remain vigilant regarding bilateral trade of agro-commodities through Pak-Afghan border in violation of Pakistan Plant Quarantine Act 1976 and the international standards for phyto-sanitary measures.

All concerned are advised to observe strict compliance that the import of wheat, plant material and agro commodities from Afghanistan will be allowed after ensuring that a pre-shipment inspection report (PSI) issued at the port loading by authorized PSI agencies has been furnished.

Moreover, mandatory quarantine inspection by the Department of Plant protection (DPP) as required under the Pakistan Plant Quarantine Act and Import Policy Order, 2013 has been carried out; the goods are free from infectants on confirmation from a reputable laboratory and that a Plant Protection Release Order (PP) has been issued by the DPP.

The Alert has been issued so that leniency/negligence could be avoided as happened in recent past.

It may be recalled that Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU) of Model Customs Collectorate (MCC) of Port Muhammad Bin Qasim recently found that wheat importers were taking the advantage of flaws in online clearance system to defraud the excheqquer.

Chairman FBR directed the officials to keep vigilant on clearance of imported commodity.

As per details received to Customnews.pk, a shipping line on behalf of some wheat importers had provided false information of expected time of arrival and their clearing agents filed goods declaration much before the ship arrived in order to evade 20 percent regulatory duty and deprive the national exchequer of about Rs280 million.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on November 07, 2014 issued SRO 1015(I)/2014 to implement the decision taken by the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet to impose regulatory duty at the rate of 20 percent ad valorem on the import of wheat falling under Pakistan Customs Tariff Heading 1001.1900 and 1001.9900 of the First Schedule to the Customs Act, 1969.