Appellate Tribunal strikes down fine/penalty imposed on fabric importer

KARACHI: The Customs Appellate Tribunal has limited the additional demand created against a fabric importer to adjudged duty/taxes; fine and penalties imposed were struck down.

According to the details of the case, M/s Soor Ghar Traders imported consignment of PVC coated fabric and paid duties and taxes upfront as per self-assessment.

The declaration and self-assessment was checked and in the light of examination report, it was found that importer had declared the unit of measurement as roll instead of KG. Furthermore, Customs value which is ascertained as $3.0/KG is almost higher than the declared value.

The Adjudication officer ordered confiscation of goods with an option to redeem the goods on payment of a fine equal to 35 percent of the ascertained value as per 90 days data available in the system along with a penalty of Rs0.3 million.

Being aggrieved, the importer approached Customs appellate Tribunal.

The importer’s counsel contended that the appellant is regular importer of fabric of various types and known as renowned importer of this product in Pakistan. He also argued that the declared value is transactional value which cannot be enhanced without written evidence as well as support of 90 days computerized data and prior information of importer. The value is enhanced arbitrarily without disclosing the evidence or giving reasons of such enhancement which is liable to be set-aside.

He further contended that the case of enhancement of value, the Assessing officer should have referred the case to Valuation Directorate, but he did not do so.

By getting the strength from the judgment of superior courts, the Tribunal struck down the fine and penalty, however the importer was advised to pay additional duty/taxes adjudged by the Customs.

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