KARACHI: The Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU) of MCC Port Qasim has seized 16 units of old and used Prime Movers imported by two importers, as the same were not importable in terms of Import Policy.

The importers, M/s Shakeel corporation, Quiq Contractors & Traders had imported these vehicles; contravention reports are prepared.

Collector Port Qasim, Surayya Butt had this information, Additional Collector Saaed Akram and Assistant Collector Falik Sher and CIU team moved efficiently and intercepted the consignments.

Examination report of these 16 vehicles clarified that 02 vehicles have built in tipper hydraulic mechanism in chassis / fitted in chassis whereas tipper hydraulic mechanism / hydraulic jacks are placed loose with 07 vehicles and at the same time turning plates have also been fitted on the chassis.

In 01 vehicle, turning plate is fixed on chassis and self loading crane is also lying loose with the vehicle. Question arises that only by fixing turning plate / 5th wheel coupling qualifies a vehicle to be prime mover.

In this regard importer’s contention that Ministry of Commerce clarification is sufficient to clear adapted prime movers, it is submitted that the said clarification relates to special purpose vehicles of PCT 8705 for which explanatory notes give cover to adapted vehicles whereas in terms of explanatory notes of 8701, there is no coverage of adapted vehicles / adapted prime movers of PCT 8701.

In order to confirm the engine capacity, the same has been retrieved from Internet and to arrive on more authentic confirmation local manufacturers were also consulted and M/s. Hino and M/s. Ghandhara Nissan informed that they are unable to confirm engine capacity of imported vehicles, however, they gave the engine capacity of the models which are available in their current production line.

It is pertinent to mention here that some models for which the engine capacity has been given by the local manufacturers for reference purpose are the same engine models as that of imported vehicles.

Confirmation from local manufacturers shows that the engine capacity of the vehicles is under 380HP, which are not importable in terms of Import Policy.

Sources said that Ministry of Commerce issued several clarifications contradicting each other, due to which these vehicles including prime movers, concrete mixture, sprinkle lorries, refrigerated lorries continued to be imported.

Customs capped the age limit of importable vehicles to 3 years, which discouraged of used sprinkle lorries and refrigerated lorries, which were being used as trucks and trailers.

Now, the unscrupulous elements are importing vehicles in the garb of prime movers and concrete mixtures.

There are a large number of Concrete mixtures at the port, which are actually fitted with dummy drums to hoodwink the authorities. It may be mentioned here that a large number of tanks fitted on imported sprinkle lorries are dumped at Sohrab Goth. These tanks were removed from the lorries which are now plying on the roads as trucks.

Then collector exports Wasif Memon had stopped re-export of these tanks, as these were again fitted on vehicles imported to Pakistan. However, these were eventually re-exported.

Sources said that Customs is confused pertaining to clarifications/interpretations issued by ministry time and again. Besides, the contradictory court orders were also hampering the Customs efforts against this smuggling and were opening the option for corruption.

Moreover, Motor vehicles registration authority should also take due care in registering these vehicles as trucks and trailers and these should be registered in the same category in which these were cleared. A large number of such vehicles have also been registered as trucks, imported illegally.